Shotgun Or Rifle? What's The Target?

Every enewsletter program should start with a profile of the type of reader you want to reach. Yes, that's elementary, but a lot of marketers just want to aim at a crowd of people and hope to hit a lot of them. This is the shotgun approach.

That's fine if you are trying to market a product or service that is almost universally used. I mean like bread or sunglasses or toothpaste. If everyone is a prospective customer reach is everything.

But for most products and services there are market segments of frequent users. These segments, of course, can be defined by profiling their demographics. So these special segments then become a group to be targeted in your marketing communications. This is the rifle approach.

Ho hum. Everyone knows that.

But if they do, why do so many marketers get sloppy with their mailing lists?

When targeted lists become infiltrated with the addresses of those not fitting the profile, there is another problem that arises. Focus is lost. There is then a tendency to generalize the message. Instead of speaking specifically to address the needs and wants of the defined audience, the marketer begins to shape the message for the broader audience.

And that isn't the way be most effective with the enewsletter program.

Maybe this piece of opinion is not leading edge thinking. However, it is basic and we think it isn't a bad thing to be reminding marketers to watch their fundamentals.

Prescott "Pete" Lustig
Senior Marketing Stragtegist