I was recently in a pre-project meeting with a prospective client. This prospect is a rather large media company in the 40 million range near Atlanta. The meeting was filled with multiple uninterested and preoccupied executives who I guess did not have much better to do than to watch the very interested director of marketing try to push one of her initiatives forward.
The most interesting person their was the CFO who had a new tablet pc that he was really enjoying. While he was playing with his new productivity enhancement device, he was listening to the meeting with one ear. Every now and then, to one of our questions, he would pop up like a rabbit and bestow wisdom on the group – then go back to learning how to write on a PC’s screen.
When we asked the question: well who really is your customer, he popped up again and spurted out: hey we are a communications company so everyone is our customer. I then replied, “hey you are like Coke!” Which made him look up to ask why. To which I responded, “well, Coke thinks everyone should be their customer." He agreed that they indeed were like Coke. I then said that Coke had a marketing budget of several hundred million dollars that they leverage to make everyone a customer of Coke.
When I asked him how big his budget for customer acquisition was (... as big as Coke’s), he replied: “Well, I guess not everyone is our customer.”
The moral of this story is if you only have a few bullets for your gun and you need to eat all winter, you had better be really good at picking fat deer. Marketing can be most effective when you have a very clear picture of who your Ideal Customer is and what you need to say to them to buy your products or services.