For any organisation it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t turn away good business. So why limit who you market your services or products to? Seems like common sense, right? It’s not. It’s actually very poor thinking when it comes to your marketing. To market to a wide audience your messaging must be able to appeal to a wide group. This means less specific and less personal, and by extension, less successful.

The most successful marketing speaks to your prospect’s pain points and needs. You may be surprised how wide-ranging pain points can be and how they can shift from customer segment to customer segment. For example, maybe your service is purchased by two or three identifiable groups,  female entrepreneurs and millennial start-ups. These two groups are different in what qualities attract them to a vendor. And even though you are capable of delivering your service to both groups, each group wants to know that their problems are understood and that you can solve their unique problem.  To do this, each group will require a shift in message, image and offer (call-to-action) to make them feel understood and connected to your offer and service.

Let’s not think of it as “limiting” who you market to and instead think of it as “focusing” who you market to. It’s important to focus your marketing efforts to get the biggest impact for your investment. By focusing on those that are most aligned with your offering, you will see larger conversion rates, more leads, and inevitably more paying clients.

Here are three key areas to think about when targeting your next marketing campaign:


No business has unlimited marketing funds. It makes sense to put the majority of your budget into attracting ideal clients e.g. clients that specifically want what you’re offering and can afford to pay for it. Knowing who that audience is will give you a better return for your marketing investment. After all, we all want to see our marketing dollars convert into paying clients, right?


By focusing your marketing efforts on attracting a specific target audience, you can dig a little deeper and build more segmentation information around them.  For example, you may have built a persona around your ideal client but there are likely still several gaps. Perhaps you don’t know the publications they prefer or their household income? These may seem irrelevant details at first but may quickly come in handy when your marketing efforts expand into new territory like events or print ads. As a side note, your CRM should be used to track and tag which segment each contact belongs to. This will help you further define your percentage (client-wise) of each group and how much of your revenue comes from each group.


Setting clear objectives for any marketing effort your organisation does helps you calculate the impact on your business. Whether it’s education, awareness, leads or sales you should have clear and achievable numbers set as targets. This can also help you understand which efforts are successful for which target group which is a key piece of information as your marketing efforts increase in effectiveness.

So, as you plan out your marketing make sure you include the target audience for each campaign. Knowing what you spend to get each segment to engage with you helps you determine the most efficient marketing tactics for each group.

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a small business marketing firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Carolyn works with her clients to target their marketing and deliver the best gains possible from their marketing efforts. For more information visit or email