You wouldn’t use the same method to catch a cat as you would a fish. Marketing is the same way. No matter how you’re promoting your stuff, you’re going to tailor your marketing message depending on the customer you’re hoping to attract.

Always remember to think like your potential customer. We sellers tend to think like sellers without realizing that the outside perspective is completely different. The way you might describe your product or service with your seller’s hat on is unlikely to be the best way to win a client. Your book may be your baby but you’ll need to emotionally disconnect and start to view it as a product to sell it effectively.

If you’re not sure where to start, make a list of groups you think would be possible customers for what you’ve got to sell and then try to get into their head brainstorm the best ways to reach them. If you’re answer is something very general like “Everyone of all ages!” you’re in trouble and need to go do some research to narrow down a more specific demographic. Any product, no matter how wide it’s appeal, has a targeted audience. You just need to figure out what it is. Finding similar products and seeing how they’re categorized and promoted is often a great way to start. A group could be a specific demographic or even the fandom of another, similar product. Don’t panic if you’ve only got one or two groups on your list at first, you’ll start to figure out what customers to target as you go.

You’re not going to reach a taxi driver the same way you would a taxidermist, even though there may be overlap between those two groups, however small. What this literally means is that you’ll often be creating multiple versions of your marketing materials with tweaks and customization designed to attract each of the groups you’ve targeted as your ideal customers. This applies to the small, such as restating your message a different way from tweet to tweet, to the large, such as having different handouts depending on the event you’re participating in.


An example most people are familiar with are Axe Body Spray and Dove Beauty Products. If you’ve never seen their ads, you should be able to find a dozen examples with a quick internet search. While they’re actually selling the same items, health and beauty care products, their advertising approach couldn’t possibly be more different. The female targeted Dove ads are about empowerment and loving your body the way it is while the Axe commercials focus on using their product to make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Beyond the message, even the look and feel of these ad campaigns are completely different down to the details like the color scheme and cinematography.

What you may not realize is that both of those product lines are from the same parent company and are made side by side in the same factories. Their parent company is employing two completely different marketing messages for the exact same product, each targeting a different demographic. While this is an extreme example as you likely wouldn’t completely change the name and design of your product just to target a specific demographic, it’s a good one because it shows you how it’s possible to completely reinvent how you market your product without actually changing the product itself at all.

If you ended up doing a search for examples of the Dove and Axe ads, you likely noticed something else. Axe’s commercials have had a big a backlash and have been criticized for being racist, sexist and a host of other things. Which brings up another important point. Because, while you’ll want to target different customers with each marketing message, never forget that it’s always likely someone from one group will see a message targeted to another and the last thing you want to do is ostracize a section of your existing customer base while courting another. A big company like  Unilever can afford to anger a few customers out of their massive base or duplicate products out into separate lines to distance them from each other but you probably can’t afford to do that.

What you should take away from this is that marketing is not “one size fits all.” While it will mean more work, as you’ll be crafting several versions of each campaign, it will be worth it in the end, as you’ll score more clients when you speak to them directly with a customized message for their needs. It will also mean a better results from the messages you do send out, making the time you spent on it that much more worth it.