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Dec 11, 2022

It might seem strange, but you're better off appealing to a small group of loyal customers than trying to attract everyone.

There's a fundamental rule in marketing that takes some discipline and some getting used to, but it's undeniably true: 

You can't be everything for everybody.

It is a mistake to try and be all things to all people. 

In fact, it is a mistake to simply swell the numbers (for numbers sake) – in many cases growth is not automatically profitable, and in most cases growth achieved with new customers who will require cultural, product, service and often price shifts – can serve to drive away your existing, your best, your longest serving and most certain customers can actually be a deal with the devil. 

It is a mistake to favour short-term expediency over strategy. 

I found this out the hard way during COVID.

In response to one of my clients putting their program with me on hold until they saw how COVID panned out – I reacted and starting touting for business.

Because I am pretty skilled at Client Acquisition, and I had a functioning CGS – I opened the channels full throttle…

It didn’t take long to realise I had taken on too much and a lot of it not really what and whom I like to work with. 

It is a grievous mistake for a business to act or present itself absent a philosophy, a set of fundamental beliefs. 

We become so vague that no one knows what we are offering, and our potential customers turn to other, more specific options.

Worse still we end up accomplishing far less than we had hoped, which is exhausting.

As entrepreneurs, we end up running ragged trying to get it all done with limited resources. It makes us feel busy and productive, but again it's actually quite the opposite. 

We are doing busy work that isn't generating the kind of results we were ultimately aiming for.

In business, temptations abound. 

There is, for example, fear of losing even one customer, this creates pressure to be vanilla, to take no risks and play it safe, to avoid all criticism, to be for all. 

This fails two ways. 

First, the only way to be free of criticism and disapproval is to climb into a pine box, and have it buried 6’ deep. 

The idea of managing a pristine reputation with all is hopelessly naïve. Futile in fact. 

Two, it castrates (I love that word for impact 😊) a business’ ability to resonate with any core constituency of rabid fans. 

In business there is enormous temptation to choose tactical expediency rather than strategic effectiveness. 

To see the dollar to be had today but not the high cost of taking it over time. Resisting, even recognising these temptations is not easy. 

They sneak up on you. They mask themselves. 

When we fail to recognize a temptation immediately, we often find it too late to resist it. 

It takes a lot, to remain ever vigilant of and hyper-sensitive to temptations. 

This is one of many prices that success demands, that many do not understand. 

As an example, take fast food giant McDonalds. In response to diners who are increasingly seeking food that is fresh and healthy, and the explosion of fast-casual restaurants catering to this desire and giving them alternatives that are nearly as speedy as a Macas but are perceived as much healthier.

The company tried to take on these new competitors while also hanging onto its traditional business, and in doing so its menu grew bloated and its pricing strategy became confusing.

Sadly, for McDonald’s they found that wait times were getting longer at its drive-through windows as its menu grew increasingly long and complicated. Worse still, some restaurants didn’t have enough space in the kitchen to prepare such a wide array of dishes.

Consequently, the company had no alternative than to unveil a sweeping turnaround strategy promising to streamline its menu to fix the bottleneck. 

The new revised strategy was that despite trying to respond to the desire for fresh food with items such as salads and wraps, these items did’nt sell particularly well. It found its real Macas consumers wanted to come to McDonald’s for burgers and chicken nuggets just as they always have, but instead Macas are now preparing those dishes more healthily.

Most of my business and financial mistakes, past, recent, and I am sure next, are not actually or simply misjudgements or errors; they are likely to be victories by temptations. 

It may even be that the percentage of temptations succumbed to vs. those recognised and resisted is the secret math to that of success and failure. 

If only somebody will invent an app for this, with an alarm bell or, better still, an electric shock triggered by every temptation, and a tracking of one’s percentages of surrender and resistance. 

It is a fact - It's impossible to build a business and market a brand in a way that serves everyone. First of all, you can't possibly please everyone all the time and, secondly, you can't possibly offer everything that everyone would want all the time either. 

It's simply impossible.