Marketing – Targeting Makes a Difference

Marketing is a strange thing where what might look like a highly successful marketing program is actually a poor campaign. At the end of the day, Marketing is meant to drive revenue for the vast majority of businesses.  Yet, some highly successful marketing campaigns like the Old Spice advertorial fail to generate increases in revenue.

On our side, we see the same thing with some of our marketing programs. The webpage with the highest number of visitors (not including our homepage) is our Top 10 Fantasy Games list.  Total number of sales that we have generated from that page – 0.

On the opposite end, we have our Game Buyer’s Guide Flowchart that we created a few years ago and later updated to our Game Wizard Application. We do not get as many visitors to each of those pages (about a quarter); yet we generate a consistent number of sales from visitors those pages.

Why the difference? It’s a matter of targetting and the right markets.  Individuals who find our guides actually are interested in purchasing, while those looking to read our Top 10 list are likely just browsing. Even the terminology used ‘Fantasy Games’ could evoke a wide range of fans – from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter to actual boardgamers.

At the end of the day, traffic and word of mouth might seem nice; but if it doesn’t actually drive sales, it’s a waste of time and effort

Size vs Quality

I’ve talked about target markets before and how we end up structuring our business to serve each of our target markets better. One thing I have been seeing again and again (often by those who aren’t marketers) is the mistake of confusing size with quality.

Size

You must have seen the various advertisements out there that say ‘Get 6,000+ subscribers in a week’ or ‘Reach 100,0000 readers everyday’ or their like.  The main thrust of these advertisements / methods is that more is better – get a lot of subscribers / viewers / readers / etc. and you’ll do well.  Really.

Except that’s not always the case.  In fact, unless you are in a mass market business (e.g. shirts, pants, food) you can often find you’ve spent a lot of time or money (or both) and generated very little return.

Quality

Why’s that? It’s a matter of quality / target market.  Many of the above ‘quantity’ methods that are promoted focus on providing a large amount of subscribers / readers / fans / etc. – but few of them will actually buy from you.  There can be a number of reasons for why someone is not a valid ‘target’ like:

  • income level
  • age
  • location
  • personality (especially if you are running ‘free’ or ‘contest’ promotions constantly)
  • etc.

An Example

A great personal example of size not necessarily translating to purchases – our video reviews.  We have over 5,000+ subscribers at the time of writing to our video reviews on Youtube with over 1,000 views within the first week of a video being posted.  In comparison, we have only about 1,000 or so newsletter customers.  Yet in terms of conversions, our newsletter beat our videos by a vast percentage.

Now it’s not just the fact that the two are different mediums (customers read our newsletter for release dates, information about our site, etc. while the videos are more informative / educational in nature) but also the matter of targetting.  Newsletter subscribees are interested in purchasing from us – there’s no ‘fluff’ in the newsletter to attract non-customers; while the video reviews attract numerous non-customers from around the world.  In fact, the majority of our subscribers aren’t even Canadian (and with shipping rates being what they are, are automatically non-customers for the most part).

The Caveat

It’s not to say all these promotions / methods / tactics don’t work.  They obviously can and do for some businesses.  They can even provide a great initial boost to a site that is attempting to find a market.  And with the way Facebook and other social media systems work, that initial boost (the seeding) can be extremely important.  It’s just understanding the limitations and likely problems you will run into using these methods.