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Digital Transformation Journey | Part 4

Embracing Audience

Whatever size market you're in, you've likely got a lot of competition and options standing between you and the advertiser. There is an old method of selling advertising (from the newspaper) … show up and throw up. Where the sales rep opens the binder with 107 offerings and begins to sell from the book. They pitch until they wince, a lean in or a nod.

Today, no matter how small or large your market is, you hold the power to reach a very defined audience. How? One way is to focus on a niche in your audience. Are you strong with high school sports? Known for your political coverage? Have a strong food section? Think about your current product and how it meets or reaches a specific audience.

Extend that thinking to digital. Here you can be very specific of who you want to reach, where you want to reach them, how many times, and the value you put on the connection.

Understanding how to narrow your focus to one specific demographic or slice of the marketplace gives potential customers a reason to notice your advertiser's message in the rest of the fray. This is critical when embracing the audience. If you are talking to a dentist office, it is important to talk in their terms. Don’t focus on “small business” plans and expect the dentist to connect all of the dots to see that you have their interest in mind. They will also miss that you can reach their target audience!

If you're not differentiating yourself to your advertiser in the marketplace, they will quickly look to price as the motivator. Same can be true for your customer. what happens is the consumer looks at price as being the motivator," says Susan Friedmann, author of the books Riches in Niches and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Target Marketing. "And they look at the cheapest."

If you don't know specifically which customers you are speaking to, you are actually speaking to no one, says Tammy Lenski, a business mediation expert who has advised clients about successful business through target marketing.

"The big danger is that without a target market, it's like standing in a park shouting in the wind," she says. "When you have a target market, its like standing in a park and talking to a specific group of people."

That means you can't be afraid to exclude certain types of consumer from your marketing or to target your advertising at small groups of business. Some customers will feel left out, but those are the sacrifices necessary for a successful business, says Greg Head, founder and CEO of New Avenue, a strategic marketing firm.

"Focus requires exclusion," he says. "If you're selling everything, you actually mean nothing in the marketplace. Exclusion is fundamental to target markets."'

For help in creating your target clusters, please contact Bill Cummings –


Bonus Content

Understanding The Digital Ecosystem

Let's face it ... digital advertising is a complex, vibrant, technology-driven industry that changes every few months. The IAB Arena is simplified representation of the digital advertising ecosystem that illustrates how the different pieces and players work together to create and deliver advertising to consumers, leveraging campaign optimization and measurement for the best results. - See more at

Clicking on these links take will open a new window!


Bill Cummings is a Sales & Marketing executive with extensive experience catalyzing rapid revenue growth while controlling multimillion-dollar program budgets. Sharp advertising and marketing acumen across national publications, niche markets, classified verticals (autos, real estate & employment), legal and private party segments. Collaborative communicator continually focused on building relationships and positioning high-performance teams for unprecedented success. He is available to speak at workshops or meetings; lead off-sites; conduct rate analysis; forecast where your next sale will come from; coach your leadership team (advertising, management, content) and is available as an expert witness or M&A subject matter expert. or (949) 293-0280.



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