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Don’t waste time on uninterested markets; ‘focus your attack’

POSTED: October 13, 2007 5:05 a.m.

Some friends and I were watching television one afternoon when each of us got a strong dose of reality. An advertisement came on, and for whatever reason, there was not the involuntary response to grab the remote control.

Instead, we all sat mesmerized and viewed a 60-second spot promoting a brand of blue jeans.

After the advertisement was completed we all stared at each other. Let me point out here that when I refer to "we" I am saying that we are all baby boomers.

To refresh your memory, baby boomers are all of us who were born between 1946 and 1964.

Why did we all sit and stare at each other as though Elvis "The King" had just gyrated through the room?

The television advertisement for the blue jeans made absolutely no sense to any of us.

The advertisement focused on a group of hormonal-crazed teenagers at a rock concert.

One of my friends posed the question of why the blue jean company would ever put such a senseless advertisement on television.

A fellow baby boomer offered the following explanation.

He said, "Let’s face it. They (the blue jean company) don’t care about us."

Truer words were never spoken. It’s not that the blue jean company doesn’t like baby boomers or is discriminating against our socioeconomic segment of society.

If they were, we would hire an AARP lobbyist to champion our cause.

The point is that we baby boomers made up our minds years ago as to whether we preferred Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler or Buffalo Bob blue jeans.

Why should an advertiser spend valuable dollars on a market segment that is very unlikely to change its brand preference?

Through their television spot, the blue jean company was fighting to gain the buying loyalty of teenagers.

And by showing a legion of adolescents at a rock concert wearing their brand of blue jeans, they were making a statement to this market segment.

If you want to be cool and impress your peers, then you will wear our blue jeans.

To add just an extra bit of subliminal persuasion, the members of the band in the advertisement were also wearing that special brand of blue jeans. Kudos to the blue jean company. They knew exactly who they wanted to direct their advertising message to and how to do it.

Consumer behavior and how the buying public spends dollars is all about psychology. It is critical that a business knows exactly who it wishes to market to as well as how a message will be delivered. Yes, if you are the Darth Vader of retailing you can be all things to all people.

Do not spend time on markets that are not interested in your product or service. Focus your attack on those people who will most likely buy from you.



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