The first hard choice for IP marketers is deciding who the target audience is. Perhaps it once worked for professional service firms to say that they are ‘all things for all people’, but not anymore. If your marketing plan is to tell everyone that you do everything, you are planning to fail.
Marketing works when it creates awareness among real prospects. IP marketing without a singular focus does not create awareness – it creates a blurry mess. Accordingly, every IP marketing effort must be analysed with these 3 questions in mind:
– Which prospects do we want to be aware of us?
– What are those prospects interested in knowing during the window of consideration?
– What will influence their decision at the moment of selection?
Marketing focus v. practice focus
Although it is crucial to focus you marketing on very specific target prospects, this does not mean that you have to narrow the focus of your practice so much that you lose out on revenue from work that you are well qualified to do.
“Focus your marketing more narrowly to improve its effectiveness” is not the same as “restrict your practice to the same scope as each piece of marketing”.
I believe that some degree of practice focus is essential, but I also believe that the scope of your practice (either as an individual or a firm) can be much broader than any one marketing campaign or marketing piece. The key thing to remember is that each piece of marketing must address one and only one clearly defined target audience, even if that target is a small subset of the entire range of clients you serve.
In the next few posts, I will talk about how to focus your marketing for maximum awareness by real prospects.