Ned, an overzealous darts enthusiast, buys a dartboard for a local bar. The bartender has never played a game of darts in his life and thinks it will disrupt the normal operations of his establishment. He wants Ned to remove the dartboard, but Ned convinces him to play one game, thinking he’ll be hooked in a matter of minutes.
When the bartender’s turn comes up, he grabs a fistful of darts and – without even aiming – hurls them in the general direction of the dartboard.
Ned is embarrassed. Not only did the bartender completely miss the bull’s-eye, most of his darts never even made it to the board. Two of them are jutting out of a barstool and one has poked a rather unstylish hole in one elderly patron’s Derby hat.
“See what you’ve done?” the bartender shouts at Ned. “This is a ridiculous game! Now take the darts and go!”
It’s a humorous story, but unfortunately that’s how some companies view their marketing programs. They cast a skeptical eye at their advertising budgets (“Won’t these expenditures disrupt the normal operations of our business?”) and they doubt that marketing can do anything for them.
When the time comes to launch a communications campaign, it’s done with little zeal. Instead of identifying a target market and customizing the campaign to reach it, the company lackadaisically embarks on a one-size-fits-all approach, targeting anyone and everyone.
The result is that, like the bartender’s throw, the campaign fails to produce any positive results. Since the company didn’t take the time to aim at the people most likely to purchase its products or services, the advertising will likely fall on deaf ears. The skepticism perpetuated by the company’s culture becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy.
The answer? It’s as easy as the phrase, “Ready, Aim, Fire!”
A skillful marketing, design and public relations agency can help your company’s image to find its mark. This is critically important – now more than ever. Consider the following:
- An increase in the number of television stations (satellite, cable) means increased segmentation of viewing audiences.
- The prevalence of satellite radio means increased segmentation of listening audiences.
- The rise of the Internet and millions of Web sites centered on niche topics that provides much more focused information.
- Consumers who have been empowered to do their own market research are less tolerant of messaging that’s not relevant to them.
The implications are clear: a targeted marketing strategy is essential.