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  • Writer's pictureBrian and Davis Garrison

To catch a Hummingbird

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Why demographics and ultra specific targeting just aren't enough

If you say your target market is "birds in general", I'll ask you to be more specific. What kinds of birds are you trying to reach? Big birds, small birds, smart birds, dumb birds? Where do they spend their summers/winters. Do they travel in flocks, or are they lone doves. You can't target all birds, and as your marketing consultant, I wouldn't let you if you wanted to. There are just too many, and you can't serve them all well.

So let's say you pick Hummingbirds. Perfect. Let's target Hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are plentiful and easy to find.

But if you only focus on targeting, this is where things go wrong. Now that you've found the Hummingbird, you can't just reach out and grab it. Or make it stay in one place. Even if you find a bunch of them, good luck catching one.

You have to lure it in. Slowly, with love, trust, consistency and...sugar. Something that matters to them, not something that matters to you.

What I'm trying to say here is that messaging matters. Targeting and demographics get you to your audience. But what many do then is throw the lead gen forms and the retargeting pixels and everything else that matters to your analytics and efforts. If you lead with your sale, your cash flow, your shelves full of product, your downloadable coupon, whatever you think is important, it falls flat. And it scares the birds away.

If you've done the work to find your audience, do more work on the messaging. Create a story that matters to your customer, and deliver it in a way that is engaging. A blog, an email, video or audio ads. Trust your customer to make up their own mind it's a fit or not. That's what great marketing...and good all about.

What does your customer care about more than anything else in the world. Think beyond price, or a good deal, or good service. Think beyond availability or how long you've been in business. Yes all of that stuff matters...but not yet. Go deeper. Does your product help a customer who cares about the safety of their children, the security of their family, their cashflow, health concerns, or inner anxiety that keeps them up at night. If your product or service can meet someone at this level, deep in the gut, where it hurts...tell that story. Then, and only then, will they turn to you for help. That's when they are ready to buy. Not before.

The hummingbird (and your customer in this analogy) will drink from your feeder. She won't land in your fist.

If you struggle with messaging, reach out and let's talk it through. It's worth it to get another pair of ears on the story you're trying to tell.

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