So Why is Your Marketing Failing? | Katonah NY Realtor

Internet marketers everywhere seem to agree that if you don’t have an  audience, you don’t have a future. They argue that if you have to pay for  traffic to make money, you’re not just being wasteful, you really don’t  understand how the social web works, or where marketing is headed in the years  going forward.

Well, I’m going to respectfully disagree. If you ask me, if you want your  business to have a future, one audience isn’t enough. The truth is, the  most resilient businesses are going to need at least two audiences if  they hope to make the most of limited resources to succeed. Maybe that is why  your marketing is failing.

Let me explain.

Meet your two audiences

You don’t know it yet, but you actually already have two audiences. The  problem is, you’re probably alienating at least one of them. Here’s what I’m  talking about:

1. Core audience

These are the people who are completely obsessed with the topic in question.  The live, eat, and breath the stuff you blog about. In fact, some of these  people will know even more about the topic than you do, at least when it  comes to certain aspects of it.

2. Mainstream audience

These people have little or no direct interest in your topic, but they might  have some tangential interest in it. For the most part, the only thing they want  to know is why any of this should matter to them, and if you can’t keep them  entertained, they won’t be hanging around for long.

While your business won’t necessarily die without both of these  audiences, let’s just say that without some appeal to both of them, your use of  resources will be…less than optimal.

Brands that failed to reach both audiences

There’s certainly no shortage of brands or  campaigns that failed because they failed to reach both  audiences.

Coca Cola

Take the whole New Coke fiasco. Contrary to popular belief, most people actually liked the new flavor better. They succeeded at reaching the  mainstream, but they alienated their core audience. This vocal minority  destroyed the new brand, and while they may have ironically strengthened the  classic brand with the whole experiment, New Coke itself was a disaster.


The same goes for Digg. Those of you who have been in internet marketing for  a while can remember “the Digg effect” and just how powerful it was to have your  site make the front page of the social bookmarking site. But Digg lost  a huge portion of its audience after a site redesign that was aimed at a  more mainstream audience, and eventually lost so much of its traffic that it was  sold and replaced.


Brands that fail to reach a mainstream audience don’t fare any better.  Internet TV startup Boxee  was recently sold to Samsung, and is being shut down. Boxee had a strong  core following, but it failed to reach the mainstream due to its steep prices,  as well as too much focus on tech specs and not enough on the user experience,  and an inability to strike up deals with content owners.

When you look at highly successful brands like Apple, PlayStation, or even  Star Wars, you’ll find that they have appeal to rabid fanboys and mainstream  audiences alike.

Is viral marketing a myth?

There’s a very good reason for this, and it has to do with audience growth.  At CrazyEgg, we recently discussed why  viral marketing is a myth, and why customer retention is the true barrier to  growth. Brands with a growing audience must do two things: they must attract new  members and they must keep their old ones.

It’s simple, really.

If you aren’t appealing to a mainstream audience, you aren’t going to get new  visits. If you aren’t appealing to your core audience, you’re not going to keep  your previous visitors.

Core audience is more important than mainstream

Now, I personally believe that your core audience is more important than the  mainstream. Alienate your core audience and you don’t have a brand. Alienate the  mainstream and they’ll probably just forget about you, and possibly rediscover  you. Since staying in business is always more important than growth, I’ll side  with a core following any day.

That said, having both audiences truly is the winning formula, so let’s talk  about how to make that work.


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