Marketing today is so much more advanced than in the past.  With the technology of today, we no longer have to market blindly. It used to be that in order to advertise you had to just blast out tons of postcards or emails, depending on how far back we are talking about.  Sadly many businesses large and small still do this today. They market blind, spending more money than they need to in order to acquire a customer.  This is not a problem for those of us in niche markets to a degree, right? For those that sell to the general population, they tend to throw out a net and see what they can catch. Even if your business is selling to the masses you need to have a general idea of who your customer is.

Let’s take for instance DSW shoes. This is a company that I have purchased shoes online and even in their store. I like the brands and selection they carry. Each month they send me an email newsletter featuring shoes and sneakers that are on sale or new in their inventory. Now keep in mind that I’m a little bit of a shoe nerd, I buy a lot of shoes from these guys. Never once has their email newsletters generated any business from me. In fact, it’s at the point where I no longer even open them and here are some examples of why:

1. They have sent me ads that only featured the newest pumps for women. I’m a man and have never ever purchased a pair of women’s shoes at DSW.

2. They have sent me ads for sneakers. I have never purchased sneakers at DSW, I buy my sneakers from or

3. They always send me ads for dress shoes. I don’t wear dress shoes and never purchased dress shoes from them.

4. Their latest ad is about winter boots and shows a picture of a guy in the snow. I live in Florida, I don’t relate to that at all. Below you will see the ad.

Targeting Customers Ad

The shoes I do purchase from them are casual everyday shoes that you wear with a pair of jeans, kind of biz casual. Guess what? They have never ever sent me an ad about the stuff I actually buy. So instead of shopping their once a month, they only get business from me once a quarter or less.

What DSW needs to do and you need to do for your business is making sure you’re properly targeting the right prospects for your business. What DSW does is they send out the same message to all their customers. What they should do is have different targeted lists. A list for women, a list for men who buy dress shoes, a list for people who live in the north, you get the point. They sure are not going to sell women’s sandals to ladies in Chicago around December. Why would they think I would resonate with snow boots in Miami?

As an example in our agency, we sell to Plumbing and HVAC companies. We target very specific companies in these industries. They have to be doing over a million dollars in revenue for us to work with them. Our message does not resonate with the guy who has one truck and works out of his house with no intention of growing.

When you start marketing, make sure you are targeting the right client at the right time. You will find that you will be talking to better prospects and spending less time and money on the ones that are a bad fit for your business.

In the case of DSW Shoes, maybe I’ll start shopping at Zappos.