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Today we are going to talk about broad market/narrow focus versus narrow market/broad focus marketing.

In all marketing – especially online marketing – you need to define who you are marketing to. This could include characteristics like where the person lives, how much money he or she makes, how old the person is, whether he has children, what kind of vehicle he drives, etc. It will be a combination of these types of things, but at the top of the list is physical location. If you are targeting people who live near your business location, then that is a narrow geographic market. If you are targeting people who live just about anywhere, or not worrying about that at all, then that is a broad geographic market.

The broader your geographic market, the more particular you can be with regards to other types of customer attributes. As your geographic market narrows, you may have to be less specific in your targeting because your total pool of prospective customers is smaller.

If you sell a product or service that is not closely tied to where you are located, then you may be better off marketing your products or services on a broad market basis, rather than focusing very tightly around the actual location of your business. But if the nature of your product or service is such that you can only deliver it within a defined geographic area, then that has to be your geographic market because you don’t have any other choice.

From a marketing standpoint, you are better off with a tightly focused target market. The more well-defined your market is, the more you can tailor your marketing message and your collateral to that specific group. That will lead to higher conversions and conversion rates for your marketing versus the narrow geographic approach.

It probably also means you can spend more to get those customers who fit your target profile. I think sometimes a local business thinks that it is more local than it needs to be, especially these days. For example, let’s say you are a lawyer operating in a particular state. If you promote your practice in a fairly narrow radius around your office location, you are probably going to have to be broader in your targeting.

If you have a particular specialty that are you are really good at and that is very profitable for your firm, then maybe you should expand your marketing to your entire state or to the boundaries of whatever geographic area you are allowed to operate. Doing that increases the total number of people who see your message, so you can more finely tune your marketing for that exact group of people, which is more profitable.

There are limits, and it is going to be different for every business. For example, I was recently in the market for a new automobile. After doing research for a couple of weeks, I identified exactly the vehicle I wanted, and there was one about an hour away. That is about as far as I would have driven. Two hours would have been too far for me. However, I do know people who have driven to another state or very far to purchase a vehicle. So it will vary by the person and by the business.

In terms of Internet marketing, this plays a large role in how you do things like SEO and paid search. With your paid search campaigns, you may be better off broadening the geographic market for your ads because that increases the total population of people who can see your ads. With text search ads especially, you can be highly specific in your marketing because you can target people who are searching for exactly the product or service you sell. But again…as you shrink your geographic market, you may have to loosen up on your targeting because you are dealing with fewer total people.

From an SEO standpoint, if you can broaden your market, you can create optimized pages that target sub-markets within your total market. If you are targeting one state, you can create optimized pages for different cities or counties within the state. You can create a whole catalog of those pages to target each of those markets, a technique that is still highly effective.

One final point is that sometimes you really don’t know until you begin a marketing campaign, analyze your data over time, see what happens, and then make adjustments based on that data. That’s the key to Internet marketing.  You start with what you think will work and then make adjustments over time based on what the data tells you about what works and what doesn’t work.

For example, it could be that you have taken a broad geographic approach, but when you look at your data of where your customers come from, they may still all come within an hour’s drive. In this case, it may be that marketing money you spend outside that range does not return a positive return on your investment. The only way to know for sure is to track where your customers and sales are coming from.

Just because you are a local business, however, does not mean that your customers will only come from your local market. Maybe there are some very unique things about your business, products that only you have, or an extremely high level of service that naturally pulls in people from outside your market. If that is the case, you should continue pushing outward until you reach that point where your marketing doesn’t work any more.

If you could use some help figuring this kind of thing out, I invite you to contact Work Media today. Visit us at https://workmedia.net or call us at 615-745-3094. We’ve been doing this a long time, have worked with some very big companies and many very small businesses. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on your Internet marketing.