Why ‘Everybody’ is Not Your Ideal Customer

by Deidre Rienzo on March 1, 2010

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I tried to drag Uncle Jim to see The Lion King on Broadway. He wasn’t interested. He threw his beer can at me and said he’d rather watch the game.

My brother hates sushi. He says he’d rather eat worms.

My mom loves to cook. My dad can’t even locate the kitchen.

My point? People have different tastes… different interests. And there’s no way you can appeal to all of them. I’ll clarify. You can’t appeal to everyone. Get it?

If you try to, here’s a quick story about what happens:


Setting: Touristy beach town. Restaurants: Hundreds. And every one of them served a plethora of cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Indian, Greek, steaks, burgers, Chinese and more. As you might guess, NONE of their culinary attempts was very good. (Believe me, I tried everything.) By trying to offer everything to everybody, these restaurants ended up serving bland, uninspired, confused food. And I started shopping and cooking for myself.

6 Reasons Why “Everybody” Is Not Your Ideal Customer

  1. When you try to satisfy “everybody,” you weaken your quality (e.g., the blandest paella I’ve ever had).
  2. “Everybody” is fickle. You can’t possibly begin to guess what “everybody” wants. But you can guess what your ideal customer wants. If you know who they are, you know what they read, watch and listen to. You know what they need – and you know what compels them to buy. You know what keeps them coming back.
  3. You can’t use specialized language with “everybody.”
  4. You have to be broad to impress “everybody.” But by being broad, you turn people off. People know impersonal when they see it. People want to feel catered to, understood.
  5. If you try to market to “everybody,” you could spend millions and get nowhere.
  6. Loyal customers are deeply attracted and deeply connected. To make meaningful connections, you need insight. You can’t have insight into “everybody.”

Here’s the deal… No matter how hard I try, I’m never going to get Uncle Jim to see The Lion King, my brother to eat sushi, or my dad to cook. These things simply are not going to happen. So marketing musical theatre, spicy tuna rolls or Tupperware to any of these people is simply a waste of time, energy and money.

Don’t waste your time, energy and money on trying to market to everybody. Everybody is not your audience.

Who is? Figure it out, and talk to them. Listen to them. Market to them.

If you need help pinpointing them, or speaking in their language, we can help. Contact us and start targeting your market.

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