“The way you break through to the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a large market.”
Archery targets - 1
Sharp financial executives ask a lot of questions. “What is our vision?” “What makes us different?” “Should we offer this particular product?” “Should we open a branch in a certain part of town?” “What technologies should we invest in?” “Where do we spend our marketing resources?”
“What is our value proposition?”

One of the most important questions we must answer, however, is “who are we trying to reach?” In fact, the answer to that question will drive your strategy and many of the answers to the above questions.

As Seth Godin says in the classic marketing book The Purple Cow, “The way you break through to the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a large market.”

When examining your strategy from the lens of your target audience, your strategic questions change:

  • “What does our vision mean to our target audience?”
  • “What makes us different to our niche?”
  • “How will this particular product improve our target audience’s lives?”
  • “Where does our target audience hang out and do we have or need a physical presence there?”
  • “What technologies do our niches use the most?”
  • “How do our target audiences hear about us?”
  • “What is our value proposition to our core targets?”

In other words, your targets drive your strategy. When conducting a recent planning session for a client I asked “who are you trying to reach?” They said “Yes.” It turns out they were trying to be all things to all people—which is no strategy at all. Needless to say, we started their planning session with a discussion about whom they should target.

If you have no target audience then you have no strategy.

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