Knowing your target audience is one the first steps in a marketing campaign. If you are marketing to the wrong group– trying to sell ice to Eskimos– it doesn’t matter how pure your ice is, your prospective consumer just doesn’t want or need it. The bulk of people, including many on your lists, may not be interested in purchasing your product or joining your down-line.

[A side note: people don’t buy Needs on impulse, they buy wants.]

Good prospects are rarely ‘looking’ for us. They are looking to solve a problem or get more information. Our job is to provide valuable, useful information. By providing value, we should be able to get many to join our opt-in lists to obtain our free report or join our newsletter…so that we may continue our ‘conversation’ with them.

Know The Target Audience

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our product that we think the whole world will want it. It is so awesome, the world will beat a path to our door. The truth is that most people will not want it. They are happy/content or comfortable where they are in life. Who will be most interested in your product? Who will gain the most value from it? Is it a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom? Or maybe a 20-something love-struck college girl wanting to get her boyfriend back?

Whatever the target audience, the more we can understand them the better. Where do they hang out online? What buzzwords do they use in conversation? What makes them lose sleep at night and how can your product/service relieve that pain?

If you know and understand your audience, know their needs, and genuinely seek to help them…there is no limit to your success.

Make your journey to internet success a path worth following.



    17 replies to "Don’t Try To Sell Ice to Eskimos: Know Your Target Market"

    • Kim

      Some good points Jimmy

      Always been a big believer in ‘the cap doesn’t fit everyone’etc.

      Doesn’t matter how small (or large) your list is, conversion is only as good as the product you’re selling


    • Dan Tredo

      Hey Jimmy,

      Good straight forward points. It’s better to know your market, and know where the traffic is coming from ahead of time. That way you can create products that fit that pre-existing traffic. Better than doing it the other way around where you create a product and ‘hope’ that traffic will be there.

      Thanks for this article Jimmy,
      Dan Tredo recently posted…3 Ways To Add Value Without Adding A Single Extra Feature To Your ProductsMy Profile

    • Torsten Müller

      Hi Jimmy,

      it is always good to know the audience before trying to sell them something.
      A good way to do this is to ask your audience what they want and segment them into different groups. This way you can serve what your audience wants, rather than running around with a hawker’s tray , trying to offer everything available.

      Torsten Müller recently posted…Why You Should Have Started Building A List YesterdayMy Profile

    • Max Arthur

      Yes. Don’t try selling without knowing your target audience.
      Max Arthur recently posted…Play Lead Guitar My Profile

    • Graham Lawler

      Nice one Jimmy
      I have had this argument just this weekend. Someone was saying just do it and they will come but as you say, you have to know who they are and what they need.

      best wishes
      Graham Lawler recently posted…Back to the Black: Getting Rid of debtMy Profile

      • Jimmy Hancock

        Hello Graham,
        We must take ‘action,’ even if it is imperfect action, in order to see any results; however we want to make sure that we are at least going in right direction. Having to backtrack and take a different path often discourages people from continuing the journey. With tens of thousands of new websites being added daily, if we don’t figure out who are audience is supposed to be and how to let them know that we exist…it is highly unlikely that anyone other than spammers will ever find our sites.
        If I could ever figure out how to market to the spammers who seem to have no trouble locating my sites, then I could have retired years ago.
        Good luck on the journey to success…hope to hear more from you,

    • Con

      Hi Jimmy,

      The line you wrote about understanding your audience, knowing their needs, and genuinely seeking to HELP them really resonated with me.

      So often we see marketers peddling their wares in a way that seems to be the antithesis of “genuinely seeking to help” their prospects and customers.

      I certainly agree with your thoughts around seeking to understand our target audience better, and seeking out where they hang out online; great advice.

      With respect to this last point, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how to successfully locate these hang-outs.

      I was talking to an old friend earlier today who wanted to discuss a business idea with me, and so in the process we talked about who the target audience might be. To cut a long story short, one of the questions he asked was around how he could find out where his target audience “hung out”; I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the topic.

      Thanks for raising such an interesting discussion point…and great headline btw 🙂

      Con recently posted…Hate the Sound of Your Recorded Voice? Here’s Why…My Profile

      • Jimmy Hancock

        Thanks for your comments. One of the ways to find out where your ‘target’ audience hangs out is to search for forums and FaceBook(r) pages related to the particular niche that you are interested in. Some make the mistake of saying that “my target market is ‘Everyone'” Unless you are in the business of giving away $100 bills, it isn’t ‘everyone’ [even then, willing to bet that some wouldn’t take the money]
        The hardest part is narrowing down the niche to correctly identify the audience… and determine if they are buyers or just information seekers.

    • Sky Nealon

      Hi Jimmy,

      Great post and indeed when marketing or creating a product, it essential to understand what you audience actually want or what problems they have which they want desperately solving. Knowing how to provide the solution in way whilst also getting rewarded for it is an aspect that shouldn’t be neglected either.

      A great way to find out more about your audience is to send out a survey to your list asking what problems they have, then analyse the results and find a solution(s) for it. Alternatively looking at forums and picking up common topics and problems is another way to know your target market.


    • igor Griffiths

      Well hello Jimmy, great message. Those who try to be everything to everyone are doomed to fail, we need to have the courage to pick our areas of interest and focus on engaging with and understanding only those that share our interests.

      Thanks for the great reminder of this truth.

      igor Griffiths recently posted…So You Read a BookMy Profile

      • Jimmy Hancock

        Hello Igor,
        That’s another great point: hard to be ‘good’ at everything. Those who try to be a jack-of-all-trades rarely are master of any. Like you said, pick our areas and focus. Focus is my biggest weak point, however it is one of biggest goals this year to maintain it.

    • Dave Thomas

      Hi Jimmy

      So easy to say and has been so hard to do in the past and I’m hoping that with guidance from John Thornhill I can develop a proper focussed on-line business where my products satisfy the needs of others where my target audience is clearly identified!

      You are spot on with your aside, people buy wants!

      Dave Thomas recently posted…Why Use Social Media?My Profile

      • Jimmy Hancock

        Hello Dave,
        I agree. It is one of my main reasons for joining John’s program as well. This is the year to succeed.

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