Are you one of those people who think marketing works better for some businesses than others? Well without wishing to be too controversial, we beg to differ! No matter what business you are in, what industry sector you fall into or what product or service you offer, the principles of marketing will be the same.

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Who, What, Where? - The Principles of Marketing

people? They can be segmented by factors such as location, age, gender, job role or income, interests and hobbies. A business who says their audience is “everyone” is missing a trick to make their marketing more effective.


What do you need to say to them? Your message is what you will say to your target market to connect with them. It is what starts the process of building a relationship and communicates to your target market why they should use your business rather than a competitor.


How will you reach them? Media is how you will communicate your message across to your target market. Where do the people you want to reach actually ‘hang out’? It’s simple enough to write a blog for your website or put a post out on social media but how do you know you are using the correct platforms to reach your target market? Are they more likely to be using Twitter rather than Facebook? Do they read an industry specific magazines? Would they be attending a regional trade fair or networking event?

Get the marketing basics right

These three principles are crucial when it comes to marketing your business. Marketing is an investment in time as well as money. Can you afford to waste either? If you have not dedicated the time to understanding your audience and honing your message your return on investment will be limited.

What happens when marketing goes wrong?

Now I am not talking about the odd typo or pressing the publish button before completed (although you do want to avoid both of these!). I’m referring to big blunders. The ones that either leave the audience confused or trying to conceal their laugher.

Over the years as the marketing world has evolved and the time taken for a marketing campaign to move from design stage to execution has reduced the number of faux pas has increased.

“Oops” marketing moments

One recent example of “off target marketing” was a campaign by a national cancer charity for their Pretty Muddy event. The phrase “Pretty Muddy” makes me imagine large groups of women dressed in pink having splattered their face with pink war paint – and that’s exactly what it is. Obviously not forgetting the 5 – 10K obstacle course covered in mud they have to manoeuvre through.

Undoubtedly this event is for a great cause, however, one of their commercials was being featured on the radio station, TalkSPORT. Yes, the topic of sport is fitting you may think, however, when 84% of their audience is male is this campaign really hitting the mark? Personally, I couldn’t see many of those men willing to put on a vibrant pink tutu and partake in such an event. So for the charity that means a potentially large bill for an ineffective campaign.

An example of a message being slightly off was a campaign by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a brand of alchopop available in a wide variety of flavours. The specific campaign reads “If it ain’t broke, break it”. Even now I am still not sure what that message has to say about their business or their products, to me it just isn’t overly relevant. But perhaps they may need to consider the placement of their ads. When placed on bus shelters some people took the message quite literally!

Mike's Hard Lemonade Bus Shelter Advert
Who, What, Where? = Principles of Marketing Blog Image

When it comes to media there are many examples of “Oops” moments. Going back some time now BlackBerry chose its celebrity endorser to be singer Alicia Keys. Great choice you may say, however, some beady-eyed Twitter users noticed something that was to cause public embarrassment to the company - Alicia was tweeting from an iPhone, one of BlackBerry’s biggest competitors. It seems as if BlackBerry didn’t learn from the first time though as a couple of years later the company sent out one of their own tweets via an iPhone!

I think our favourite has to be this social media slip up by Total Beauty for mistaking Whoopi Goldberg as Oprah Winfrey.

Whoopi Goldburg mistaken as Oprah Winfrey on Twitter

Original Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

As you can see, not getting your marketing right can not only affect your return on investment but can also damage your brand reputation. If you are struggling on who you should be targeting and what you should be saying then we can help. Whether you are looking for direction or need a fresh approach, give us a call on 01440 710 158.

Target Market

Who are you targeting? Your target market is the audience you want to be speaking to and the people that will be likely to need or want your product/service. So who are those

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