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Why You Shouldn’t Market to Everyone

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The most common mistake I hear when I sit down with clients to market their brand is “we want to market to everybody!” Want to know what my response to that is every single time? 


You can’t and shouldn’t try to market to everyone. Not even the government is trying to market to “everyone”. It’s near impossible and not a solid strategy. To really be successful in your marketing, you need specifics at all stages of your strategy. 

Even if you’re a nonprofit and technically, “everyone” should want to help or donate, your cause might not appeal to them. Your marketing strategy and language should reflect the wants and needs from the people who are more likely to help THE MOST. Here’s why you should be narrowing your thinking when it comes to your audience:

You won’t appeal to anybody at all  

Because you’re trying to market to everybody, it will appeal to nobody. What works for one group, won’t appeal to someone else. For example, generations all purchase goods and services differently. What works for the Boomers who are looking for stability and security, will probably not work for millenials who want their purchases to do some social or environmental good. You should be designing different buyer personas, different ads, and new copy that caters to each audience you are trying to reach. Not everybody will respond to the same things. So be sure to branch out.

Your brand will be vague

When you can’t pinpoint the specific audience that your message will resonate with, your brand becomes vague. Using vague terminology to try to appeal to anyone makes your brand sound uninteresting and uninformative. To REALLY sell to someone, you need to use specific language to really draw the audience in to help solve their specific problem or concern because why else would anyone want to buy something or donate to a cause? Your audience wants to know exactly how it will help them or help others and why they should care. Be specific. 

It’ll waste time and resources

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re trying to do everything all at once? Does it end well for you? Probably not. This is the same reason why you shouldn’t be marketing to everyone. It’s a waste of your time and your resources. Your money will go farther faster if you can target specific audiences with specific interests. You’ll be able to cut through all the junk and cold leads if you know the exact type of customer or donor you’re looking for. You can change your ad copy and design to cater to that specific audience to encourage them to take action. When you’re marketing to everybody, it will eventually waste your time and your money. 

Final Thoughts

Being specific and intentional in your marketing will put you miles ahead of your competition. If you can identify your ideal audience(s), creating content and messaging to attract your likely buyer will be infinitely easier. As much as “everyone” would be an awesome goal to have, it is an unattainable one in the world of marketing. Finding your specific audience and getting to know their exact needs will help you in the long run. Make your audience feel special and they will keep coming back to you.

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