Your Target Market is Dead!



Little Susie Q. wants to open a purple panties shop in downtown Bumblefuck. She hires a marketing consultant who performs the obligatory market research. Together they nail down Susie’s target market: women ages 25 – 50, median income $65k, location within a 10 mile radius. They figure out what these women want (to look sexy) and position their purple panties as the definitive solution. Then, and only then, does little Susie Q. open her doors to the public.

If Susie and her marketing consultant had not done this preparation they would probably waste tons of dough advertising to Susie’s wrong people.

She might mistakenly target people in East Jibip when no one there is willing to drive all the way to Bumblefuck. She might send wasted mailers out to fraternity houses or struggling single mothers (who are just fine wearing their ripped granny panties, thank you very much).

Without these demographic data, Susie would be taking a shot in the dark with everything she did for her marketing.

So goes the story of brick-and-mortar marketing. This is the way it’s been done for centuries. It’s worked very well, too. It’s made millions of people billions of dollars. And if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

But see it’s not just broke for people like you and me. It’s entirely and completely irrelevant. Yet these “marketing experts” insist that their historic model will fit into this new paradigm.

I promise you it won’t.

When looking to these so-called experts to define target market, Entrepreneur magazine advises “… entrepreneurs who aim at a small target are far more likely to make a direct hit.” while Inc. online warns ” Don’t break your target down too far!”

Running a business online today means that you have a over THREE BILLION potential customers at your fingertips. The marketing industry has never been faced with this situation before and it’s crystal clear to me they’ve no idea how to deal with it.

The problem is now inside out. It’s a complete reversal. We no longer need to study demographics. We no longer need a target market.

Long Live Your Perfect People!

What we do need to define, in a pristinely crystal-clear manner, is who our perfect people are. Because today we have finally and forever been set free from the confines of target markets and demographics. We get to choose who we want to do business with.

This is a foreign concept and one that I see so many people struggling with. It’s actually much easier to just pay someone to do a little research and let the market define which customers to target.

Figuring out who your perfect people are, on the other hand, requires some deep soul searching. It means we have to be certain what our message is, who we want to work with and how we can change our world with that work. These are not always easy questions to answer!

In fact, when I work with someone to help them figure out who their perfect people are this can be the single most difficult hurdle for them to overcome. Partly because it requires them to put aside everything they thought they knew about marketing, and partly because it is an intensely personal process.

This subtle shift, from target market to perfect people, is absolutely key to your online business’ success. It is also key to your having a business that nurtures and energizes you as opposed to one that drains you and leaves you feeling used up. It can mean the difference between running to your computer every morning more excited than ever or dragging your feet and dreading opening your Gmail page.

What can you do today, right now, to conjure some clarity about your perfect people? What problems arise for you around this question?

PS: Purple Panty Union t-shirts are now available! CLICK HERE to order yours today 🙂


17 thoughts on “Your Target Market is Dead!”

  1. Love this message. I’ve been aiming at a moving target (audience) because I myself have been transforming. I don’t want to get get caught up in the weeds, however the questions you ask are so relevant to doing the work on ourselves. It’s funny because I’m usually the one asking clients these very same questions 😉

    Thanks for having me step back and identify this big picture again!

    1. I can’t tell you how many times I get some great tip or piece of advice and realize “Shit, that’s what I’ve been telling all my clients.”

      Why is it so difficult for us to listen to our own wisdom? Baffling. Luckily, we all have each other to help keep things moving along lol. Thanks so much Tony!

  2. Jenny

    I live in downtown Bumblefuck and I can tell you there ain’t no ladies wearing purple panties down here!

    Thought that was a great article – the only thing I’d disagree with is that the potential target market – once you factor in people who access the ol’ INterwebz via mobile devices – is probably more like 3 or 4 billion.

    Finding your perfect people is a great concept….there’s a lot more mileage in that. Be watching to see you run with it….


    1. Good point! Post edited per your estimates…cos I like them much better 🙂

      Thanks Paul!

      PS: If you go to the bar on W. Boondocks Ave. there is a lady often found sitting at the darkest corner of the bar drinking Pabst’s Blue Ribbon out of the can. She’s the one with purple panties on.

  3. OK, so I’m a bit late… been packing up my house for an interstate move, and haven’t been on my beloved iMac as much as I’d love to be.

    Had to down tools and packing tape and boxes to stop by here though… and tell you that I love you and your purple panties and all they represent.

    Discovering my perfect people has shifted EVERYTHING for me. A-maz-ing!

    It was a bit scary but I took the plunge and now my perfect people show up and I get VERY, VERY excited. In a way I’d only dreamed about.

    You rock.

    Tricia x

    1. It really is like living the dream, isn’t it? I have to keep reminding myself this is my ‘job.’ To be surrounded by brilliant, creative, inspired and funny-as-hell people (such as yourself 🙂 all day everyday is such a win.

      Tricia, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and good luck with the move~!!

  4. If you don’t know who the hell YOU are and just what gift it is you bring to the world, you’re not gonna figure out your who your people are.

    THAT’s why this is so damn tough.

    If there’s one thing I believe more and more strongly as I continue to work with people, it’s this: nearly all business problems are personal problems in disguise. Once you know that, you can work wonders (oh shit I just gave away my secret). But this is why I regularly have people tell me I shoulda been a shrink.

    1. Ah that’s the ticket, lol. The Truth we all cower from sometimes. There is no separation between personal development and business growth, at least not in our line of work.

      I think I speak for every blogger who knows you when I say I’m glad you did not go the way of the shrink. We need you here.

  5. I run to my computer every morning more excited than ever because of you!!

    Defining our perfect people is a deeply personal process. I think it happens when we are strong enough and creative enough to do “our work” and realize we are enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *