Twice in the past couple of weeks (with different groups) I’ve heard words to the effect of: “We want to be careful about who we communicate with. We don’t want the whole world to know about this, because we would be inundated by inquiries from people who can’t benefit from what we’re offering.”

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear this. Too often the default marketing position of many associations and non-profits is “Tell everyone.” But the reality is, no matter who you are or what you’re trying to communicate (read: sell), your market does have a limit. You need to know who your target is, and how to reach them.

For example, with one of the groups mentioned above, their target is extremely talented (or gifted) students, from very poor backgrounds, around the age of 14. How is THAT for a well-defined target? Because this organization has clearly defined who their target is, they can measure every communication to be sure that’s the audience they’re talking to.

Do you know who your audience is? It may change for the program or service or communication you’re sending, but you need to have a clear understanding of who needs to know what you’re saying. Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience, then you can focus on what needs to be said, and how it is communicated. Don’t fall for the “Tell everyone” trap.