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The Specific 010: The Target Is Not The Market
Something weird is happening in my universe.
I shared how I enjoyed the material from the Marketing For Hippies (MFH) website and how surprised I was at enjoying it.
You see, MFH unabashedly targets therapists, coaches, and healers. And, that’s totally not my crowd. I’m a very STEM-y person. I write software, after all. Yet, the marketing concepts purportedly for “hippies” still blew me away.
People Outside Your Target Can Also Buy From You
Rob’s response to my story was he noticed this effect as well in other areas.
His explanation for why people outside the target audience can still be your loyal customers and have a great experience was interesting.
He pointed out that:
these outsiders know precisely that they are not the target audience, therefore they have much lower expectations, and
when they do find the part of your offering that makes sense for them, it ends up resonating much stronger.
When I heard this explanation, I was a bit skeptical. “Yeah, maybe,” was my response.
Fast forward to this past Monday and I was in the middle of Ali Abdaal’s Part Time YouTuber Academy first lesson when he covered the same idea. He called this phenomenon, “the target is not the market.”
Apple Targets Creative Professionals, Yet Everybody Buys From Them
Ali used Apple as an example of this.
Apple consistently targets creative professionals in all its offerings. In the product design. In the messaging in all its marketing.
Yet, their customers demographics go beyond creative professionals. You can find almost any type — from soccer moms to small business owners — in their customers list.
And that line Ali used, “the target is not the market”. It started to grow in my head.
And, to end off with the weird coincidences, I saw this enthusiastic comment by someone who’s definitely not MFH target audience in their YouTube two days afterwards.
The Universe Is Telling Me It’s Time To Niche Down
I’ve been thinking very hard about the niche (or positioning) I want to occupy for this newsletter. And for my own SaaS side project. And my own business.
At the same time, I’m resisting the exercise.
I have many interests and it seems wholly unnatural to go deep in just one aspect of my personality. It feels inauthentic.
Or maybe I can just focus on one interest for one project as a compromise.
But, I also don’t feel like compromising.
Instead of resisting, it’s time I ask myself the question, what’s the role I want to play, or already playing, in my community?
Three times in ten days of me coming across examples of the market being larger than the target is just too weird a coincidence to ignore. And it may prove to be the one argument I have no rebuttal for.
A Three Week Hiatus
Which is good timing too.
I had planned, since restarting this newsletter, that I would write 10 straight weekly newsletter issues before taking a three week break. In this three-week break, I would play with doing up my own personal website using Ghost.
As a reward for powering through ten weeks of consistent newsletter publishing.
By the time I come back, I expect new changes. Taking extended breaks and breaking out of a routine often leads to new insights, just like my Bangkok trip back in September this year inspired new impetus to really take advantage of async work.
I’ll be back in 10th December 2022. By then, I should have at least one big life-changing news.
Can’t wait to see you again.