Your customer is not a target

marketing-are-we-doing-it-wrong.019Do you disrespect your customers when you call them targets? When you launch campaigns at them?

It may just be a matter of words, but words are important.

The language of traditional marketing is the language of warfare. Targets, campaigns, launches and even people in the front line.

What should we use instead? I don’t know if we have the perfect word, but how about starting with the concept of partner.

And in practice, what do we do differently to reach a partner (rather than a target audience)?

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10 thoughts on “Your customer is not a target

  • owen

    Let's call them . . . . our FRIENDS!!! 😀

    Reply
  • owen

    Let's call them . . . . our FRIENDS!!! 😀

    Reply
  • Iain Urquhart

    I don't think the words really matter. A target is a target is a target. It's something you're aiming for, something you want to reach. So yes the customers we want to communicate with are our target audience (target meaning our goal and audience meaning people). What I think is most important is to not lose sight of the fact that our target audience are people. People with emotions (rational and irrational), individual attributes and each unique in their own right. And that in communicating with a “target audience” we need to be aware of the variances within that group. Perhaps I'm leading towards more personal communication, more dialogue and more transparency. Sound familiar Simon?

    Reply
  • Iain Urquhart

    I don't think the words really matter. A target is a target is a target. It's something you're aiming for, something you want to reach. So yes the customers we want to communicate with are our target audience (target meaning our goal and audience meaning people). What I think is most important is to not lose sight of the fact that our target audience are people. People with emotions (rational and irrational), individual attributes and each unique in their own right. And that in communicating with a “target audience” we need to be aware of the variances within that group. Perhaps I'm leading towards more personal communication, more dialogue and more transparency. Sound familiar Simon?

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    Love your thoughts on this, Iain. Don't you think the language shapes our thinking though? The military analogies that have the implied subtext of imposing our will on others?

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    Love your thoughts on this, Iain. Don't you think the language shapes our thinking though? The military analogies that have the implied subtext of imposing our will on others?

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    Love your thoughts on this, Iain. Don't you think the language shapes our thinking though? The military analogies that have the implied subtext of imposing our will on others?

    Reply
  • Iain Urquhart

    I don't think the words really matter. A target is a target is a target. It's something you're aiming for, something you want to reach. So yes the customers we want to communicate with are our target audience (target meaning our goal and audience meaning people). What I think is most important is to not lose sight of the fact that our target audience are people. People with emotions (rational and irrational), individual attributes and each unique in their own right. And that in communicating with a “target audience” we need to be aware of the variances within that group. Perhaps I'm leading towards more personal communication, more dialogue and more transparency. Sound familiar Simon?

    Reply
  • Iain Urquhart

    I don't think the words really matter. A target is a target is a target. It's something you're aiming for, something you want to reach. So yes the customers we want to communicate with are our target audience (target meaning our goal and audience meaning people). What I think is most important is to not lose sight of the fact that our target audience are people. People with emotions (rational and irrational), individual attributes and each unique in their own right. And that in communicating with a “target audience” we need to be aware of the variances within that group. Perhaps I'm leading towards more personal communication, more dialogue and more transparency. Sound familiar Simon?

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    Love your thoughts on this, Iain. Don't you think the language shapes our thinking though? The military analogies that have the implied subtext of imposing our will on others?

    Reply

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