The Wrong Customer: Different Marketing Attracts Different Customers

August 15, 2013By
Wrong Customer

Is your marketing attracting the wrong customer?

For the last 5+ years there have been interesting things going on in the marketing world.

We live in a time when we have access to all kinds of information including information about how we should market to our customers. You’re reading one form of that information right now.

You know what that makes you?

A specific type of customer.

It’s a little weird at first, but we all have our preferences in life and those preferences are important to marketers because it shows the type of purchaser we are when it comes to goods and services.

In this article we’re going to look at four types of marketing that lead to different types of customers. These four differences are important because what you choose to do will attract different customer types and you want to make sure you’re attracting the exactly type of customer you need for your business to succeed.

Here is a preview:

  • Contests vs. Full Price
  • Social Media vs. Email
  • Blogging vs. Video
  • Marketing vs. Merchandise

Now let’s get into detail for each of these marketing efforts.

Contests vs. Full Price

The biggest change you’ll notice when you try to attract customers to your company is with contests and your full price.

In general, those that enter contests are looking for deals. They’re not really willing (or able) to purchase your product at full price. They’ll gladly enter to win something or to get a steep discount, but in the long run they probably won’t make the best type of customers.

That is unless your product or service does fit they’re full price limits and desires. You can tell a lot about your customers by their average order value. When I worked for a catalog company we always focused on average order value by customers or how much they spent when they made purchases along with how often they purchased.

Over the years I’ve also learned that giving discounts and doing contests is a slippery slope. You can grow your customer ranks, but you’re adding customers that might not fit your ideal customer profile.

Know your customers and be confident in what you’re selling. You don’t have to give it away. It might seem like you’re growing fast, but you might be doing more damage in the long run.

That is of course unless you’re trying to acquire the type of customer that loves contests. If this is the case then go all out with contests and plan to keep doing it because the minute you stop you’ll lose those customers.

Social Media vs. Email

A lot of the early “success” in social media has been focused on deals, promotions and contests. It’s a way to get quick results in marketing. If that’s the type of customer you’re looking for it can last, but if you’re looking for customers that will pay full price you have to go about your social media marketing differently.

Social Media and Email actually have some things in common, but email may be diluted to the point of no return in some instances. People have been programmed over the last 20 years to know that email = discount.

I’m not sure if we can go back. We certainly can’t go back overnight.

The better way to think about social media and email for most businesses, especially B2B, is to focus on the early portion of the sales cycle.

This is not the fun way to do these marketing activities because you’re not getting immediate results.

When you offer great content in your social media, blogging and email you’re building relationships and trust. This can lead to long-term, full price customer relationships. You’re selling them on your brand and on the value of your offer.

If you go for the quick sale you’re getting a different type of customer. They don’t love what you do. They love your offer.

Blogging vs. Video

This one is a little different, but it’s true in various forms of marketing.

There is a big difference in demographics and specifically age when it comes to marketing.

You don’t see many people in their 20s today looking through catalogs especially those that live in urban settings. It’s something from an older generation.

I think blogging and video are kind of in this setting. You have people that read and read all the time, but video is quickly coming on strong. There are some demographic differences now. I think video will continue to grow while reading and textual content continues to be strong.

There is a slight difference, though, in the type of customer that is looking for each type of content.

Marketing vs. Merchandise

Of these four items this relationship is one of the more interesting ones. I’m not sure if it’s always as evident as the others, but it’s also related a little bit to doing promotions and contests vs. doing full price merchandise.

Branding has been a huge part of the US culture for the last half century. As consumers, people have become attached to certain brands. Yet there are so many choices for some things that you’ll still have some people that don’t really become attached to brands.

If you ask someone if they prefer Ford, Chevy or Dodge trucks you’ll get people that are passionate for each of the brands. Then you’ll also have people that are open to finding out what the best truck really is. Those are the people that are really interested in the merchandise over the marketing.

See the difference?

There is no right or wrong when it comes to who your type of customer is. It’s just important to know the type of customer that prefers your products or services.

If you have a customer that loves the best of everything you’ll have to do well to make sure you always have the best merchandise because they’ll leave you if you let them down a few times.

On the other side, you better make sure you have some good marketing in place to bring in new customers if you want to sell to customers that appreciate a good brand and good marketing.


The point of this article is to think about how your marketing efforts can impact the type of customer you attract to your business.

Just because you read that someone has had success with contests and promotions doesn’t mean you should be doing those things. You’ll get a specific type of customer that may or may not be right for your brand.

There is no right or wrong answer – just work to find the right type of customer for your brand and do what you can to give them what they want so you can make profit.

Image: Flickr