NOTE: THIS POST IS PART OF THE 4-PART "Marketing Recipes for Failure" SERIES
Ah, the wasteful ‘spray and pray marketing’ approach.
It’s just like using a shotgun to hit your target instead of a sniper rifle. The shotgun sprays ammo all over the place and maybe catches a piece of your target while the sniper rifle zooms in and hits your target dead center.
Choose your weapon carefully, as the wrong choice can prove costly.
In marketing, for my money, I choose the accuracy of the sniper rifle. Why? Because I want to hit my target market dead on every time.
Now, unless your business is drowning in excess cash, so much so that you have an extreme need to throw money overboard to lighten your load, a real strategic approach is needed to ensure that your marketing gets the biggest bang for the buck.
Spraying your marketing message out to anyone and everyone and hoping that the right someone will immediately come knocking at your door just doesn’t cut it.
On many occasions, I’ve seen businesses get frustrated and give up on a great marketing strategy because when they applied it, they used a ‘spray and pray marketing’ approach.
And guess what?
It didn’t work out well.
They essentially threw out costly resources and got extremely frustrated and discouraged.
Do Your Marketing Efforts Include the Spray and Pray Approach?
So what are the signs that you are using spray and pray marketing in your business? Here are a few ways to identify if you are:
1. Lack of Proper Targeting
The first sign of a spray and pray marketing approach is the lack of targeting. A company using this approach may launch mass campaigns without any specific target market in mind.
They might cast their net too wide, hoping to bring in more customers, but may not consider that not all buyers are likely to be interested in their product or service. With a very diverse audience, a company is likely to achieve very low engagement levels and marketing ROI.
2. Inconsistent Messaging
Another sign of a spray and pray approach is inconsistent messaging. When a company is casting a wide net, rather than focusing on a targeted approach, its messaging can become inconsistent.
This lack of consistency in messaging can hurt brand recognition and cause confusion among consumers about the company’s purpose or message.
3. Unclear Goals and Metrics
And, finally, a lack of specificity when it comes to goals is an important indicator of a spray and pray marketing strategy. A company without clear marketing goals and metrics may not have a destination in mind for its marketing.
By having specific goals in mind, companies can measure success and better understand what’s working for them and what isn’t.
Examples of Spray and Pray Marketing
Let’s look at a couple of examples of what spray and pray may look like in the real world of marketing.
Take, for instance, the company that decides that they’re going to tweet ad nauseam about a product with no real social media plan or consideration of who its target audience really is—let alone which social media platform they hang out on. They hope that by tweeting every day, somebody somewhere will take notice.
Unfortunately, their otherwise humorous and clever posts may go unnoticed, causing frustration and a lack of sufficient and measurable ROI.
One of the most popular methods of implementing the spray and pray approach is through email campaigns. Businesses will send out non-personalized and untargeted mass emails (a.k.a. email blasts) in hopes that someone will open and click on them.
This method also usually results in a low success rate due to the lack of personalization involved in the process.
3 BIG Risks Of Using A Spray and Pray Method To Market Your Business
While it may seem like an easy way to get the word out about your brand, the spray and pray method can do more harm than good in the long run.
A few of these risks include:
1. Unable to Reach Your Target Audience
It’s important to identify your target market and tailor your energy toward their interests and needs. Without proper targeting, your campaigns likely will underperform and not yield the desired results.
2. Wasted Money and Resources
Without clear goals and measures of success, a spray and pray campaign can lead to wasted resources without generating any return on investment.
If your company is trying to break even or build its brand presence, every penny counts, so you want to be sure that it’s being invested in the right places.
3. Damage to Your Brand
Inconsistent messaging can hurt brand recognition and customer loyalty.
When businesses take the “spray and pray” approach to marketing, it can often result in a lack of consistency in messaging. The message being conveyed can become confusing and diluted, making it difficult for customers to understand what the company is all about.
How to Avoid Using Spray and Pray Methods: A Simple 3-Step Marketing Methodology
Here’s a simple three-step methodology of how to take a more strategic approach to your marketing:
Know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing–have a clear vision of what you want and set specific goals to accomplish it.
Set your sight on the desired result in your mind’s eye and ready yourself to go after it. Having a clear vision of your goals is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. It helps you to stay focused and make informed decisions that steer you toward achieving your desired outcome.
Who do I want to serve and why?
Are they hungry for what I’m offering?
Do they have the money to spend on what I’m offering?
Does my product or service solve a specific problem or need for them? If so, what problem or need?
By answering these questions and drilling down to your ideal prospect, you can create a picture of who your potential customer is in your mind’s eye. This enables you to personalize your messaging and marketing campaign to appeal to their specific needs and make it more compelling to them.
Now with the accuracy of a sniper’s rifle, display your marksmanship and deliver your marketing message right to the heart of your target market—nowhere else.
Essentially you want as close to a bull’s eye as possible with every shot.
Extra, wasted shots cost money, so accuracy is critical. Additionally, hitting the right target is also critical.
Wrapping Up the Conversation About Spray and Pray Marketing
A little clarity can go a long way in positioning your small business for success!
“Spray and pray” marketing is a high-risk, low-reward approach that can be detrimental to your business in the long run.
By doing research, segmenting your target audience, setting clear goals and metrics for measuring success, and continuously adjusting strategies, you’ll be able to create more effective campaigns with higher ROI.