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Why you should alienate your other audiences

November 30 2015

Sara Frey

One of the most common questions we hear about connecting with millennials is how to do it without alienating other audiences. We say: alienate them. You can’t target any audience when you aren’t focused.
Trying to connect with millennials while catering to other audiences is like playing darts while wearing a blindfold. You might hit the board, but you won’t get a bull’s-eye.

Take the blindfold off and focus.

If you know who your target audience is, don’t let anything get in your way. To be a successful marketer, you need courage. You need the strength to make your goals about deepening the customer connection, rather than expanding the audience reach. It doesn’t matter how many “impressions” you get if you don’t make an actual impression.

And believe me: if you’re an entertainment brand, you need to make an impression with millennials. Not only do they have $500 billion in indirect purchasing power today, but they’ll have $1.4 trillion in total purchasing power by 2020.1,2 That means millennials have a big influence on the spending of other generations—and are only gaining more influence (and wealth of their own). So if you choose to target millennials, you’re not completely counting out every other audience. In fact, you might even have a better shot at connecting with other audiences once millennials are on board.

If you’re serious about reaching millennials, you must begin from the premise that they are your only target. To be clear: I’m not advising that you disregard all other audiences forever. I am suggesting that you don’t attempt to connect with them all at once.

Speak to everyone and you to speak to no one.

The way you connect with millennials is by targeting them directly. This is true of most audiences, but it is especially true of millennials. In addition to their unique needs and pains, millennials have different expectations for brand interactions. You have to develop strategies, select mediums, write messaging, and design materials exclusively for them.

If you market to the masses, you’ll miss the millennials. In order to create something that will be extremely meaningful to them, you have to take the blindfold off and focus. You can’t worry about alienating secondary audiences.

It doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t show up to your party, just as long as the right people do. If you market yourself in a way that is true to your brand (and you should), you won’t alienate anyone you wouldn’t want to.
Focus on what matters. Make an impression. Hit the bull’s-eye.