Online marketing for small business, small business marketing

The Myth of Everyone

Have you ever read, heard or maybe even said something like this?

Everyone is my audience”
“My product is great for everyone”?
I have, many times. And I read it again this weekend. It made me cringe. Why?

It’s just plain wrong.

The fact that really amazed me is that I read it in a brochure of a nationally known, growing company. It was a quote from one of their representatives.

The Myth

Honestly, I felt sorry for that rep when I read this. Here’s why:
There is no product or service where the market, the potential list of buyers, is everyone. If there is, it would be news to me an any other reputable marketing consultant.

In Marketing, There are Always Filters

Even if you’re selling food, or even water, there are always qualifiers, factors that filter out likely buyers from those who aren’t interested.
6228420376 e44db1da35 m The Myth of Everyone
Photo by Stevedeplo via Flickr

Let’s use the company above as an example.  They sell healthy food that is also convenient. Even though they may have a large target audience compared to other products, it still isn’t “everyone”.  People on certain diets, people who don’t cook with packaged stuff at all or rarely, people with a limited budget, are not going to be beating down the doors to buy their stuff.

Your Real Target Audience

The point of choosing an audience vs. trying to sell to anyone with a pulse, a.k.a everyone, is you want people beating down your doors to get your products/services.  No matter what you offer, it will appeal to some more than others.  The goal of smart marketing  is to find,  and get in front of those who will be most excited about it because it makes the selling process a whole lot easier. And that will be the case whether you promote by blogging, articles, phone calls or in person networking. It’s a lot easier to speak in a way that someone will engage and understand when you know who  you’re talking to.


P.S. If you haven’t gotten around to checking out the course I’m offering with Tom Treanor for beginning business bloggers, you’ve only got a little time left-we start early next week.  Find details at



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2 Responses to “The Myth of Everyone”

  1. On at Robyn Davis responded with... #

    Hi Cheryl,

    Great post! I have been hearing this a lot lately as well… So much so that I wrote an article for How To: Trade Show about how this incorrect answer affects exhibitors and what the correct answer should be instead (you can check it out here, if you’d like:

    Thanks for your direct and helpful words :)

    Robyn Davis


  1. Understanding Your Target Audience: 3 Reasons It is Important to Your Success | Cheryl Pickett -

    [...] too long ago, I talked about how many small business owners mistakenly believe the myth of “everyone“, meaning they think that if someone has a pulse, they need their product or service. As I [...]

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