Fall Marketing Tip from Purnima: Does Targeted Marketing Reach Beyond the Target?

September 25, 2017

One of the reasons I’m a big fan of targeted marketing is that it often has an impact beyond the intended target. If you design a tightly targeted message, not only do you get a better response from your target audience, but you also get a response from many people who aren’t in that target audience group. This is because targeting enables you to design a much more personal and emotional appeal. This works like magic because even people who are not in your specific target audience are often able to relate to the emotion that you’re evoking.

So, let’s test this idea with this post card. 

This post card was designed for woodland retreat landowners who are parents of young children. I was trying to evoke a feeling of parental protection, and the picture was especially chosen to create an “awww!” moment that the entire family could share. I visualized a mom or dad showing the picture to their little girl and thinking how wonderful it is that they’re raising their children to be compassionate and in harmony with nature.

So, you don’t fit this profile—you are not naïve woodland retreat owners, and not all of you are parents. But, here’s the thing: Did you also feel something of that “awww!” emotion when you looked at this message? I’d love to know.

Please share your response to this message in the comments below. Tell us how it made you feel (and why?). Also tell us how you think it would play with the landowners that you work with.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll review your responses. Check back in to see what key themes we pull out.

Purnima Chawla


I did get the "aww!" - before I read the text. Once I read the text, I noticed how targeted it was, and wondered if it would also work for landowners with grandchildren. Truly putting the landowner perspective first, as was done with this postcard, is something we don't often do.
Caveat: I do have a young child.

Hi Anna, yes it would work with grandparents, and with aunts and uncles. Just about anyone who is connected with a child or would like to be.

I clearly am not your target audience. I looked at that photo and thought "this is a zoo shot. At least I hope that it is. Otherwise the photographer is too damn close to those animals, telephoto lens or not." For me, this photo is setting expectations for an experience that is not good for wildlife, the very resource that landowners are supposedly trying to protect. Nobody should expect to get that close to a wild animal, much less a newborn. Habituating animals to humans is a death sentence for the animal. So I interpret that photo as another "charismatic megafauna" that seeks to pull money out of people who like to pretend that they understand and have a connection to the world outside of their McMansion mini-estates.
Harsh, I know. I have children in my life but I guess I lack the mushy gene.