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Shotgun Marketing: Shot Happens


"Subscribe to our newsletter and you'll be eligible for a free iPhone 10! Terms and Conditions May Apply."


Unless you've been living in a pre-industrial bubble on some distant island until recently, you've encountered something like the above statement before. What you may not know is you've encountered shotgun marketing.


So who is the target audience for shotgun marketing? Everyone is, hence the name. It is a broad attempt to get as many views and interested persons as possible, with little to no actual targeting.


This can be useful for a few businesses, but more often than not it is associated with scams, clickbait, malware, and low quality businesses.


This doesn't mean all forms of shotgun marketing is sleazy or ineffective. Billboards in high traffic areas with copy that doesn't specifically target one market or another (e.g., just a name and logo for a moving company) is a great and effective shotgun approach. Massive, non-targeted direct mail campaigns or a series of digital ads on sites that have nothing to do with the product/service is another.


The thing to take home: everyone wants more customers, but its always better to use your marketing budget to target your demographics unless you are just after a specific numerically increase. And if you do use shotgun marketing, don't offer prizes. That's a great incentive for targeted campaigns, but for broad projects it just reeks of dishonesty or a low-quality good/service.

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