Hitting the (Mark)et with no Target?

By: Donald Smith

The other day I was perusing articles when I saw one about an upstart British brewer called BrewDog, who is going to be opening its first U.S. brewery in Columbus, Ohio. What was interesting was its marketing strategy. The brewery says it avoids targeting consumers based of demographics or markets because it believes the strategy is “outdated.” Instead, it will implement a strategy where digital and social media as well as traditional public relations materials will be paramount.

“DIY Archery,” By: Instructables

While studying for my minor in marketing it was drilled into my head to always target markets via demographics. This could also be called rifle theory, because it is more effective to build a strong relationship with a specific audience rather than many weak relationships with many audiences. So, to hear this is almost blasphemous.

Although a little dated, an article from Inc. says that no one can successfully target everyone. An Op-Ed in Business News Daily also tells readers they will not be able to market successfully if their customer is everyone. Then an article from Entrepreneur advises businesses to go deeper than target market to find a niche market, which is classified as the most profitable and impactful of the target market.

Here are some tips for finding a niche market courtesy of Entrepreneur:

  • Have a consistent and clear direction for your business.
  • Execute communication that attracts the not just any client, but the right
  • Create a bolstering amount of reference in an area to give you a position as the authority.
  • Implement a pricing model based on the value you create for the client.
  • Lastly, create an impactful relationship with every client.

However, BrewDog is doing something right to have grown from two staffers to 850 staffers operating 44 bars around the globe, not to mention having its products sold in 55 countries since 2007. We will have to keep an eye and see what where it goes from here.


Snap it or Pass it?

Snap it or Pass it?


By: Donald Smith


I was browsing the Internet and stumbled across an article talking about the success Dunkin Donuts was having on a social media application called Snapchat. This started to make me think about how many companies have not yet fully adopted Snapchat into their public relations campaigns. Then I started to wonder if Snapchat would actually be a viable option for most companies.

“Snapchat Ghost,” by Snapchat

The answer I have come to is a bit mixed. This is because of two reasons. It would be a viable tactic because it allows for a more personal experience with its use of pictures and videos, it incorporated the personable characteristics that made Vine and Instagram so popular. Kelly Bennet said it best in an article for PR News, “It’s one of the few social media platforms that encourages the sharing of one’s unfiltered life. Snapchat humanizes your brand and offers a great opportunity to show your company’s culture.” This humanization encourages relationship building among your company’s publics.


However, the reason Snapchat may not be as viable as it seems is that its user base is still fairly narrow. In the same article Bennet shows that 71 percent of Snapchat’s users are under 34 years old. So unless your publics are with those in college, or at least around college ages, then Snapchat might not be a tactic you wish to pursue.


Something else that somewhat bothers me about it being a tactic is what I saw in a Social PR Chat article. In it Lisa Buyer wrote, “Snapchat is the here and now. Snapped and done. Here today and gone tomorrow.” I have mixed feelings about this statement because I feel that in PR we are supposed to build long-standing relationships and deliver messages that stay with people, not deliver messages that are here today and forgotten tomorrow. Although I do understand we live in a fast and fleeting society where virtual messages live for a split second before the next tweet is posted or status updated taking place of the previous one.


So, before you decide to make Snapchat a part of your company’s communication plan take a look at a few of these materials. There is a Snapchat cheat sheet from Cision; Snapchat tips from IBM; and Snapchat tips from Crenshaw Communications.