I was reading The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing when Jack Trout and Al Ries wrote something that hit me hard: "Your market is not your target market". Wish I had the book on me to verify this.
That quote solves some of the biggest marketing problems.
Your acne product might cure all acne, but market it to a pizza-faced teenager who can get a "kissable face-again" and your marketing costs go down because you know your market and everything can speak directly to this person leading to better conversions. Acne prone 40 year-olds will also buy the product because they want to be kissed again by their partner after believing their minor problem can be fixed if a acne-faced nerd can be cured.
Have an internet marketing product that makes money? Sure, because you're a female or old, doesn't mean you can't use it, but the message has no power. Frame it as the product for 19 Year Olds to Make Money Online and you'll probably generate similar results to the acne solution.
The Millionaire's Guide to Become a Billionaire. I'm no millionaire, but I'd buy that too. People can buy because they want to be like your target market or get insider secrets.
I remember hearing somewhere that David D's Double Your Dating eletter for guys has a subscriber base of 10% of women. Women buy his stuff all the time. But start marketing to the women, and sales from his actual target market drop right off. Your market is not your target market... but market to your market and you shoot your business in the foot.
What's your most favorite marketing quote of all time?