October 12

Knowing Your Target Market – The Chained Duck Prospers Off The Web


It’s called Le Canard Enchainé (The Chained Duck).

Published since 1915, it does quite well today with a minimal web presence. Mostly it uses the URL so scammers can’t pose as the newspaper.

You can visit their web page at www.lecanardenchaine.fr. And Google does a fairly good job of translating the page.

This is just one example of a business that’s moving along swimmingly without a lot of bother about the internet, mobile marketing or social media. In fact, they are social media. Their paper is circulated and talked about all around the world.

Keep in mind that this is also a media that the cow-pattie gurus and pundits keep saying is dead, dying or otherwise on its way out. Yet this little, 8 page, French newspaper has an international base of loyal readers.
It may not be of interest to you and me. Then again, you and I aren’t from France, and this paper specialises in satirical stories about the French elite.

The question – and answer – that’s here for us is: How are we specialised?

We need to know who is our target audience, and how we reach them. For example, I have several servcies that have broad appeal to business owners. This keeps cash flowing, and serves to lead generate for my target audience.

My target market is a very small segment of all the business owenrs out there. I’m looking for those few who hear what it is they need to do, and are willing to take action.

Joe Sarna, a friend and client, fixes trucks. His target market is fleet owners who understand the value of their trucks, and want to protect that value. It’s amazing how many fleet owners view regular maintenance as a pain in the arse and neglect it.

We’ve all hear the phrase “pay me now, or pay me later.” In the case of maintaining heavy and medium duty trucks, the “pay me later” option takes a huge bite out of the fleet owner’s budget. And Joe has discovered that it’s just not productive to work at persuading someone about this. It’s far better to work with those who get it, and welcome the others when the light bulb goes on.

“But wait a second,” you think. “Conrad, you’re all about social media and using the internet. Why are you showing a business that eschews both, and giving examples of small, targetted markets?”

Because Social Media is about relationships rather than advertising. It’s about conversation and not conversion. It’s about what happens after the sale more than it is about lead generation.

We all know the number one reason people “Like” a business is because they want to get a coupon or deal of some kind. Now take a second to ask any business owner who their biggest nightmare is.

They’ll tell you it’s the bargain hunting customer who comes through the door with a coupon.
These are the biggest whining, complaining, demanding, biting and grasping customers you can get. They take massive amounts of your time, tell nasty tales about your business, and create a profit loss instead of a revenue gain. You should kick them out the door and be glad when they tell their friends that you wouldn’t put up with them.

Focus on finding the people YOU WANT TO SERVE.

Le Canard Enchainé only looks for French citizens as subscribers. They narrow that down even further by making it clear that the paper is available only in print. Live in another country? Fine. They’ll mail it to you.

Here’s a real example of what happens when you start bending to suit your audience…

Dan Kennedy has long been known as the Professor of Harsh Reality. He calls things as he sees them, and avoids surgar-coating anything. He is just as famous for being a Luddite. He has no cell phone, rarely answers the phone, and doesn’t use e-mail or the internet.

However, his company – Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle – now sends e-mails in his name. They publish e-zines that look like they’ve come from Dan, and they even have social media profiles for Dan.

The result? Everybody thinks Dan has given up being a Luddite, and Dan can’t understand why people think he’s lying. He now gripes quite regularly about people insisting that he must have a secret e-mail address.

Well no wonder. If you’re going to make it look like you’re using the internet and social media, people are going to believe you’re using the internet and social media.

This is why Le Canard Enchainé maintains a web page that lets people know they’re a print-only publication. They don’t want anyone posing as them, or making it look like they do publish online.

Remember: 86 people at $97/month equals $100,104 every year.

What you need is a specific target market who wants – and is qualified for – what you have to offer. And they will tell you how to communicate with them. Maybe that includes the internet today.

The one sure thing is that how your audience wants to communicate with you is going to change over time. Even the readers of Le Canard Enchainé are asking for an online version of the paper. Listen to waht your audience has to say. Then follow this French papaer’s example. They are building a web presence as time and resources allow.


chained duck, dan kennedy, GKIC, glazer kennedy, small business, target market

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