Treadmill Marketing

Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to reach their ideal potential customer. Finding your way through the social media and online marketing jungle is not an easy task. That’s why it’s crucial for a company or an individual to specialize and focus on a niche market and a niche client.

I remember when we first launched a year ago, we took calls like: “Can you design and develop a website with 40 pages for under $500?”, “How about a logo for $100? Can you design a brochure, but I have no photos or digital assets?” Our answer was always “yes” regardless. We figured we’d “blast” them with our knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to prove that we were an “all stop shop” for everything design related. Always going the extra conveyor belt mile. Winning nothing but extra work and less than minimum wage.

Needless to say we quickly became the “jack-of-all-trades; master of just a few”. Our workload was chaotic and barely had time to catch reruns of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Even more disturbing was the fact we found ourselves running on a treadmill and not logging any real miles in growing a solid core to Tangerine5. That’s when we realized that this “treadmill” approach was not quite what we had planned.

After lots of research and feedback, we finally decided on a niche market tactics AND a niche client. The client that is willing to allow us to perfect our craft and allow us to provide the very best end product. The one that understands that you have to spend money to make money. The one that also understands that preparation, organization and communication deliver.

If you are just starting out or if you are in midst of “revamping” your business marketing approach here are some things you need to consider:


Make a list of your strengths. Narrow them down to 2 to 3 max. Write down the pros and cons for each; list all the ways you can develop the skills you already posses. Instead of pleasing everyone with a multitude of services, focus on your strengths and be the best you can be in your field. These are your tools, your gear and your running shoes.


Find your field, your area of expertise and become the best you can be in that area. If someone is looking for something you don’t offer, improvise and become a resource for them. If you identify potential “contenders” in your niche market, network with them and find their strengths and weaknesses, to quickly create your own network of services. Very often a new business might emerge just from this activity alone.


Revisit your contact database, friends, relatives, etc. and identify potential connections that are relevant to your “new” approach. If you are targeting, let’s say, the financial sector then contact the person who helped with your mortgage. Ask him/her to introduce you to his/her connections. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (or any other SM platform you partake) your marketing approach towards potential clients. Then interview your client. Make certain you want them as a client and that they’ll be a benefit to your portfolio.


Once you’ve identified your niche and thus your potential clients, research novel ways to create the buzz. Take advantage of all social media platforms, email, calls to effectively communicate that you’re good at what you do. Don’t saturate your message – make it worthwhile so they’re looking forward to hearing from you. But be consistent and go the distance.

Bottom line. Everyday business moves fast.  It’s fluid and it’s up to you to keep up, adapt, adjust and change course at the drop of a hat. Those who don’t won’t win the race.  Are you on track or on a treadmill?  In the words of a genius:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

comments (2)

  1. David O'Hearn


    Very well done, Charlotte. You hit the nail on the head. I’ve been on a treadmill with my marketing for about the last five years. The quote from Einstein is spot on, too. I’m excited to see what you and your team will put together for me. Thanks again.

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