Market to the Public, Not Your Industry


Jan 16, 2010
cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

Market to the Public, Not Your Industry

Note: I originally posted this on my Medium account here, but felt it was super relevant to the Admin Zone as well, hence the repost.

Over the years, there have many articles written about marketing mistakes made by companies and creators. From launching too late to not checking the market exists, these articles have covered all manner of issues made when launching a product or service in today’s world.

But there’s one mistake they tend to miss out. One very large mistake which afflicts forums, games and bands alike.

That being, marketing to their industry rather than the general public.

So what does that mean? How do you ‘market to your industry’?

Well, to put a fine point on it, you market to your industry by advertising your product or service to people in the same field as you rather than those who actually part of your audience.

Such as by promoting it on a forum or subreddit dedicated to that industry. For instance, a lot of forum owners will market their sites in places like The Admin Zone and Forum Promotion. They’ll make a bunch of showcase threads for it, add it to the directory, include links in their signatures, maybe pay for a few ads…

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Seriously, why would you advertise your site on a community with the sole purpose of advertising websites?
And then wonder why their community doesn’t take off. But it’s obvious why. It’s because the userbase for these sites isn’t normal people, it’s other forum admins. It’s their own competition.

So by marketing there, they’re just selling their site to the same few people over and over again. The same few people who won’t join said site/be a long term contributor since they’ve already got their own sites to work on and promote.

But this isn’t just limited to forum admins. Loads of groups do the same thing.

Programmers often market their projects to r/programming, r/webdev or Hacker News, while forgetting that their audience isn’t likely to be other programmers.

Game designers and developers market to other game designers and developers, forgetting that the typical gamer doesn’t use any of the same sites or services as them.

It just goes on and on....

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