We’re bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of messages every single day. Yet many of my clients and students still want to try to deliver a single message aimed at multiple targets. Entrepreneurs, especially, are not comfortable narrowing their target because they worry that’s akin to leaving money on the table.

But here’s the thing about our brains: Making decisions requires energy. We go through life trying to conserve our brain energy and one of the easiest ways to do is ignoring things that are not relevant to us. The more energy we waste on paying attention to irrelevant communications, the less energy we have for big things like deciding how to go to market, making good hiring decisions and solving business problems. Brain researchers call this Decision Fatigue. 

Decision Fatigue is what happens every time you’re overwhelmed with choices. Here is a great New York Times article by John Tierny which explains how Decision Fatigue works in language we can all understand.

Because of this, marketers need to take extra special care to identify  a very specific, focused target to message to. We want to avoid triggering a “not for me” response, and the best way to do this is to develop a message that is very clearly speaking to one target.

Remember: Generic messaging has ZERO stopping power. And why would you want to spend your money or time developing and disseminating vague messages that won’t be worthy of anyone’s attention because it’s easy to say “Not for me?”