Total Demonstrable Market — Kelford Labs Daily

Who can you really reach?

Total Demonstrable Market — Kelford Labs Daily

A common marketing mistake is going after a business’s “total addressable market.” The largest group of potential buyers they could conceivably attract.

It’s a mistake because in trying to talk to everyone, we end up talking to no one.

You’ve seen it before: A restaurant that says, “We’ve got a little bit of everything,” is doing more harm than good. The only thing you know for sure they have is a very, very low price—because the food can’t be very good.

A software company that says, “We have a solution to every problem,” is communicating to prospects that it has too many features, and most of them you won’t use—but they’ll definitely get in the way.

And a service provider that offers dozens of services will, despite being able to work with literally everyone, struggle to find anyone willing to pay them for quality, profitable work. Because people inherently believe that no one can be an expert in everything (and they’re right).

Instead, we want to go after our “total demonstrable market”—the smallest viable group of potential buyers who would profitably sustain our company, and from which we can grow.

The fewer people we’re speaking to, the more specific we can be. And specificity sells.

Once we’ve identified that market, we can then demonstrate to them the tradeoffs we’ve made to suit them perfectly. We can show them how we do what we do, so they can see that we share the same priorities and values. So they can have the confidence that we know what we’re doing.

They then tell their peers, colleagues, and friends about the extraordinary value they received because we were so focused on their priorities. Other buyers, slightly outside of our target, are pulled toward us because they see our momentum and reputation building—and want to work with the best.

More and more buyers become aware of us, increasing our ability to demonstrate our value to them, and growing our total demonstrable market. 

And then expansion, when it comes, comes from profit and increased opportunity, not from desperation or confusion about what we’re best at or who we can help.

So, forget about your total addressable market, and focus on your total demonstrable market.

That’s where the growth comes from.

Kelford Inc. helps hands-on entrepreneurs and founders with complex marketing challenges define and articulate their unique value to their very best customers.

We’ll show you the way to always knowing what to say.