Playing Marketing Battleship: Why You Must Target Your Marketing


Imagine you’re using marketing to play Battleship—attempting to hit the right people on the right advertising platform. Are you taking random shots with your marketing by throwing money behind advertising efforts without thinking about who will see it? Have you documented the most common characteristics of your customers? Does it play out something like this:

D3. Local newspaper ad. Targeting: Men, ages 45 to 55, families, home owners, office day job, home remodeling projects, watches YouTube DIY—a lot.


F8. Instagram sponsored content. Women, ages 25 to 35, in a relationship, professional, renter, avid runner, loves travel.


Most businesses use their turns to fire randomly and hope to be lucky. Did you know you can start taking the luck out and succeed with some solid strategy?


Whether you identify them as your target markets, ideal customers, or your buyer personas—who are your customers? Defining your customer’s most common traits can create a snapshot of who you are attempting to target. These characteristics should be combined to paint a detailed portrait of who is buying from you.

A customer portrait is commonly called a buyer persona. Regardless if you’re a Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) sales model, you have individuals making the buying decision. What characteristics or demographics make up the persona?

  • Identifying gender
  • Age range
  • Single or relationship
  • Children
  • Career information

Most businesses or organizations stop there. Don’t stop there. Being more specific can help focus your efforts. What kind of information can be helpful?

  • Favorite social media platforms
  • Hobbies/interests
  • News intake
  • Communication preferences (email, phone, text)

Why is the additional information useful? We can identify how your customer is using the web or consuming other media. By understanding their habits, we can reach them more frequently.


“Our customers are different!” is a common response. So is, “we don’t have ONE kind of customer.” This is just as true in Battleship. You have more than one ship. You have destroyers, submarines, and, of course, your battleship.

Developing multiple buyer personas that represent your most common kinds of buyers is important—especially for B2B companies! It is not uncommon for a business to have several different buyer personas depending on their different buyer’s journey. Differentiating between the personas is important and can be done with some cheeky humor.

Engaging two of your biggest customers is complicated. Business Owner Bob (53) and Purchasing Manager Pauline (29). Both order the same product. Both have very similar needs. Both are different in almost every other way.

how to better target your b2b marketing

Just like arranging your ships in Battleship, we align the characteristics. Bob and Pauline communicate very differently. Bob prefers talking on the phone and lives by his email inbox. Pauline focuses on texting and sharing on Instagram.

As we map all of their characteristics, we begin to see points of overlap. Both Bob and Pauline are on LinkedIn. Both use email extensively for business. We can see how we are able to begin reaching both with the right targeted marketing.

You will quickly discover there are a lot more Bob and Pauline’s out there.


Just like with the first few turns in Battleship, it may take a few attempts to score a hit. You should plan on a few turns to “search out” the customer’s position. There may be a lucky hit or two, but being methodical and basing your turns on your personas will begin to focus in your targeted persona.

For example, you hire Signalfire to develop a website article or video discussing a challenge faced by both Bob and Pauline. Once created, Signalfire sends the article in an email blast to the customers and prospects in your CRM. The response is positive, but doesn’t connect with new prospects.

The article was a “hit” with existing connections, but “missed” in developing new prospects.

Based on mapping out your buyer personas, you identify that both Bob and Pauline are also active on LinkedIn. That same useful website article is now published to your LinkedIn Page. Using LinkedIn’s ad targeting, we profile other Bobs and Paulines.

Potential prospects who face the same challenge as Business Owner Bob and Purchasing Manager Pauline click on your article to continue down the buyer’s journey. More “hits” are scored. Step by step, you continue to refine your personas and target even more accurately.

As you continue using your personas to target your marketing efforts your “hits” will keep stacking up. Before you know it—“you’ve sunk my battleship!

Signalfire specializes in building the right buyer personas and effectively targeting your marketing to hit where it’s most needed. Our team can develop a web-centric marketing plan that uses effective content, email tactics, social media, and SEO-smart website tools. If you’re tired of shooting blind, give us a shout.