Book Review: How To Market To People Not Like You

As the title suggests, “How To Market To People Not Like You” is all about understanding people who are very dissimilar from yourself. In my case, that would be the entire world, more or less. Author Kelly McDonald does an excellent job of opening your eyes to entire audiences you aren’t getting. In other words, increasing your business by expanding into new markets rather than increasing your existing one(s).

I found the book extremely readable. My biggest fear when reading a “work related book” is that the material will be a bit dry, making it tough to get through even if the information is great. McDonald cites many examples of various businesses and people who had their eyes opened to audiences they weren’t even considering, targeting those audiences, and reaping huge benefits. She cites many of her own experiences, many of which have to do with marketing to the Hispanic population (her Twitter bio says she is a Hispanic marketing expert). I think my favorite is a movie theater that began airing late morning matinees for new mothers. The theater allowed only women (to allow privacy for breastfeeding), left the lights up a bit more than normal, and placed a changing table in the back of the theater.

There’s fantastic advice throughout the book. I was able to get through it in a few days, with nuggets jumping out at me in most chapters. For seasoned marketing pros, this is probably not a book that you would want to buy; but I don’t think that’s the audience McDonald is after. She’s after business owners who have shoestring budgets and no extra money to spend to hire an agency, or even an in-house marketing person/team.  There are many different angles to challenges we’ve all contemplated as marketers, the biggest being that magic question of, “Who exactly is my audience?”. For many business owners, that’s a question they may not have asked themselves, and it’s a question many marketers should ask themselves more often.

All in all, I would recommend reading the book. It offers fresh perspectives and some great examples that may help spark your own audience search.