Shotgun vs Sniper Marketing

As I get better at doing Marketing related aspects of website design and implementation. I constantly discover new and wonderful things. While discussing Google Adwords campaigns with a client the other day, I thought I had come across the perfect way to explain a few of the concepts in using online marketing.

Target Market Bullseyes

I used the term “shotgun and sniper marketing.”

Thinking this was unique I started to do some research.
My discovery is that I am not the first to use this terminology…
But here goes my 5 cents worth.

Shotgun Marketing.

What is it?

Shotgun Marketing is, in fact, broad target marketing, in other words, send out many and hope to get a response. Whether it be flyers, emails or phone calls.

Just like a shotgun, which shoots in a rather wide burst, covers a larger area and unless in close range does some but limited damage. So does Shotgun Marketing.

Most start-up and well-established businesses use this method of marketing almost on a daily basis.

The concept behind #ShotgunMarketing is to advertise to the largest market or group of potential customers available.

For this article, I am going to use an example of a small business that manufactures and distributes business books such as invoice, credit and delivery notes pads.

In terms of their marketing campaigns, they have always used a more broad-based marketing structure. They have started out getting email addresses from a variety of sources. Then when creating an email campaign they chose one or two products, describe the features and benefits and send this mailshot to their entire email base.


  • Communicate to all potential customers.
  • Can be done on a regular basis.
  • Easy to set up.


  • Customer needs differ.
  • Too many unrelated emails will be ignored.
  • Bland and uninteresting.
  • Very little thought and planning.

This brings us to a better way of marketing.

Sniper Marketing

This is the real marketing. This is true focused target marketing. For this type of marketing a clear understanding of your potential customer’s needs, desires, wants, buying behavior and patterns are among just a few of aspects that need to be taken into account when setting up these marketing campaigns.

What is it?

Unlike Shotgun Marketing, #SniperMarketing is a focus and detailed method. The message to be communicated is chosen to suit the customer.

The concept is to choose a target market, select a product or service that they need, tailor the message to suit their need, focus, focus and focus on them and the benefit they will be getting.

In the above example. The company would choose a particular type of client, choose a product to match, script a suitable message that engages the customer by providing a call to action, but ultimately gives the user a reason to want to get involved.


  • Focused and targeted message.
  • Higher customer engagement.
  • Better ROI.
  • Customer oriented.


  • Research, research, and more research.
  • Longer to implement.
  • More thought required.


Both methods of marketing need to be used in your campaigns. Shotgun Marketing is a great way of verifying and gathering new and potential customers or targets. Once you have gathered a large number of targets, these can further be segmented into more focused target markets and this, in turn, can be used in your Sniper Marketing Campaigns.