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Bullets on a table as part of an article about the biggest mistake professional service firms make.

What is the biggest mistake professional service firms make?

It’s the shotgun marketing approach.

Let us explain…

When someone reaches out to us asking for help with their marketing, one of the first questions we will ask is, “Who are you trying to target with your product or service?”.

The resounding answer, “Anyone who is interested” never ceases to surprise us.

We admire the confidence, but to be blunt, it’s a response that is certain to waste time, money, and effort.

And this is the shotgun approach – marketing efforts that are not targeted and are merely broadcasted to an unspecified demographic or audience.

We do not condone this approach, or the use of firearms in any way.

Unless you are a global giant, like Coca-Cola, whose products are consumed by billions worldwide each day, the shotgun approach will leave you high and dry with no real strategy for moving forward.


Smoke billowing from a shotgun.

To adopt the shotgun approach is to shoot yourself in the foot. Credit: Paul Einerhand on Unsplash.

There are more reasons why the shotgun approach is the biggest mistake professional service firms make. They include:

1. More Money With Less ROI

Think about the difference in price between a print ad and a social media ad. The print ad is almost certain to be more expensive.

Sure, it will reach thousands of people, but how relevant is the audience? How varied are the demographics?

Meanwhile, based on algorithms, a social media ad will go straight to the newsfeed of an interested audience, including those who have already looked at your website or engaged with your competitors.

Targeted advertising requires less money, time, and effort and yet creates a bigger impact than a shotgun approach.


Copies of the Financial Review up close.

Here’s a headline: Advertise on digital platforms instead. Credit: Marcus Reubenstein on Unsplash.

2. It’s Random and Irrational

No matter how good your messaging is, if it’s not being seen or heard by those who most need or desire your product or service, you’re not going to garner results.

Would you advertise a childcare centre at a bowling club? Would you suggest a bus stop advertisement for retirement plans be placed outside a university? You get the picture. The answer is no because you’ll most likely be ignored.

The lesson? Market the right product, to the right people, at the right time. That’s the best approach.


Illuminated KFC ad at a bus stop.

KFC ad outside a university? Smart. KFC ad outside a health retreat? Ineffective. Credit: Kina on Unsplash.

3. Unmeasurable Results Equal Immeasurable Effort

There’s almost no way to measure the ROI or engagement levels for a shotgun campaign.

And what’s the point of running a marketing campaign if it’s not going to have an impact – or at the very least, help you learn more about your target audience and buyer profiles?

This further enhances the claim that a shotgun approach is the biggest mistake professional service firms make.

What’s the better strategy? Thanks to easily accessible social media and website data and analytics, you can accurately glean the number of people who view your ad, engage with it, or respond to your call-to-action – and adapt or leverage further accordingly.

It’s clear – opting for the shotgun approach is the biggest mistake professional service firms make.


Person looking at a Google Analytics page on a laptop.

If you’re not measuring your output, you’re doing it wrong. Credit: Myriam Jessier on Unsplash.

What’s the Second Biggest Mistake Professional Service Firms Make?

We might be a bit biased, but the second biggest mistake professional service firms make is not reaching out to us for assistance!

At Hunt & Hawk, our talented team delivers expert marketing, branding, and sales assistance that gets results.

To find out more, contact us at or book a meeting to chat.

For more marketing, branding, and sales tips and insights and plenty else, keep exploring our blog.