Smells Like Middle-Aged Spirit

We screwed up when we relaunched The Daily(ish) Advocate last month.

In the rush to relaunch, we skipped a vital piece of the puzzle. One a lot of businesses either ignore or struggle with.

Here’s the story of what our mistake was, how we’re fixing it and how you can avoid making it too…

Let’s set the table here with a quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

“Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”

Thing is, Ferris Bueller is an outlier. Most people aren’t adored by everyone.

Same is true for most businesses.

A key reason many businesses struggle to gain traction is they try to appeal to the masses.

They think their product or service is perfect for everyone, so they put out ads and messaging that try to be all things to all people.

But that doesn’t work. Because when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up with bland, watered-down messaging that appeals to very few.

The way around this is to get crystal clear about who your ideal customer is… and speak directly to them in your ads, emails, so-shill media posts, etc.

But most businesses – including our own when we relaunched this newsletter – don’t do this.  

As marketing pros, we should know better. But, in the excitement of getting our newsletter out into the wild, we put thinking through who our ideal customer is on the back burner.

We initially positioned The Daily(ish) Advocate as a snarky, entertaining newsletter focused on how machine learning and AI are changing the marketing game – for better and worse.

Trouble is that audience is pretty much everyone who oversees, runs, manages, uses, is interested in, or is involved in, a business that relies on digital marketing.

That’s WAY too broad an audience!

Plus, we have plenty to share that’s NOT related to marketing AI.

Both our positioning and target audience were off, and we knew we had to go back to the drawing board.

So we’ve spent a lot of time this past month thinking, writing, talking and brainstorming about who our ideal customer truly is.

Our “aha moment” came in the form of an off-handed comment by our resident Tech Nerd, Adam Roach.

He said, “We’re not really the people who 20-somethings are going to turn to for marketing advice to help them grow their hip, new startup.”

Which is 100% spot on and brought us closer to describing our core audience:

They’re middle-aged business owners.

They tend to run “boring” businesses – not hip, cool, new tech startups.

They’re acutely aware of how time flies, so feel more financial and time pressure to make their businesses work.

They’re turned off by the brash, hypey, “bro” culture embraced by many Internet marketing “experts.”

And they don’t have the time or desire to mess around with the latest so-shill media fad, preferring to focus on time-tested, proven strategies, tools and tactics.

This realization led us to revamp the messaging on our website to speak directly to that audience. For example, here’s the copy from our updated About page…

Get Off Our (Digital) Lawn!!

We’re 4 middle-aged schmucks with a buttload of wisdom and experience in the digital marketing world.

On this site we provide tips, tools and strategies we know can help our fellow middle-aged business owners. Particularly those of you who’ve already tasted some business success… and are now ready to better leverage digital marketing to take things to the next level.

If you’re looking for the latest TikTok, BeReal or whatever so-shill media craze all the young whipper snappers are hyped up about, you’re in the wrong place. (We’re not afraid to use them, we’re just not gonna chase the shiny new object cuz it’s what all the “cool kids” are doing.)


…  if you’re looking for time-tested, proven, effective strategies to grow your business online, you’ve found your tribe.

At The Marketing Advocate we only share information about the tactics and strategies we use ourselves.

Whether we use them to grow our own websites (we currently have a stable of about 2 dozen sites we monetize through affiliate income, ad revenue and e-commerce)…

… or use them to help grow the businesses of the select clients we work with (from local businesses to large e-commerce sites to Fortune 100 companies).

Through our website and email newsletter, The Daily(ish) Advocate (sign up below – it’s really good and uses an easily readable font size), we serve up healthy, sensibly-sized portions of wisdom on topics including:

SEO… e-commerce… website development and security… paid ads… email marketing… AI and machine learning tools… Analytics… and more.

We also share ways to cover your digital assets so the Big Tech Bullies, Agency Snake Oil Salesman (we call them ASOS), Fake Gurus, Big Bad Bots and other ne’er-do-wells don’t swoop in and put that money you’ve earmarked for your kids’ college tuition, your dream house, retirement, and/or building your business, at risk.

So adjust those readers, pop that multi-vitamin, check Life360 to make sure your kids are where they’re supposed to be…

… and join us to show those young ‘uns we middle-aged folks can profitably Internet just as well as they can!

It’s v1.0, and the messaging will – and should – evolve.

But it’s a start, and it speaks to our core audience in a way the old, generic About page copy never did.

All this said I don’t think we’re quite there yet. “Middle-aged business owners” is probably still too broad, and we’ll likely need to niche down even further over time.

(The irony of this is the more you niche down and speak to a very specific audience in your messaging, the more people will pay attention, and the bigger your audience will grow.)

What does this mean for The Daily(ish) Advocate?

Don’t worry… if you’re on our list and are not middle-aged or a business owner, we’re not kicking you out!

We’ll still be serving up plenty of the snarky marketing insights, tips, tools and strategies you’ve come to know and love.

They’ll just be served up with a lot more references to 80s movies, receding hairlines, and failing body parts. 🙂

The core lesson here for you is this:

Your business will never be like Ferris Bueller. So don’t try to be all things to all people.

Get crystal clear about who your ideal customer is. Then write your copy and position your offers in a way that speaks directly to them.

Because when you do, the people most important to your biz will think you’re one righteous dude/dudette.

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Adam K
Adam K

Adam has been fascinated with online marketing, particularly PPC, since 2004 and opened his own PPC management company in 2006. Over the years he's written extensively about Google AdWords and online marketing on his own sites as well as partnered with/written for Perry Marshall, Ryan Deiss of and Neil Patel.