shotgun shells

Russian Roulette

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Ever heard of “The Shotgun Approach” ?

As you may know, a shotgun doesn’t usually use a bullet as its ammunition. Rather it uses a shell that contains hundreds of small pellets, or “shot”.

Since the shot sprays out when fired, the user doesn’t have to aim too precisely. The idea is that, when fired, enough of the pellets will find their target. Most don’t, but it doesn’t matter since at least some do.

In marketing communications The Shotgun Approach can be translated as coming up with as many reasons to buy, as many product/services features and benefits, as many compelling arguments as possible in order that something that you say will resonate within your target market’s psyche and move them into the buying phase. In effect you’re blasting them with everything that you’ve got, in the hope that something sticks.

However – clay pigeon shooting aside – The Shotgun Approach doesn’t work. Perhaps it used to, though I’m not even sure about that.

We’ve all been subject to the sort of marketing messaging that I’m talking about. Overly-wordy email blasts, confusing advertising, hopelessly-jumbled slide presentations. The end result is an impersonal, confusing mish-mash of corporate rhetoric and buzzwords that only succeeds in generating negative credibility for your company.

But worst of all, it’s lazy. It shows that you have no idea of who your idea client is, what their wishes and aspirations are.

It gives the impression – rightly or wrongly – that you don’t care about whether they are aware of the true cost and scope of the problems that your offering can address. The content doesn’t inform, doesn’t educate, and doesn’t generate sustained prospect interest.

It doesn’t talk to them – it talks at them.

About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha is CEO and founder of KEXINO. He's been a marketer since the days of 56K modems, lectures on marketing and behavioral economics at a European business school, and was noted as one of the top 100 global business influencers by (those wonderful people who make financial software).

Originally from London, today Gee lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and teenage son.

Find out more about Gee at Follow him on Twitter at KEXINO, on Facebook at, or on LinkedIn at


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