It doesn’t matter how little or how large the budget is or the team of professionals you’ve hired. If you don’t know who you are and who you are trying to reach then you are throwing away advertising dollars. This could be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in advertising. Often a business owner sees the customer only from their point of view. There is something to sell and it’s marketed it from that perspective. The business can overlook the importance of seeing themselves through the eyes of the customer who ultimately makes the buying decision.
The important questions to ask are “What is the business, what are the goals and who are the customers?”
The business should know their product well enough to present what is appealing to the customer based on the customers wants, needs, lifestyle, income, emotions, etc. Lastly does this fit with the goals of the business. The product or service isn’t necessarily second fiddle to the customer. It is the balance between effectively marketing the product or service correctly to the target customer.
Many years ago a car dealership client held a minivan sale. The price-point was significantly better than the competition and, honestly, a very good deal but the sale was unsuccessful. We were left scratching our head as to why. Why wouldn’t the customer want to save a good amount of money on their purchase? Could it have been an issue of trust? The client held another sale, raised the price to market levels and gave away free beef with every new minivan sold.
And the minivans sold like hotcakes.
It wasn’t that we didn’t know the product, features, advantages and benefits. The customer’s lack of trust of a “too good to be true” deal was missed. The attraction to something for nothing free was a bigger draw. Free is a powerful motivator.
Another client sold and serviced hearing aids. The motivating factor for sales was trust not price. The customer was motivated by their trust that the business and the product were reliable, dependable and best suited their needs. That’s another tick in the advantage column for personable, knowledgeable and well-trained staff. Cost was a factor but not the factor in the decision making process.
It can be the proverbial chicken before the egg. The important questions to ask are “What is my business, what are the goals and who are the customers?” Those questions may seem ridiculously simple or can be dismissed but we often encounter businesses who see themselves or their products incorrectly for the market. They may have the world’s best ice maker but it’s totally wrong for the Inuit demographic. It may be time to renew the discussion. The questions and answers can help build profiles. Obvious connections can be made between a type of customer and your product or service. You may also discover mismatches. Great customer service may be a stronger motivator than your competitively priced product. More details lead to a better picture of who you are marketing to and what aspects of your product or service present the strongest motivators. There is no single right answer but if you take the time and effort then you can reap the rewards of a more effective marketing plan.