Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Power of the Change of Perspective

It is sometimes the case that a change of perspective can make all the difference.  I have had many conversations with business owners who are so close to their own work that they can miss opportunities more readily seen by another.

Two recent cases provide some illustration:

A client expressed some frustration that a networking group was heavily represented by people who were not her target customers.  But as it turned out, those networkers were married to target customers.  The suggestion was to develop a special event that brought in the networkers to help them with gift giving to their partners!  We used a simple but effective one-off to reach the actual target customer.

Another client was no longer reaching target customers at a set of venues---large universities.  Her virtually-identical messaging, once dependable, wasn't generating responses.  A proposal was to turn to the next tier down (smaller colleges) which have very similar students but who have different, more attractive circumstances.

In both cases the business owner hadn't seen the possibilities, being a little too close to the usual and expected marketing approaches.

Bottom Line:  Are you having marketing challenges?  The remedy may be as simple as seeking another person's perspective to permit some out of the box thinking.  Don't let your closeness to existing solutions limit your possibilities!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Proper Preparation is Essential

A distinguished colleague yesterday told me about some of her recent client situations and in particular how few were really prepared to take advantage of her services building a client base with funnel methodologies.  Some had only the sketchiest idea who is their target customer.  This is disappointing and a striking challenge for our small business community.

Having a well defined target is absolutely essential.  It is not going to work to say that "my customer is everyone who needs my service", or that "anyone is my best prospect."  Marketing is costly and time consuming and must be rationed to only the absolutely best market segments.

It does take courage to be willing to focus narrowly.  And it may require some market research to determine that focus.   But it must be done.  And when you are prepared to look for that sharpest and best defined segment (in terms of age? gender? location? circumstances?) one is then properly prepared to put the professional services of those like my colleague to best effect.

Bottom Line:  Step back today and think about your own best target prospect.  Narrow to a particular demographic or behavior who is absolutely most likely to pay for your product or service.  And only then look at the appropriate marketing channel for your business.