FIND THE PAIN
Write this down somewhere were you can see it every day! …
The business that wins is the business that understands their customer better than anyone else.
That one statement will change the way you do business. And it’s your starting point.
Something else to think about…
We’re not in the commodities business. That’s not what we sell as smart badass (real) marketers.
We provide solutions to problems and pains people have.
We’re solution providers.
We’re pain relievers.
We don’t sell “products” per se. That’s not the best way to frame how we deliver value to a “pocket of people”.
Understand this and you’re half way there.
MARKETS vs (NARROW) NICHES & HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
We refer to a “market” as something that is big, broad and general. No one targets an entire “market” per se (unless you’re perhaps Walmart).
“Health and fitness” or “weight loss” are markets. Because they’re big, broad and general.
Once you’ve identified a larger potential market — like weight loss — you then need to narrow down your audience even further.
Markets are made up of niches, and within these niches there are even smaller “pockets of people” with very specific needs, wants and desires.
BOOM! … This is where you want to be looking!
Back to the weight loss example to demonstrate what I mean:
The big market is “weight loss”. Way too big and broad. We need to narrow that down.
What about weight loss for women?
But more specifically … busy women?
But not just busy women … busy mommies?
But not just busy mommies … a busy mommy who has just had a kid … al la post pregnancy.
Post pregnancy weight loss is a (narrow) niche.
See how that works?
Do you get what I’ve just done here?
I took the very general weight loss market and extracted a (potential) pocket of people with a VERY SPECIFIC need they have to solve.
Busy mothers … who have just had a kid … and want to lose the post pregnancy weight.
The more specific and narrow you target, the better your ability will be to “talk to” and connect directly with that audience.
The BIG mistake that most marketers and companies make is to target an audience that is way too wide. Too broad. They try to please everyone.
The result of doing that is a message that resonates and connects with no one. You’ll alienate your best customers. Not smart, babycakes.
Make sure you always remember these two golden rules…
- It’s ALWAYS BETTER to go more narrow than too wide.
- and then IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE!
Focus on issues that appeal to some, but not all This is where your own marketing should start.
Your ability to identify your audience and then create “filters” with your marketing (advanced strategy discussed another time). To get the attention of the highest quality prospects.
99.99% of (wannabe) marketers screw this next part up. Big time.
They try and please everyone.
They target too wide an audience.
Go narrow. The narrower the better (within the “big 3”).
Identify a narrow category of people (POP) that have a very specific need. Polarize your message. Speak directly to that ONE GROUP of people…
… and IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE! I know I keep saying this. But it’s that damn important.
Instead of starting with a product in mind — like everyone does — start by identifying an audience that has a specific problem (bears more repeating).
An audience that is after a specific solution or desired outcome.
Start there. Then work backwards.
Find a need that many people are having (do this first), then create or find a product to solve it (do this last).
This is how you add real tangible value to a market.
As an aside, here is a recent article by Seth Godin that’ll give you another layer of insight about how we NEED to treat our POP…
Don’t teach your students as if they are a monolithic population of learners. They learn differently, they have different goals, different skills, different backgrounds.
Don’t sell to your customers as if they are a fungible commodity, a walking ATM waiting for you to punch. Six of one are not like half a dozen of the other. They tell themselves different stories, have different needs and demand something different from you.
Different voters, different donors, different employees — we have the choice to treat them as individuals. Not only do they need different things, but they offer differing amounts of value to you and to your project. The moment your policy interferes with their uniqueness, the policy has cost you something.
We used to have no choice. There was only one set of data for the student body, one way to put things on the shelf of the local market, one opportunity to talk to the entire audience…
One of the biggest unfilled promises of the digital age is the opportunity to go beyond demographics and census data. Personalization wasn’t supposed to be a cleverly veiled way to chase prospects around the web, showing them the same spammy ad for the same lame stuff as everyone else sees. No, it is a chance to differentiate at a human scale, to use behavior as the most important clue about what people want and more important, what they need.
It’s a no-brainer to treat the quarterback of the football team differently from the head of the chess club. We treat our bank’s biggest investor with more care than someone who merely wants to trade in a bag of pennies. Instead of reserving this special treatment for a few outliers, though, we ought to consider what happens if we offer it to all of those we value.
The long tail of everything means that there’s something for everyone — a blog to read, a charity to donate to, a skill to learn. When you send everyone the same email, demand everyone learn from the same lesson plan or try to sell everyone the same service, you’ve missed it.
A very long time ago, shoe salespeople realized that shoes that don’t fit are difficult to sell, regardless of what you’ve got in stock. Today, the people you serve are coming to realize that like their shoe size, their needs are different, regardless of what your urgent agenda might be.