Sun 1 Apr 2012
(Photo by Yoel Ben-Avraham)
If you’ve been struggling to market your product or service and are frustrated by your results, consider where the problem might be. You might be trying to sell your square pegs into a community of round holes!
In business marketing, as in much of the world, the 80/20 rule (“the Pareto Principle”) applies: 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your offerings. The key is to focus your efforts on the 20% that works for you. If you’re just starting out, you have no clue where the 20% is. You try new things haphazardly, hoping to get some clients. And if you get one or two, most business owners think, “Aha! I know where my 20% is!” And they stop innovating, they stop trying, and replicate the effort it took to get their initial clients. And in most cases, they fail. The early adopters (people willing to risk their time/money on your offerings) reflect a small subset of the general population. Early adopters are looking for the “next big thing” and tried yours. But they’re likely to quickly be bored by your offering, and are quickly moving on to another new thing, leaving you behind.
What you’re looking for in your marketing are longer-term and numerous results. A few early “wins” with adopters will skew your thinking. You want to find the “sweet spot” of your prospective clients – so be willing to realign your offerings to their needs. If you keep banging away at what initially worked, you’ll be stuck banging that square peg offering into your round holed customer base until one of you gets tired with the other.