(Photo by Rod)
The old expression “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” may apply to your marketing. If you’re selling a product that’s mass-produced, how do you convey that your product will solve the unique needs of a wide variety of prospective customers? The short answer is “you don’t”.
Don’t try to be everything for everyone. (No one will buy it.)
Instead, focus on clusters of people who have similar needs.
For example, if you’re selling a new type of wrench, your potential market may include: homeowners, mechanics, contractors, handy persons, or shop owners. While each of these markets may truly appreciate what you’re offering, you likely don’t have the budget to reach out to everyone and articulate how it meets their needs.
Instead, focus on a specific market first. Learn what they value, how they evaluate a new offering, and why/when they would consider switching from their current solution. Then approach them with a better way to do what they do.
If this works, you’ll have the budget to approach another niche (and if you have something a LOT better, people in other niches will likely be approaching you as they’ve heard from others how wonderful it is for their business). If it doesn’t work, try another niche before considering to pivot into a different offering (licensing your product to another company, for example).
We are an investment company offering a free seminar to publicly traded company employees who may receive stock options as compensation. The seminar or lunch and learn would showcase our ability to help explain options to their employees who receive them. We obviously want to start at the Director of Human Resources level. How best to reach these Directors? A professional letter and follow up phone call?
Jay’s Answer: It’s vital to understand why the HR staff would allow you to sell to their employees. Once you figure that out, then a letter + phone call is a great approach to start with. Or, if there’s a organization for local HR professionals, perhaps you can present your offer to them group of them?
I run a small business focused on design, manufacture, and distribute some kids products. Right now, I have a collection of wall decals and they are pretty popular online. I am in the process of developing some stroller accessories. My specialty is to provide value, quality, and functional products with an eye on design, kind of like Target. My business name is very general and doesn’t say anything about my products. The name of my new line of products, and possibly future products is “Cheekie Monkie”. I want to create a slogan that’s catchy and is able to deliver my key values.
Jay’s Answer: How about “Designed For Fun”?
I am looking for a name to my online business. We are selling lady’s clothing, catering to the slim to athletic lady’s workout to going out wear.
- DC (Delightful Couture)
I’m looking for a name that speaks both to men and woman. Not feminine not too masculine. It will be located in Pleasanton/Dublin, Ca bay area. Suburban 18-35 clientele. Any advice?
- Hair (Place)
- Diablo (Hair) Salon
(Photo by bark)
When marketing your business, are you better off showcasing yourself or your customer’s needs? It all depends on what your target audience knows and thinks about you.
Are you well-known and beloved? If so, leverage the social trust you’ve built up to showcase your new offering. If people liked what you’ve showed them previously, they’re more likely to be interested in what you’re showing them now. But be careful – if your prospective customers sense you’re “cashing out” on your name without something of benefit for them, they’ll (slowly) stop listening to you. That’s why smart celebrities are careful about lending their name for new offerings. Too many missteps and their brand value declines.
If you’re not well-known, don’t start by announcing yourself to the world. That creates a double problem for your business: first you need to educate people who you and then you need to show why people should care about what you’re saying. Instead, focus your marketing on convincing people of what you’re selling (as validated independently). Done repeatedly, you’ll then be able to step into the limelight to show why your wisdom that matters.
Here today and gone tomorrow. Make sure that your marketing leads with how people would react if you were gone tomorrow. Would they miss you or what you can do for them?
(Photo by Nahid V)
If you’re like many business owners, your mailing list isn’t well-segmented. That means that you can’t simply send a email blast to just women, or just people that have purchased from you in the last 3 months, or just people who live in a 10 mile radius of your store. But you have a new offer that you want to ensure the “right people” see. What can you do?
You make sure that the offer contains the magic words: “…For you, or for someone-you-know-who-is-the-right-person…“.
The key is that the reader of your message is likely to immediately make a judgement about your offer. If you’re selling a product to women, and the reader is a man, they’ll likely stop reading as soon as they figure out the message is not for them. Therefore, make the message apply to them as well (“For you…or for the woman that you love/know…”). That will help to frame the message as as “beneficial gift” for someone they know, which may elevate their own status.
Ideally, segment your list so you can market directly to your target market with images, language, and an offer that resonates for them. But until then, try to be logically and emotionally inclusive.
I need some catchy slogans on summer for my textile shop, preferably 2-3 words. I’ve previously used ‘Cotton Mela’, but this year, we are installing stalls for ice cream, juice, etc., in addition to offers on cotton clothes. So, I’m looking for slogans generalized to ‘cool’. Any help? The offer starts on April 1st. Thanks in advance.
Jay’s Answer: Consider “Personal Air Conditioning” or “Escape The Heat”
I have marketed office equipment, office furniture,and office supplies for 34 years. I want a title that is more in keeping with my experience and ability to improve office productivity and help decrease a companies operating costs. I want a new modern title to help my online presence.
Jay’s Answer:Office Productivity Expert (or Consultant)
I have a successful fitness/rehab facility in Ohio and wanted to get my online yoga concept up online but my work is not progressing. How do you know when something is going to work or not?
Jay’s Answer: It’s a good question, but there’s likely a lot of information that’s needed to evaluate your issues in-depth, including:
- What are your goals?
- How are you measuring results of your efforts?
- Have you been able to identify who specifically would be interested in your online classes?
- Are these the same people who would take your classes in Ohio, but can’t because they’re not nearby?
- Are people looking for a class such as what you offer?
- When they find your class, what’s their reaction?
- What’s the promise you make as a result of taking the class?
- Are people looking for solo practice or group practice?
- Is your online class the right pacing/style/format for your prospective customers?
- What are your competitors doing that’s more successful (both in content & marketing)?