There are over seven billion people on the planet right now. Unless you have a market cornered on something that each and every one of those seven billion need, it is reasonable to say that only a percentage of the total market will be your customer. So, when engaging in business marketing, you need to make sure you’re focused intensely on YOUR customer, not the rest of the seven billion others out there.
With agreement on that principle, we can move on.
Marketing used to be easier. You had something to sell. You crafted a message and took out an advertisement. The phone would ring. Cash would come in.
Times have changed. We now have multiple forms of media all vying for a customer’s attention. In fact, through TV, print, social media, the internet, telephone, buses, bus stops, etc., we are exposed to over 12,000 messages from marketers each and every day. That means that during the time we are awake, we are exposed to some form of marketing message every 5 seconds! Is there any wonder why consumers have ‘attention deficit disorder’ when it comes to advertising?
Still, most marketers are partaking in a practice that I call “Spray and Pray.” Randomly and without any apparent thought, marketers are throwing messages out there using the flavour of the day in terms of media and praying and hoping that someone pays attention. You probably have a better chance of hitting a target if you were to stand on a busy street corner and throw $5 bills at passing cars – every once in a while, one of those bills will stick to someone’s windshield!
What are successful marketers doing instead? They are turning into Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) and building incredibly detailed personas and profiles of the people that they want to have as customers. They are building their profiles so incredibly detailed that they are able to form a picture of what this customer looks like. Where do they live? What do they drive? How many kids do they have? What is their annual income? What is their favorite way to relax? What is their favorite sports team? The profile list goes on and on…
But this is the cool part of the above strategy: marketers are able to determine exactly when and how to communicate with their customers! No more wasted time, money and energy. Laser beam targeting that hits the mark. Maybe it is Facebook. Maybe it is indeed an old-fashioned newspaper. However the message is received, the customer is motivated to action.
I have now witnessed a number of organizations that have their ideal customer portraits hanging in their offices. Budweiser has ‘Dave.’ Lululemon has ‘Ocean’ and ‘Duke’. An architecture firm client of mine has ‘Doug.’ None of these people are real, but what is real is how they build all the programs around this ‘customer.’ The results have been staggeringly lower sales and acquisition costs in comparison to their competitors.
Business Marketing is easy when we don’t try to complicate it and we market to the right people.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.Brand, Business Goals, Business Strategy, Communication, Customer, Focus, Growth, Inspiration, Marketing, Marketing Excellence, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Strategic Planning, Success