Have you ever noticed that the way you speak to your parent probably isn’t the way you would speak to your kids or friends? No brainer, right? Mom might be more of a Facebook or text messaging person, where you might use SnapChat or something to that effect with your friends.
So what about your markets? What will offend them? What will get their attention? What will cause them to act?
Just like with your personal relationships, there is no single way to communicate with everyone in every circle. Truth is, there is no communication pattern that you can use even with a seemingly single group of people. As you know, there are many things that will impact the way that information is received – stressors and situations can be game changers.
So wherein is your responsibility?
What we have done in the past is we have bought into the “acceptable patterns of speech,” and business gurus have given us the impression that something that works 12% of the time is “good enough.” Surely, we understand that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but somehow it seems as though “aiming low” is okay.
The reality is that if you sell coffee, some people collect coffees, some people drink coffee only once a day, some people don’t drink coffee at all…etc.; which means that there is only a certain percent of potential buyers that are in the market for coffee cups at any given time. The challenge that we face is getting the right message to them at the right time.
Someone who drinks coffee one time a day might be less inclined to purchase a cup of coffee in the afternoon, (although a play could be made for the infamous 3:00 slump), whereas someone who drinks coffee throughout the day would be an ideal customer. However, this person is already getting their coffee from somewhere.
So both scenarios of people who might buy coffee from us seem fruitless. How do we penetrate the market?
This is where it is important to understand that
- Your market isn’t everyone out there, although it seems that “everyone” drinks coffee
- Those who drink coffee are always ready to drink coffee
- Those who are always ready to drink coffee may not wish to drink coffee from you
- There are still those who are always ready to drink coffee that have no loyalty from where they purchase coffee, or may be dissatisfied with how/where they get their coffee now. This is your market!
Therefore it is conceivable that given that you have one dollar to spend for marketing, you want your messaging and method to reach that last group of people. For example, if you were to give them a coffee card (buy x number of cups of coffee, get the x+1 cup for free). Someone that purchases a lot of coffee might be interested in speaking with you more. The more information you can find out about their habit and them to support it, the more likely you will be to meet their need.
So you may find that even if you can only offer a bland cup of coffee, if the customer service exceeds their expectations, you may have a customer for life.
What? You want a bigger market? Find a different method and message. Look at a cheesy kids toy commercial. They place them where the kid can see it, with messaging that makes it look fun. Once the child is engaged, probably after about 30 seconds, the message turns to parents, about how safe it is, how it will keep children engaged and interested or whatever while continuing to show how the child is having fun in the background. They plant two messages for two audiences in the common medium that they share: the television.
How can you reach your customer base? What need can you fill for them? How do they consume information and what is their expectation from you?
If you want to build something extraordinary, you’ll want to take an approach that is very specific, direct, meets your market where they are.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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