If you think back to just about every business adviser since the flood they have all said “You need a niche” and then they leave it at that other than some general statements about it being good for business.
Here’s a link to an article I wrote on another site about what having a niche means for your business, and it also tells you why they say you need to identify your market. I hope you enjoy it, and that you get some profit from it.
Today I read that Facebook is predicted to fail. Not immediately, but it has been suggested that it will be 20% of its maximum size by December 2014. The cause of the demise is that younger users have been moving away. Read more about it here:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-23/facebook-could-fade-out-like-a-disease-researchers/5214524
And there seems to be a debate about the value of Twitter. The company, not the tweets you send out. It is currently valued at 70 times its annual revenues. Refer http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-22/kohler-what-is-twitter-worth/5212376
So what does this mean for you and your business? There are two major points that I think every business owner needs to consider.
The first is that any business can fail. The biggest business on the planet in your industry is not safe. No business is too big to fail.
The second is the power of the customer. Your business must provide a need (or want) and take steps to make sure that the customer is happy. Existing customers have a habit of leaving. They change jobs, move house, retire … there are many valid reasons why their situation changes, but they will – sooner or later – stop buying from you. That just means you never stop looking for new customers.
Governments can get away with not always being polite because they legislate for people to use their services, they do not compete.
There are a number of attributes a successful business must have – and one of those is innovation. In this case innovation means additional products or services that add value to your customer, not additional problems for your customer.
How can you treat your customers better?
I was talking with a friend a couple of days ago about marketing which led us to talk about popular searches and just for nothing in particular I thought I’d take a look. About 80% of the most popular searches are about a person.
Not the same person, obviously, but to maybe express it more clearly the most popular searches are about people.
The most popular people appear to be those in the ‘Entertainment’ business if you are in the USA. In the UK the most popular people are still in ‘entertainment’ though most likely they will also be someone who did something noteworthy recently. That can be being evicted from Big Brother, confessing to having had an affair a few years ago (Don’t ask me, I don’t know either) or any one of a surprising number of activities that probably wouldn’t get a mention if it was an unknown who had performed them.
In Australia the most popular people were sports people. I guess that’s still entertainment?
How can this help your marketing?
Marketing is about connecting with your target market, meaning with a select group of people. It involves positioning your product or service inside their world, convincing your target market that they need it.
What the popular searches tell us is not to dwell to much on the features of your product or service, instead describe what effect they will have on the person reading your copy. People are mostly interested in people. Connect to that in-built drive and your message will be far better understood and accepted.
Describe the experience of using your product or service from the perspective of the buyer. Show them how it will improve their lifestyle. Include some comments from other people – also called ‘testimonials’.
Remember the world’s most popular radio station: WII-FM. That’s the call sign, their tagline is “What’s In It – For Me?”
We’ve all heard the saying “As obvious as an elephant in the room”. Why not a giraffe? Surely being taller that would be more obvious? Or a rhino? More likely to charge around and cause damage that means more people are likely to notice?
The answer is contained in some ancient stories from India and other places where elephants wander.
It seems that one day five blind men happened upon an elephant and they decided that they wanted to know what one was like. (No, the stories don’t say how the men knew the elephant was there)
They decided to tell each other what they experienced. One touched a leg: “The elephant is like a pillar” he said. Another touched the trunk: “The elephant resembles a snake” was his opinion. Another who touched the tail suggests “It is like a rope” and so on.
In modern context it just means that people are aware that something is amiss, but they do not have the full facts about the matter. That’s why they know they need help to solve a problem, and that they cannot solve it alone, which led to your consulting skills being hired to help them in the first place.
Here’s what Wikipedia (TM) has to say:
“In various versions of the tale, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement.
The stories differ primarily in how the elephant’s body parts are described, how violent the conflict becomes and how (or if) the conflict among the men and their perspectives is resolved.
In some versions, they stop talking, start listening and collaborate to “see” the full elephant. When a sighted man walks by and sees the entire elephant all at once, they also learn they are blind. While one’s subjective experience is true, it may not be the totality of truth. If the sighted man was deaf, he would not hear the elephant bellow. Denying something you cannot perceive ends up becoming an argument for your limitations.”
So next time you see a group of people completely missing the point just understand that they do not have your skills or experience and so are only aware of part of their particular elephant.