The next time you are writing an advertisement, or an article, or updating your website, choose your audience along the following grid of “usage” vs “loyalty”.
Choose just one and ask yourself “how can I modify my message to speak just to them?”.
Let’s look at each sector in more detail:
1. High/Med/Low User + High Loyalty To You = Your Best Customers
This is where you are making all your profit.
What else can you do today to keep them fiercely loyal? 2 ideas:
Keep adding value, keep improving
and keep putting your prices up (the best way to maintain or grow your profitability and signal to them that you are working hard to improve the value of your products and services)
Don’t waste your money communicating to this bunch with mass-media. Surely you have their email addresses or phone numbers? But more important than a cheesy Christmas card every year is to keep delivering the top quality products and services they have come to expect. Keep up the good work. Nice job.
If we all had lots of high volume / high loyalty customers we’d all be rich! But unfortunately they are hard to get, hard to keep and there are few of them. So don’t retire yet
It’s a double edged sword: Does having just a few major contracts make your business secure and stable, or does it make you weak and vulnerable?
Don’t neglect the little guy. They might never turn into high volume, but they are your bread and butter today. But you already knew that I’m sure.
2. High User + Low Loyalty To You = Your Competitors Best Customers
Do you think you can win the most loyal customers of your competitors? You’re dreaming! They’re out of your reach
Can you turn a Holden fan into a Ford fan? No, you can’t. So give up and pick a fight you can win
But, be ready – wait for the competition to make a huge screw-up and be there with a smile on your face welcoming them home
This group is completely blind to your advertisements. They have made their choice of supplier for this category/industry/niche. Life is easy and peaceful for them. Let them be at peace.
3. High User + No Loyalty = Attractive But Deadly
This group is super attractive, because there are so many of them
Your boss will put enormous pressure on you to do whatever it takes to make this group buy from you this week. Most of the time the only tactic that will work is a super special price (maybe at break-even point!)
Sure, you might make the sale this week, but next week you’re playing the same game again and next time they’ll choose a different supplier
These guys suck up your advertising budget and contribute little to your profitability
They don’t care about the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. They don’t see distinction or differentiation between your brand and your competitors. “Who is cheaper this week? That’s the one for me!”
4. Non-Users + No Loyalty = Untapped Markets
This group has never made a purchase
They have the same problems and issues that all the other customers are facing, but not know that a solution exists!
For example, one of the most popular websites in NZ is called 1-day.co.nz with half a million visits a day, but it seems that 80% of the people I tell about it, have never heard of it! Could the same be true for your business? What are they reading/watching/listening to that you don’t normally advertise in?
The only bummer with speaking to the members of this new market is that you are breaking the ice for your whole industry and they may not choose you!
5. Med/Low Users + Low Loyalty To You = Your Competitors Bread and Butter
This is where your growth can come from
It’s about maintaining your high quality, providing remarkable service (even if only occasionally) and trying to activate Word-of-Mouth
What can you do to turn your customers into ambassadors for your brand?
Need help analysing the opportunities for your business?
My notes on “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future” by Seth Godin
The law of the Mechanical Turk
The law: “Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be accomplished for awfully close to free.”
Eg Jimmy Wales led the tiny team at Wikipedia that destroyed the greatest reference book of all time. And almost all of them worked for free.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica was started in 1770 and is maintained by a staff of more than a hundred full-time editors. Over the last 250 years, it has probably cost more than a hundred million dollars to build and edit.
Wikipedia, on the other hand, is many times bigger, far more popular, and significantly more up-to-date, and it was built for almost free. No single person could have done this. No team of a thousand, in fact. But by breaking the development or articles into millions of one-sentence or one-paragraph projects, Wikipedia too advantage of the law of the Mechanical Turk. Instead of relying on a handful of well-paid people calling themselves professionals. Wikipedia thrives by using the loosely coordinated work of millions of knowledgeable people, each happy to contribute a tiny slice of the whole.
The internet has turned white-collar work into something akin to building a pyramid in Egypt. No one could build the entire thing, but anyone can haul one brick into place.
And all you need is the answers to these 7 questions.
7 Essential Questions For Your Business-to-Business Marketing Plan
1. What is your objective?
Do you want to retire young? Do you want a million dollars? Do you want to solve the worlds problems? Do you want to improve peoples lives?
It all starts with your answer to this question
2. Who is your target client?
Describe your perfect client(s)
Is it “every NZ business”? That’s a mistake. Look up the definition of the word “target” if this was your first impulse
Start by staking out a geographical territory and communicate the ownership of that territory fiercely (be proud that you live in Tauranga or Rotorua or Hamilton or Invercargil!)
What kind of business are they in? What industry? How many employees do they have? What problem are they facing everyday that they are struggling to solve? Who are their customers?
If you target your clients correctly, would it be physically possible to write a list of every potential client? I’m sure it would! Can you see, that if you do that, you’ll never consider using mass media such as Radio or TV advertising again?
3. What do they need?
Notice that I’m not asking you to list your products/services?
First, identify groups of clients
Second, identify what they need (don’t think in terms of what you’ve got. Focus on what they need from your industry)
Third, decide if you can deliver what they need
If so, repackage/rebundle your current products/services to appeal to them
If not, either ignore the need or set up someone to refer them to
4. How do your prospective clients make their buying decisions?
What is the process they go through?
How long does the “information collection” stage take?
Where do they look when gathering that information?
Do they make decisions by committee? Or alone? (Hint, decisions are never made alone)
Who do they ask for advice?
5. Why should they choose you?
If you don’t know the answer to this question make something up. Now.
Why do they currently choose your competitors?
6. What is the most efficient way to deliver your message to your audience?
Please leave the mass media advertising like radio and TV to Harvey Norman. It’s not for you.
Please don’t waste air time or paper or the time of people who have no interest in what you’re selling (that’s called SPAM)
Will you use face to face visits? Phone calls? Your website? Direct mail? Networking?
7. What headlines would capture their attention?
What benefit driven headlines would compel them to read more?
This is how to start generating your ideas for your marketing/advertising methods
Writing headlines first forces you to focus on the client and what’s in it for them
Writing great headlines is a science in itself, and the part of my job I love the most
My notes on “Marketing Without Money – How 20 Top Australian Entrepreneurs Crack Markets With Their Minds” by John C Lyons and Edward de Bono:
How narrow is your product offering?
“Don’t try to be all things. Be famous for just one thing. We are doing a very simple thing. We are facilitator only, taking people to the top of the bridge. Our job is to enable our customers to make heroes of themselves. – Paul Cave, BridgeClimb
How narrow is your target market?
Frequently it is better to define what you do in terms of what you do not do, being quite harsh on your choice of markets and the products and services you deliver. Seldom is failure attributable to too narrow a focus.