The Most Important Thing to Know in Marketing
The essential idea behind any business is pretty simple. You’ve got something you think somebody will want and all you have to do is convince them to pay you to get it. That is the focus of most businesses, and over the years various companies have tried just about everything under the sun to convince the public to part ways with its hard-earned money. There have been sales of all sorts, gimmicks, celebrity appearances and multi-million dollar ad campaigns to name just a few. Some of them have been successful, some not.
There’s another side to the coin though. Businesses sometimes forget that any transaction is a two-way street. There’s someone on the other end of that transaction— the customer. That person is unique, and each customer has his or her own story. A company that knows exactly who it is that’s buying from them has a tremendous advantage.
Knowing who it is you’re marketing to is essential. It dictates every other decision you make when you begin a marketing campaign. It tells you where you should advertise, how you should advertise and what types of pitches are most likely to be effective. Should you advertise on radio and television? Would an email or text campaign be more effective? Should you emphasize the convenience of buying your product or point out your sterling customer service record? What colors should you use? Would a hard sell or soft sell approach resonate more?
When a company knows who it is marketing to— when it understands each customer’s unique story and what motivates them— then it can tailor the marketing. The end result is not only more effective in terms of sales, but also more cost effective. For example, why spend a fortune on television advertising when your tech-savvy customers are cable-cutters and far more likely to watch a YouTube video?
This type of personalized focus also helps generate good will. One of the most common complaints customers have about a company is that they feel like just another number, like the company doesn’t value them as people. By contrast, a company that knows exactly who it is marketing to can customize its message so the buyer feels like the company is speaking directly to them.
Sure, you can try and build the perfect campaign designed to reach the masses. You can pull out all the bells and whistles for a marketing extravaganza that would make P.T. Barnum envious, but you’re likely to be far more satisfied with the results when you understand who you’re marketing to. More importantly, your customers are more likely to be satisfied. That’s the power of personalized marketing, and it’s made possible by an in-depth knowledge of who is actually going to be buying your product.