Today’s market is quite a jungle. I say that because it’s a jungle of marketing and sales messages that can be overwhelming, if one cannot see the forest for the trees! So what’s going on? Try doing this, try counting the number of marketing, advertising and branding messages you come across in one day, online and offline. The number is shocking, and certainly a minimum of 5 times more messages out there, compared to 10 years ago.
The Change in the Landscape Today
The landscape is different. Firstly, there is a saturation of marketing and branding messages out there, and the audience may or may not be listening. Secondly, the advent of information at our fingertips (literally), enables more information and knowledge to be available to the more and more educated consumer. Consumers are not short of comparisons, and they only want the best, in terms of quality of service, price, etc.
Lastly, this over-saturation makes our audience slightly numb to the messages. Just have a look at the number of flyers and brochures that are in our postbox every week. Consumers would glance at them, and more than half will be thrown away, most of the time.
There must be Very Good Reasons I Should Switch to a Sniper Rifle…
For those of you who are unfamiliar, using a sniper rifle means that you have to be aiming a specific target. Using a shotgun, when shots are fired, each shot consists of many small pellets, and is usually more difficult to aim at a specific target.
But these are the reasons why you should switch.
Reason #1: Limited and Controlled Marketing Budget
Most of SMEs don’t own that million dollar marketing budget, in fact, most of them would be bootstrapping toward their next marketing campaign anyway. What is bootstrapping? This means reinvesting money from a previous campaign that resulted in the company getting some new customers. Since we don’t own that million dollar budget (like how most corporates do), we have to be very smart with campaigns, and ensure we have positive Returns on Investment (ROI), whether campaigns are big or small.
Reason #2: Engage with your Leads
It’s like going to the store to buy a pair of shoes, and you walk into two stores (for the first time) with the same pair of shoes, same price. You would go back to the store whose salesperson had a conversation with you. That’s engagement, and that gets the sale. Simple example.
Using a Sniper Rifle Approach in generating leads, forces you to have the right conversations with the right people who want to buy. In doing so, you will need to do your research, and a customer survey will be powerful.
Take a look at the style in which large companies are changing their modes of branding. Even the likes of automobile companies and telecommunication corporates are shifting their budgets toward more engaging activities, like running large-scale events backed by social media engagement, versus traditional billboard branding.
Reason #3: Niche-Up! And Stop Trying to be Good at Everything
Using the Sniper Approach would push SMEs to provide niche services, and to focus on one specific area of service and solution, versus do everything. If we were talking to a corporation who had the resources, skills and people, there would be a possibility of being a one-stop shop, but gone are those days, where one person can be good at everything.
I would be concerned working with a self-employed caterer who could cater to all kinds of weddings of many different cultures, versus one who was specific with his strengths, and then market accordingly. Don’t forget, consumers are getting more demanding, even as we speak…
This enables SMEs to become more collaborative in working together, staying focus with their areas of strength, and pass business on to others who will be able to do it well. I might say that is a pretty healthy environment, and one that thrives together.
How to Switch to More Accurate Targeting in Getting Customers?
Now, before I share the steps with you, the first mindset you have to throw out is the “I want to throw the biggest net over as many parts of the ocean as possible, and catch as many fish as I can” mindset. The change here is catching the RIGHT fish. And when you use the right net, these fishes will be caught. Don’t forget, you are offering a very good and reliable service that consumers NEED. So if you use the right methods, they would be very happy to work with you!
So here it goes…
Step #1: Identify and Understand your BEST and IDEAL Customer
It’s impossible to sell something to anyone. There has to be a best type of customer, and this person already most likely needs what you sell. This is where I challenge entrepreneurs to understand their best and most ideal customer. For example, I would ask a florist, who is her ideal customer, her reply would usually be: “Someone who needs flowers.” The challenge with that is we wouldn’t know how to target someone who needs flowers. So I would ask, what type of person usually sends flowers and what would be the occasion. We get our clients to look at their current or immediate past customers. This gives us an indication of the types of customers have been doing business with them, and appreciates their work so far.
Once you identify your Ideal Customer, they should be able to buy from you, if you can convert them. That is Step #3, so let’s not jump the gun.
How to determine your Best and Ideal Customer:
- What are your strengths as a provider? Take a look at some of the customer testimonials you have been getting so far? What do your customers say about your work? Are you particularly strong in any particular area?
- How do you price your product or service? Do your consumers have low, middle or high income? What price would they be willing to pay for the value you offer?
Steps 2 right down to 5 is in the next issue. Hang in there.
For those of you, who want guidance, please feel free to give me a call at my ActionCOACH office and speak to any one of my coaches, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.
Enjoy the application, and see you next month!