Blanket or one-size-fits-all marketing seems just perfect for a busy, cost-conscious company. One big-tent message that can be distributed through every channel possible. You’ll reach all potential buyers, spread creative expenses over many versions and the consistency will strengthen your brand identity.
This type of thinking is a fool’s errand. Why? Because all buyers are not the same, and one message does not resonate with disparate groups. I say this no matter how many social media experts tell you otherwise!
Need proof? Does every single person in your circle buy the exact same products and services? No, they do not. Neither do business buyers.
Instead, recognize that effective marketing reflects your positioning strategy infused with the preferences of your segments. Marketing that’s customized for specific segments reinforces your positioning strategy.
- Best Buyers: Your company currently ranks Number One in the minds of your best buyers. That’s due to your positioning strategy. When you create new offerings, also position them as Number One and market them accordingly. For example, instead of marketing a new offering as a line extension—‘Old Offering Plus’ from Company X–market it as a completely new offering in a new category.
One CPA client created a new type of service for his best buyers called the Personal Financial Rewards package. He marketed it as a new category: comprehensive owner well-being. It included tax returns and audits, his traditional offerings, but only as a component of comprehensive owner well-being.
- Enthusiastic Fans: These buyers enjoy your middle to high-end offerings and typically rank you near the top in their minds in your category. Unlike Best Buyers, Enthusiastic Fans will be receptive to some line extensions. These buyers will have confidence in these line extensions because they come from your company. They fit their buying habits and level of self-esteem. You can dramatically increase revenue from them by marketing line extensions using creative ideas around “you already know and like us, here’s more just for you.”
An interior designer has been quite successful with a line extension. She added ‘Aging in Place’ designs to her offerings. She is well known for her creativity and customization, and it’s easy for her Enthusiastic Fans to get excited about her new Aging in Place offerings.
Some Enthusiastic Fans will be receptive to the new offerings created for Best Buyers. Using your intimate knowledge of your buyers, choose receptive Enthusiastic Fans and market your new, high end unique offerings to them as well.
- Regulars: Regulars are those buyers who buy pretty much the same mid-value offerings repeatedly. They like their purchases and enjoy doing business with you. Your marketing to Regulars should continue to reinforce these positive qualities. You can create line extensions for Regulars, as long as they are in the same price-point to value territory. Most Regulars will give something new a try if it feels close to what they know.
With sensitive marketing, you can move some Regulars up the Go Curve to become Enthusiastic Fans. But I do not recommend spending too much on this because the revenue growth opportunities are greater with Enthusiastic Fans and Best Buyers.
How can you apply the concepts in this series? Take a second look at the previous articles about positioning strategy, segmentation, and the overall concept of Number One. Choose one new outcome for your company. For example, you could choose to work toward a 10% increase in revenue from your Enthusiastic Fans in the next six months. As you re-read the articles, keep Enthusiastic Fans in mind, and imagine what new offering they’d eagerly purchase.
This is so powerful compared to trying to create some universal product or service. There is no such thing. People even have preferences for basic foods like milk and lettuce! Why would you think your company could do differently?