What is a random market – and are you serving one?

Do you know your ideal market, or markets? Were your marketing materials deliberately designed to appeal to this group? Are your messages and taglines targeted to your particular client demographics? Have you performed market research and based your advertising on the findings?

If you answered no to some (or all) of those questions, then you may be trying to serve a random customer base. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. Let’s explore.

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Advertising: short-term brilliance or long-term strategy?

Imagine that you are an established company who creates a product that is valued by consumers. You devote a $50,000 advertising budget to boosting your market presence – but your revenue doesn’t change. Who’s to blame? The magazines for misrepresenting their readership? The radio stations for exaggerating their audience? The agency for not being “clever” enough? Let’s look at a few places where this process can (and often does) go wrong.

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You Can’t Fire me – I don’t work here

Need somebody to tell it to you straight? Suspect that one of your execs is just along for the ride? Looking for untapped potential within your business? Want to push yourself and your team this year?

For these types of goals, consider seeking outside help. There are people who specialize in providing impartial guidance as your team searches for clarity and pushes for alignment. Think of it as an insurance policy for a great year.

Consultants with experience in guiding executive teams are an invaluable resource because they specialize in identifying untapped potential and recognizing and highlighting signs of trouble before they become substantial problems. And they are the only people who will be truly honest with you because, unlike your management team and other staff, they are not afraid of being fired for asking questions that employees don’t like to ask, raising uncomfortable issues or criticizing your business approach.

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Stop dreaming and win your marketplace.

So your competitor is doing better than you, are they? Why did that happen?

You have been in business for a few years now, have a handful of employees and are still struggling to get by. You meet someone at an event who is in the same marketplace as you, with the same product or service, with the same time in the market. Difference is, they have 10 times more employees and customers.

Could it be they are infinitely smarter than you? Or could it be that they understand the client in a way that you don’t?

I have been in business long enough to know the first is not usually the case. I would like to share an idea – better, a process – to get past the obvious in the pursuit of that little bit of magic that seams so hard to attain.

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You’re a perfectly fine company – So why don’t I like you?

Why a customer’s choice of products or services often comes down to what feels right – and how to tap into that.

Have you ever had to choose between two products that were almost identical? What made you pick one over the other? Assume that a potential client has seen your advertising and is comparing you to one of your competitors. How can you tighten up your brand and company to ensure that they choose you?
Have you heard or said any of these statements?

  • “I have a feeling about these guys”
  • “Everything seems to be in order”
  • “This just feels right”

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It’s all been done before – or has it?

I have never been a fan of that statement because it implies that we’re doomed to a lifetime of repetition. I see the world offering an endless, ever-changing array of opportunities. A complementary statement is that each of us has more potential than we may think; and the possibilities evolve along with our life experiences.

Most of my life has been spent trying to understand my medium for self-expression. This quest left me feeling that my personal brand was inconsistent – even schizophrenic – until I recognized a pattern. I have always been searching out creative projects that involved enjoying the company and talents of other people. This has led to experiences in the music industry, film and television, construction, advertising, branding and now public speaking and writing.

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