If you place an odd-shaped object in the middle of a circle and then proceed to view it as you walk around it, you will quickly notice something important. From each step you take, your perception of the object changes. Features and forms which from other points of view were largely obscured may now jump out at you. This capacity to change one’s viewpoint on objects or issues is very valuable to life in general. It is also a vital key to expanding your understanding of your audience.
How do you define marketing, and how do you define your audience? Ramit Sethi is an influential behavior engineer and bestselling author who posits that standard concepts of marketing must be expanded within our technological and cultural evolution. One key point he makes is that how one perceives the audience and their real needs can be subtly shifted. This subtle adjustment can actually result in massive differences in both customer response and cash flow.
Sethi described a revealing case study that demonstrates this point with exceptional clarity. In the midst of consulting for a children’s violin instructor who was having trouble expanding her business, he thought outside the norm. To begin the process, he sat down with her and carefully inquired as to whom she thought her customers actually were. Were they 10 year-old children? In a way, yes. However, her business would very likely accelerate if it were not centered on their present age, but what their and their parent’s aspirations were down the road as well.
The focus was not to be so much on making all her students into great violinists, for every student has a unique potential. An expanded marketing focus was to also help shy children come out of their shells. Learning the skill of playing music could make them more attractive on their college applications as well. This revamped marketing could utilize testimonials such as: “Jackie’s lessons helped my son get into Harvard.”
The results of making these subtle adjustments, most of which were not even all that noticeable to her existing customer base, were tremendous. Her business expanded an amazing $81,000 in eight weeks!
Some of you may be right on the verge of an expanded marketing journey into powerful new realms, it may just take some subtle tweaks on how you view your audience and their needs. As the case of the violin instructor demonstrates, thinking outside the ordinary can lead to exceptional results.
Kelly Walker is creative director for Intrepid Marketing, a leading Bend, Oregon marketing agency. For more information, contact Kelly at 541-419-9976 or Kelly@intrepidforward.com