A Cadillac CTS or Chevrolet Spark? An efficiency apartment or a new 3,000 square foot home? These seem to be easy decisions but the costs and needs of the person making the decision have an impact on the answer. A college student may choose the Chevy spark and the efficiency apartment simply due to finances. Another person may choose the Cadillac CTS for driving comfort but may be looking for a place to sleep 10 days out of each month while traveling for business.
When we market our business it is important that we keep in mind that not everyone is looking for the same thing. For some it is all about price and the less expensive an item is the more attractive it becomes. For others quality is the key ingredient and price is not an important factor. More than likely our customers will fall in to a range somewhere in between, each with their own budget and needs. So how do we reach such a broad audience?
It is important to know what our customers have in common so we can reach the broadest possible market segment. In the example above both the Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Spark customers have one thing in common, they both need reliable transportation. We can also assume that no matter which vehicle interests a prospective buyer that no one wants to pay more than they have to. Fuel efficiency in relation to the type of vehicle would probably be important to consumers as well. Based on this information it is easy to see why auto manufacturers use terms like reliable, affordable and best in class to market their products.
The housing question can be met similarly with terms such as quality, affordable housing. There is an obvious difference in the efficiency apartment and a new 3,000 square foot home, the buyer can come to which ever conclusion meets their needs based on the generic marketing terms. Is this misleading? Not at all, each consumer comes to a conclusion based on the facts of their own situation when introduced to marketing. If you don't believe me just ask a four year old, "How much money is a lot?" Then ask yourself if you agree. Each consumers individual circumstances dictate how we view marketing messages and what we take away from them.
Our marketing efforts should reflect what our products and services offer our customers. How do our products or services solve their problems, how can we make our customers lives easier? If our marketing answers these questions we can help our customers make a valid buying decision. The effort we put in to making certain our promotions relate how our products and services create solutions for customer problems will dictate the effectiveness of each promotion.
It is hard to put ourselves in our customers shoes because they often don't fit, but we still understand why they wear them.