Marketing Lesson from My Teenage Daughter

Today was a momentous day. It was the first time my 14 year old asked to borrow a piece of clothing from me-a white Nike sweatshirt. This is like a rite of passage and it was quite unexpected since my daughter is a size 0 and I’m a size 10 (I’m being honest here). Unfortunately the above mentioned sweatshirt was in the dirty laundry and unavailable, which, although I was happy she asked, was just fine with me since it’s very comfy and is my favorite.What amused me was that if I had offered to lend her that sweatshirt a week or even a day ago she wouldn’t have been interested. She would have looked aghast that I would even suggest she wear a MOM shirt-kind of like wearing MOM jeans-you know, the ones that actually reach almost to your waist.

This is just like in business-people don’t want your product or service until they do; until they have a problem or need and the time has come to solve it, or they have developed a desire for something and they want it now. Say you’re a car dealer and you run commercials on TV. Who will stop and listen? The person who has decided it’s time to buy a new car. If I’m perfectly happy with my car, why would I pay attention?

We often love what we sell so much that we have an assumption that everyone who we put our message in front of is actually paying attention. The truth is that if their need, want or desire for your solution is not top-of-mind, their attention will be drawn elsewhere. Don’t take it as a personal insult. After all it’s a human response, especially when everyone and their uncle are vying for our attention.

That’s why it’s so important to target your marketing toward the specific group of people who might buy from you, rather than too broad a group of people. Marketing is becoming more and more niched. An example would be a chiropractor who advertises in the local newspaper. The demographics are much too broad as there are many readers who have no interest or need for a chiropractor. Instead, using Google or Yahoo pay-per-click ads based on targeted search terms like perhaps, “Raleigh chiropractors” or “back pain relief” would yield much better results.

So go directly where you can connect with the people who need you. Well, I guess I better get that sweatshirt washed-it’s in demand!

1 Comment
  • Elizabeth Laurino
    Posted at 15:57h, 02 February Reply

    Janis,

    This is such a powerful message. This is one of the lessons you taught us at Hands On Health years ago. You said to us that it’s not about what WE want to sell. It’s about what the CUSTOMER wants to buy.

    This is a great article and as usual you give great advice.

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