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Are You Fishing for Customers in the Wrong Hole?

“If you want to catch a trout, don’t fish in a herring barrel.” – Ann Landers

George said he’s been fishing at times when he would have been happy to catch any fish at all. He’s even had times when his friend a few feet away was catching all kinds of fish.

So he found out what his friend was using – what bait or lure – and changed his, but he still didn’t catch any fish. He concluded he was fishing in the wrong hole.
 


Fishing for business
Sometimes we experience the same thing when we’re fishing for business. We’re putting our line out but we don’t get any bites.

It may be that the customers aren’t where we’re fishing – they’re in another hole!

For example, maybe your customers are primarily shopping for your product or service online and you’re only marketing offline or vice versa.

People don’t use the internet for that

George remembers having a debate with one of his business managers. This happened to be a plumbing business. They were discussing how to allocate advertising dollars between various media. George thought they needed a bigger online presence. His manager insisted that customers wouldn’t go online if they had a plumbing emergency.

After surveying calls that came in, the manager reported back to George that an overwhelming majority of the people who had called with a plumbing emergency during that time period had found them via the internet.

Sometimes we think we know where our customers are, but our perceptions are clouded by our own biases. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out for sure.

Today’s bigg action item – survey your customers.

Find out how they learn about new things. The odds are your future customers are probably a lot like your current customers.

How one car dealer did it

One example of this is a car dealer. He had the employee who pulled the customer’s car into the service bay record what radio station was playing. He analyzed this information to determine which radio stations to use.

Is there some way in your business to naturally find out what media your customers use? If there is, develop a system to track the information so you know in which hole to cast your line.

Work with your direct mail supplier

Here’s another example from George’s service businesses. His mailing service was able to take his customer lists and ping the national databases to see where their existing customers fit in. Then they had a good profile of the people to target with future advertising – target people who are similar to your existing customers.

Survey them directly

You may just have a survey form that your customers fill out. Offer them some incentive to take the time to complete your survey. It may be a product or service you offer that’s relatively inexpensive …

… or cut a deal with another merchant – maybe even work a trade – to offer an incentive to your customers (e.g. movies, dessert, or gas)!

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5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08

Bigg Success in Business

bullseye 

When times get tough, businesses often cut their marketing budgets. This may not be the best move you can make, but it may be necessary. If you need to cut back, there are ways to do it without destroying your future prospects.

Here are five ways to get the biggest bang for your buck during a recession.

Current customers

It’s much less expensive to market to your current customers than to find new ones. So share the savings with your customers! Find a way to save them money and they’ll be more likely to buy from you, even in tough times.

Contacts

Step up your networking efforts. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll find someone who needs what you sell. You may spend less money on marketing during a recession. Make up for that by investing more time in your marketing endeavors.

Referrals

The best way to get referrals is to ask for them! Ask your current customers for people they know who would benefit from what you offer. You may even offer an incentive to them for doing it. And don’t forget to work your contacts for referrals as well.

Customers like your customers

If you can identify people who share the characteristics of your current customers, you can target them efficiently. Check with your mailing service. They should be able to compare your customer base to their databases to find these prospects. This will also help you later with all your marketing efforts.

Counter-cyclical segments
Some products or services do better in a recession. Identify the areas of your business that are likely to gain more attention during tough times. Use those areas as a way to keep people buying from you and to gain new customers. Invest in what’s going to bring in dollars now.

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