A marketing lesson can be gleaned from anywhere, and the recent election is no exception.
First off, this is is not a political post; we make a point to stay away from politics in our postings. -And it doesn’t matter whether you’re happy with the results or were one of the people that crashed Canada’s immigration site. There is a HUGE marketing lesson we can all learn from the election, no matter what your political views are.
Is Your Marketing Too Focused?
The stunned media spent November 9th publishing article after article. It seems nobody was predicting the final outcome. “What happened?” “How did we miss this?”
As national media outlets reviewed the polling data, exit polls and so on, many came to the same conclusion. “We misread the signs.” Many people – government, media, and business – were so sure Mrs. Clinton would win. They had no plan for a different outcome.
In business terms, they were so laser-focused that they failed to see an entire marketing group.
This is an important lesson for any marketer and business owner. While focusing is a good thing, too much can completely change the outcome of a marketing campaign.
Marketing Example #1: Lack of Demographic Diversity
Sometimes we get our minds wrapped around a single demographic. We target women, or men, or the youth, or the elderly. -And sometimes that makes perfect sense. For example, elderly people are generally the ones that need walkers, dentures and hearing aids.
-But then again, there’s the “hidden vote.” The hidden vote, the people that may not be answering those marketing surveys or polls, have a say too. Maybe they just aren’t saying it to you.
With the example of the walkers, dentures and hearing aids, you may be tempted to target only the elderly. Then again, other people need them, too. A young man might suffer an accident where he loses part of his hearing. A young woman might need dentures due to a genetic dispensation of weak teeth.
Now think about a site or an advertisement you may have seen for these products. What do the people generally look like? For sure, most of them look like beautiful, silver-haired examples of sixty-year-olds.
Sure, it’s a niche market, but niche markets often bring excellent residual returns.
Marketing Example #2: Missing the Single’s Boat
Except for, perhaps, your brand name and logo, your business should be a semi-fluid thing. After all, things change; that includes areas such as where your target market is hanging out. Here’s another example of the above principle, and it’s a real-world business example.
Have you heard of Single’s Day?
China has a huge sale every November on Single’s Day. If you’ve never heard of Singles’ Day, it’s the answer to Valentine’s Day for the… uninvolved. What does this have to do with you?
In America, our businesses are gearing up for Cyber Monday and Black Friday. These are big sales days, but they’re also stockholder indicators of how well a company is doing. Because of this, many retailers blew off Singles’ Day. They didn’t want to risk losing focus on their big sale days. The ones that participated, however, were shocked at the results.
In 2015, Costco took a chance at a hidden vote and invested in Singles’ Day. They realized about $3.14 million in a single hour. Alibaba, the top site for the day, generated $14.3 billion. In America, we spent $5.8 billion on both days combined. Not quite a fair exchange.
This year, Alibaba made $17.7 billion, with approximately 175,000 orders every second in the first hour. You can bet that a lot of retailers looked around and said, “What just happened? What did we miss?”
Always Look for Hidden Marketing Opportunities
Broaden your horizons. Your business should be a fluid thing. Oh, sure, there are some things that should be set in semi stone early on, such as your brand name, or your logo. -But your target market should not be set in stone.
Look over your content offerings. Are you alienating anyone in your target market?
Review your social platforms. Sometimes we choose a place to test and then forget to look at any others. For example, spending so much time community building on Facebook. You don’t ever try another place, even if Facebook doesn’t give you as much return as you’d hoped for.
Look at your market research programs. Do you occasionally look outside of your perceived market? Do you poll to find out who else might be interested in your product or services?
Review your analytics. Are there terms that you could be using that you haven’t been? Are others coming to your site using different terms?
Poll your customers and clients. Your most valuable asset are those that buy from you. Although reviews are hard to come by, having an exit questionnaire with a few, well-targeted questions can go a long way to giving you invaluable information.
There are many lessons we can learn from the election, but for business, the most important is this: don’t be blind to the possibilities. Don’t focus so hard on one thing that you can’t see anything else. Everything about marketing is a fluid thing. The cost of things goes up or down. The paths to implement strategies change. The amount of time it takes to perform a campaign is smaller or larger.
However, remember that your greatest asset is your customer base. There are hidden opportunities and small niche markets everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes open and watch for them.