Let’s face it – if you’re a small business, you’re a specialty store to some degree – whether you practice law or sell twinsets.
Due to scale, you simply can’t afford to be everything to everyone. The resources just aren’t there.
We know this to be true, which is why we don’t even try to go head-to-head with some of the giant online marketing firms out there.
If we dilute our offerings too much we lose our essential Rowboat-ness, which includes our unique blend of irreverence, gravitas, and very personal service.
Losing customers by trying to be everything to everyone
I came across this article on the venerable women’s clothing store Talbot’s and how they have nearly run themselves out of business by making the same mistake – and when numbers are down, it’s a very easy mistake to make.
Lazard Capital’s Davis says Talbots may need to decide whether it is targeting mothers in twill or their daughters in animal prints before it can return to profitability. “If a specialty store tries to please everyone,” she says, “they alienate everyone.”
Whether you’re offering blazers or bankruptcy filings, the same wisdom holds true – if you can’t picture your specific client in your head, you’re about to be wandering in the big dark forest wearing a red hoodie and carrying meat sandwiches.
By contrast, Ann Taylor, another retailer known for its conservative women’s clothing, decided to give themselves a complete overhaul, go after a completely different customer, and they pulled it off beautifully. How?
Instead of hedging their bets and trying to keep their old customers because they were afraid it wouldn’t work to go after the new demographic, they committed 100% by changing everything about their stores, their product line, from end-to-end. It was very expensive and risky – yet less risky than trying to straddle the fence.
Result: Profits rose 21% in one year, right in the middle of this here recession.
Who do you specialize in helping? Who do you WANT to be helping?
Sometimes the answers to these questions are mutually exclusive – which means you’re in the same boat as Ann Taylor and need to make a 100% course correction. Other times, they’re consistent – but are your marketing and your offerings consistent with the answer?
Take a look at your online presence.
Does the tone and quality of your content speak to that person? (Yes – think of this client as a single individual).
What questions do they have that you’re not answering? What objections are you not overcoming?
Does the look and feel of your website appeal to that person? Is it easy for them to take the desired action – the one that puts money in your pocket?
Are they likely to view your website on a mobile device? Have YOU viewed your website on a mobile device lately?
Are you having to admit to yourself that the results of this internal audit aren’t pretty?
We can help YOU help them.
Just call us Jerry Maguire.
Here are some of the ways we can help you bring your marketing in line with the clients you want to have – with total commitment.
Go forth and prosper.