This is an older post that I always liked:
I always preach that we’re not all alike in terms of marketing. Just because you think something is good or bad does not mean your customers will think the same thing. Also, just because you want (or don’t want) a product isn’t necessarily an indication of whether other people will.
That rang true again last weekend.
Maryellen and I took a nice Saturday drive. On our way home, we drove past a farm that had a big hand painted sign.
In big red letters, the sign said “FRESH KILLED CHICKENS!!!“
Now, I’m far from queasy, and I have no problem eating meat. I understand things must die so I can eat them, and I’m fully aware that my burger once said “moo”. It doesn’t bother me.
But I also want to be as far removed from the actual killing process as possible. I’m not a caveman – I like my chicken dead, cleaned, shrink wrapped, and sold in a supermarket. “Fresh Killed” is really not what I’m after.
In fact, if you wanted to keep me OUT of your store, a good way would be to advertise “FRESH KILLED” anything. I’ll probably drive on by. Which is what we did.
But that’s not really my point. My point is not only does the place provide fresh killed chickens, just having the sign indicates there are people out there for whom this is an attractive thing. Somewhere, somebody will pass by and say “oh look, they have FRESH KILLED CHICKENS. Let’s stop and get some!!”
We’re not all the same. I drove by. Someone else’s day was made. And may we never meet.
Here’s another example of this same thought process… I want you to think of politics for a minute. I know it’s painful, but try anyway. Now think about the political party / ideology you prefer – if you are like most people, you vehemently think the “other side” is wrong. In fact, they are so wrong, that you wonder how any rational person could actually vote for them. Certainly, the people voting must be stupid or just plain ignorant.
The interesting thing about this thought pattern is that the other side (you know, the stupid people) think the exact same thing about you and your party. They think you are the one who is dumb and ignorant, and, for the life of them, they can’t understand why you vote the way you do. Imagine that?
Leaving aside the fact that these people (the other side) are clearly insane, doesn’t that interest you? That essentially half the population thinks you are extremely wrong in your political ideology? Especially when you (and I, for that matter) are plainly not wrong.
The lesson here is to realize that not everyone thinks like you do, and not everyone will respond to a message that you personally find appealing. In fact, it’s likely a good number of people won’t respond to something you personally find appealing. A little variance in your advertising/marketing is a good thing.
All too often, I’ll have a writing client say something like “my wife didn’t like it” or “this isn’t doing it for me”, and that’s that – no additional discussion, no nothing. Or I’ve seen business owners act as their own creative department, tailoring a message that completely sells to THEM. But as it happens, they like Fresh Killed Chickens, but most of their customers don’t.
Be flexible in your marketing. Of course have a message that appeals to you. But in the end, it’s more important to have one that appeals to your customers.