I spoke to a small business owner recently about how he could improve his business through a focused brand and marketing strategy when he said the following line that belongs to the classics:
“…yeah, but I don’t want to become famous…”
For me this is one of the most common misconceptions about marketing – that this is about ‘becoming famous’.
I can just imagine the owner of this business being a real entrepreneur, salt of the earth kind of guy, puts in 12 – 15 hour days, been in business for years but only turned a profit recently. Aiming to become famous is one step too far! The stress of being greeted by everyone in his local steakhouse will push him over the edge!
To be honest, I don’t blame him for thinking this. In South Africa, marketing has in many ways become a broadcasting battle to become famous. You just have to listen to some of the banking and cell-phone ads: the notion that ‘marketing’ is about talking to everybody, on every channel, all the time – is rife. It sometimes borders on psychological warfare – drumming so much advertising into my head in the hope that I would chase after the latest airtime deal as if it is a Kardashian walking down the street.
But this is not how it should be. Marketing is not about becoming famous. It’s about becoming friends.
It is about becoming friends with those that matter – the target market.
So here is my question to any entrepreneur: Do you know who matters most to your bottom-line and are you friends with them? Good friends. So good in fact, that you know exactly why they buy from you, so good that you would know when you have delighted them, when you have disappointed them, when they are considering inviting other friends to your party?
Are you best friends with your target market?
If the answer is ‘yes’, I would suggest you stay far away from any more marketing.
If the answer is ‘no’, I would suggest an aggressive effort is needed. That effort, is called ‘marketing’.