Sounds a little brutal, doesn’t it? And yet it regularly proves to be the difference between a business flourishing and perishing.
We know that our customers naturally split into different groups. This week, we look at how that’s happening right now. Almost a quarter of North Americans are NOT on the internet. At the same time, half of all U.S. adults are using social media.
Talk about a split in the marketplace!
And what do you do when 30% of young adults (ages 16-34) get miffed when they see a business marketing itself through social media? So much for all the cow-pattie gurus screaming “use social media or die.” Obviously they’re out of touch with the marketplace.
The New York Times ran a story this week showing how Conde Nast is increasing their use of social media (specifically Twitter and Facebook) for the web versions of W, Style.com, Glamour, Self, Teen Vogue and Lucky. And the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey that show 50% of all Americans are using social media.
Yet a quick check at Internet World Stats shows 22% of North Americans are not even using the internet – let alone sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. And that level of non-use goes up rapidly on other continents. The next most-connected area is Australia – where 40% of Australians are NOT using the internet.
So what’s the deal? How are we supposed to connect with our markets?
The answer is glaringly simple: More than ever, you – the business owner – need to pay attention to your customers.
As much as I think Seth Godin is pretty cool, that fact is that you’re not looking for a herd. You’re looking for flocks. Let the big corporations handle the herds. Local Business must stand out by tending to their flocks, caring for them, and building strong relationships.
When you walk into Wal-Mart, Target or any other big business, you’re just a cow to them. They’re going to make their sale and that’s all they care about. Fatten the cow, kill it, next.
But when a customer walks into your shop, they’re a sheep. You care about them and make sure they’re protected. You shear their wool, make sure they’re happy, and send them out to grow a new coat. And the more you focus on highlighting this very real difference in attitude, the more often your customers return to your shop.
So listen closely, and discover how to communicate with an increasingly segmented marketplace. Then send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.