How to sell Bob, Chris, Taylor and Apple in the Future
Selling to a diverse group of people isn’t easy. This is particularly true when the groups are separated by generational differences and perspectives. I have a brother for example that refuses to join Facebook and I guess that I should be happy he has a telephone. My mother won’t join twitter and my grand daughter is too young to have a Facebook account. People prefer to communicate differently and we must adapt to this. It is critical that you understand the dynamics of who you want to sell to and how to sell them with the right marketing strategy and sales tactics. Let us examine a few common differences and think about how we can better reach each person on an individual basis.
Bob – the 70 year retired Plumber
Reading the paper and watching TV is how Bob gets his news. If you want to connect with Bob, you better use the paper and the telephone book or pay for an evening news ad on TV. A good recommendation from a friend is the best source for getting Bob’s business. If you try to send Bob an email, you are wasting your time and an internet connection is going to remain dormant in the house. Bob doesn’t understand where the traditional values went and likes to pay for everything with cash or by check. The best way to reach Bob is with a personal letter or note.
Chris – the 50 year old Fireman
As far as Chris is concerned, the Internet is a confusing contraption that crept into his world to show him just how old he is. The computer revolution began just as Chris was entering the workforce so he had to adapt, just not willingly. Chris uses the computer as a requirement and prefers the older methods of communication. Chris has watched his children adapt and grow with computers but would rather watch TV and read the newspaper. He tolerates the computer to connect with some of his friends and has slowly migrated to using Facebook so he knows what his family is doing. However, Bob will use the computer to research and find information and thinks of it as a tool to gather information.
Taylor – the 30 year old career woman
The world according to Taylor is connected through the computer and social networks. To some degree, if something isn’t connected to the internet, it is outdated. Taylor grew up with the cell phone and instant messaging. Taylor believes the best way to stay connected with friends is through Facebook YouTube and LinkedIn. When Taylor wants to purchase something, her network of friends and connections will influence the decision of what to buy. Taylor thinks that subscribing to a newspaper or using the telephone book is what old folks do because everything is on the Internet. Taylor likes to hang out with her friends socially at places like Starbucks and reads her friends posts and blogs. Taylor likes to experience life with a global perspective. Taylor rarely pays by cash or check and does most everything by credit card and frequently online.
Apple – the 12 year old student
The computer and the internet has always been part of Apple’s life. She doesn’t know anything different. However, the grounding of traditional values is refreshing to Apple and she has grown to appreciate life’s simple moments. Taylor has been taught about and is aware of the predatory nature the Internet can have and is balanced in her use of it as a tool. The multi-media world for Taylor is easy to adapt to and it seems like she was wired for technology with built in filters to make sense of how to use technology and still remain human to others. Apple has a high conscious level and value for nature, energy with the environment. These values are very important to her and impact her purchase decisions even if they are for a 12 year old.
I hope you see how these people are different and how they see the world from different perspectives. Because of this diversity, we can’t afford to approach everyone with the same ideals and marketing methods. It just won’t work and we must adapt to a personalize approach to increase the response we are looking for.
Personalized Marketing is Possible
Fortunately, the marketing and printing world has adapted and there are new ways to personalize everything and anything. The internet can become the best tool to reach certain clients and it can also be the worst way to reach others. We need to learn how to mix and match the right method of communications to reach each of our market segments individually.
Purls or Personal URL’s is one way to reach a mixed market. This involves using personalized postcards and personalized mailers to increase response rates. The concept is simple. People are attracted to and respond to a personal, old fashioned direct mail that directs them to a personal website. When you receive one of these, you are almost drawn like a magnet to the website, because it is personalized and it appeals to everyone, young and old.
The level of sophistication for these personal mailing is endless. For example, you can develop a target specific marketing message for Chris the Fireman if you put a fire truck on the cover of the mailer and use Fire fighting jargon. To reach Bob, a pipe wrench on the cover will appeal to his memory and invite an impactful response.
I hope you see how personalized, targeted mailings are a requirement for reaching a diverse market. When you want to increase the success of your marketing dollars, the best place to start is with a savvy business printer. Look for a company that knows how to leverage data and digital printing to reach your target market audience. The individual cost per piece will be higher. However, the response rates will be so much higher with personalization that you can reduce the number of pieces sent while you create a value proposition that actually makes personalization a value.
Test the Power of Personalization and Multi Media
One of the best ways of working with a business printer is to test market a few campaigns and see what works best. Because you can often measure the response rates by the consumer actions, you will know what works. Your business printer should be able to create different versions of your marketing mailings so you can determine what works best. Testing is important.
If you are trying to reach Taylor the career woman, you should try using appropriate images on the cover to attract her attention. You would do this instead of putting a golf club on the cover for Bob who enjoys playing golf. Changing the images for each target marketing group can have a dramatic impact on your results.
Using multi-media is also a key to success. When you can orchestrate a marketing campaign that has variable images to target each target market and uses different copy for each group and also blends email campaigns, and video with direct mail – you have a wining combination.
We aren’t done yet. Imagine adding the power of social networking to achieve your goal with Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and LinkedIn so you are reaching all the socially connected individuals. You could drive all your interested traffic with PURLs and your messages to a web page that closes the contacts with unique offers or video offers. Yes, this is how marketing has changed and it isn’t just the future – is how we expect to be reached. This is certainly how the youngest of our group, Apple, expects to be treated in the future.