This is part six in our series on how to start thinking about marketing. To see our previous articles, check out:
Product or Service
Strong Company Brand
Strong Personal Brand
Established or Create the need
Long or Short Sales Cycle
The next item to review in determining your marketing plan is if you are in a known industry or not. For example, if someone says they do carpet cleaning, we all know what that means. But, if someone says they are the foremost expert in biophysics, there’s a good chance only a few people know what that individual does on a daily basis. It is important to understand that not everyone knows what you do every day. And even if people think they know an industry, they may not truly understand what you do.
One industry that is interesting from this perspective is recruiting. Recruiters are definitely misunderstood. Many people haven’t dealt with recruiters and therefore don’t have any idea what they actually do – they call them “head hunters” and generally assume the candidate pays them to find them a job. This is absolutely the opposite of most recruiting offices. Generally they are hired by the client to find a specific person and then have to employ many ways to find that perfect individual. So in a case like this, a recruiter has a unique challenge to design a marketing plan as they not only have to get their personal message out there, but also educate the prospect on what they do. Several industries share this challenge and Chiropractors are the first to come to mind.
On the other hand, there are industries that people don’t know exist. We all understand the insurance industry but how many people have heard of long-term care insurance? This isn’t like life or car insurance of which we all have a basic understanding. This is insurance that provides for a time when we can’t take care of ourselves. Not exactly something the average person wants to consider. So the marketing plan to get the word out on that product is even more challenging as you have to educate, and then get over the concerns and emotional issues of the subject.
In a known industry, one must differentiate. Going back to our carpet cleaning example, if someone comes to your home or office to clean your carpets, you have a set of expectations. Some are built on past experience and some based on the results you desire. As a carpet cleaner, you have to get the client to understand why you are the best, and may not be the cheapest. That is a very different message.
So it is important to know if people you are selling to have an understanding of your industry, have an incorrect understanding of your industry, or if they have no understanding. In each case, the message must be delivered to deal with that situation appropriately and effectively.