Finding treasure requires a lot of investigating and digging. Just ask Indiana Jones! (source)
In any successful marketing endeavour, one must be willing to think, live and breathe like one's potential customer. This also means that preconceived notions and prejudices must be tested and thrown out the window if they are proven untrue.
What are some of these common misconceptions and myths? Let me offer some examples.
1) The clubbing and pubbing scene in Singapore is only full of young adults who love to party, drink till they drop and camwhore.
The truth is that young adults don't drink alcohol that much, preferring instead to sip their capuccinos and frapuccinos in cafes. On the contrary, there are lots of older adults who pub and club.
2) Orchard Road shopping centres are always crowded and hence should be avoided. Neighbourhood HDB malls (in public/subsidised housing estates) are usually less hip and happening.
Just visit Tampines Mall or Jurong Point on a weekend to see the truth for yourself!
3) Seniors are normally tea-imbibing, chinese chess playing, tai-chi practising folks who have all the time in the world.
With the rise of dual-income households, who actually takes care of the babies in your home? The family dog?
4) Museums and art galleries are dull, intellectual and quiet places. Nobody goes there except school kids.
On the contrary, some 2.8 million visitors visited NHB's museums last year.
5) Social networking channels are full of dangerous digital denizens who are ready to spam, flame, or troll your organisation when given the opportunity.
They are also be full of people who are civic-minded, community-oriented and likely to support a worthy cause. Just check out the 16,150 members (and growing) in the Singapore Police Force's Facebook page.
Conventional wisdom may sometimes be fraught with folly. Smart marketers know that the truth isn't always found in stark contrasts of black and white. Rather, it is painted in various shades of grey.
The worst thing one can do is to launch a new business, product or service based entirely on hearsay. Similarly, holding back on an opportunity just because most people are afraid or wary of doing so limits the ponds and rivers where you can fish in.
To understand how your targeted customers truly behave, spend time talking and interacting with as many of them as possible and observe what they do. Spending time walking the talk, going down to the shops and observing actual consumer behaviours are critical in preventing mis-alignments of strategy with reality.
The next time somebody offers an excuse why a particular product or service is destined to succeed/fail, don't just go with his or her opinion. Dig deeper and harder to unearth the nuggets of truth. They can mean the difference between striking gold and hitting a granite wall.
Labels: audience development, business strategy, consumer behaviour, market research, marketing strategy