The #1 Reason Why Your Marketing Fails

Today I’m inviting you to re-think your business strategy.

I’m not offering a small change, but a radical one. One that you are likely to dismiss at first sight.

But what if a changed strategy would give you easier access to clients, more referrals, and higher profits?

Sounds interesting?

Then give yourself a chance to evaluate the effects of a new strategy by thinking it through and collecting ideas.

3 Strategies Demonstrated

These strategies work for every business. As an example I’ll explain them for a web agency.

Imagine, for a moment, you owned a web agency.

  • Monday, a plumber calls who needs a new web site. You’re happy to get a new client.
  • Tuesday, a real estate agent calls who needs to update his existing web site for better SEO. Happy!
  • Wednesday, a dentist asks to have Google Maps integrated into his site. Uh, you never did that before. But you’ll figure it out. It’s actually easy to do.
  • Thursday, a roofing supplier sends an inquiry for a site where visitors can search for roofers by zip search. Wow, that’s really something you have no clue about. But you’re a web design company, so you’ll figure it out.
  • Friday, researching available ‘zip search’ solutions you find that there aren’t any. At least none that’ll work out of the box. You’re getting nervous.

This is demonstrating the problem of trying to do everything for everyone.

It’s the marketing strategy most businesses use. As long as it’s somewhat in their area of expertise, they will offer every service to every possible client under the sun.

The problems are obvious:

  1. You’re constantly working on solving problems in different areas. It’s stressful.
  2. You marketing lacks magnetic attraction because you’re a me-too business.
  3. You offer the same stuff everyone offers to the same people everyone is going after.
  4. You don’t have any competitive advantage. Instead you have lots of competition, often beating you.

Diversification, no specialization.

A Change Of Mind, A Change Of Strategy

Now imagine, while making the dentist and the roofers happy, it occurs to you that the Google-maps-thingy and the zip-thing are related. Both are about business location.

And local marketing is a huge trend. One that’s sure to last years to come.

So you focus on creating a new solution for local search on web sites.

  • A few months later your solution is better than anything else on the market.
  • Soon you’re the go to person for businesses who have zip based search as a central part of their biz model.
  • The more you work with them, the more you learn about how to make your solution even better.  [see innovation strategy here] It’s becoming harder and harder for competitors to win against you in this specific area.
  • The better your solution gets, the better known and recommended you are as the go-to-person.

By specializing on solving a specific problem you’re becoming a market leader in a tightly defined niche.

Table. Specializing on solution.

What if you focused on a specific industry?

Jep, forget about zip-search, and imagine you’d focus on real estate agents.

What would happen?

  • You would soon have better solutions for web sites for real estate agents than most other agencies.
  • You would soon know more about the needs of real estate agents than anyone else.

Remember, your competitors are splitting up their time between dentists, butchers, roofers, lawyers, etc. etc.

By specializing on a specific industry you’ll get the same advantages you’ve seen above about specializing on solving a specific problem.

Table. Specializing on industry.

The 3 Strategies At A Glance

Strategy 1: Offer everything for everyone. The me-too business model.

Strategy 2: Focus on solving a specific problem and creating the best solution. Offer that solution across all industries.

Strategy 3: Focus on a specific industry, and offer the complete range of solutions for this industry.

For extreme specialization you could even combine strategy 2 and 3.

The Fear Barrier

Businesses are afraid to specialize because they’re afraid to send customers away.

  • Think about the agency specialized on real estate agents. They’ll have to send away the roofers, lawyers, dentists, etc.

As long as you think about the business you’ll have to send away, you’re not understanding the advantages of a specialization strategy.

You’ll only understand it when you think through in detail what would happen with those customers within your specialization.

If you’re interested,

  • start making notes and collecting ideas.
  • Start talking with people about it.

It’ll take a few weeks until the pieces fall together.

Then you can decide what to do, or what not to do.