I sat across from the VP of Marketing for a large regional organization last week, in his office. With a smile on his face he said, “I told my boss last week that we are just pissing away money…[James], we’ll spend a couple hundred [grand] on anything just to see if works.”
Am I the only baffled one here. Two questions – why would anyone smile while admitting he wastes money and why would anyone spend that much to see if it worked.
Here is why? This guy like most marketers spends (or pisses away) his money in what I call the competitive zone. The competitive zone is when a buyer is activly searching for a solution to his or her problem and it out and about talking to solution providers. The buyer is online filling out forms, walking into stores, calling on sales people etc. It it is the easiest place to find buyers – and the most competitive as well – for the obvious reason.
Great marketers exist here out of necessity – but spend little time or money. They spend the time in the opportunity zones. The opportunity zones are not crowded at all – but take a little work.
Opportunity Zone 1: Those thinking about buying. The question to ask here is, where are they now? What are the situations that lead them to think about buying? Which of their friends have already been through this buying cycle. There are a few others you can ask, but I think you get the point.
If you can be the expert before the scream for a solution, but are merely considering it, and prove it before the active searching begins, they may never enter the competitive zone and head straight to your door.
Opportunity Zone #2: This actually occurs after the sale. Why do people buy again? Why do they refer their friends? How do we make the answers to those questions a no-brainer to take action on.
Some advice to marketers and business owners. If you test your spare $200K on those two zones -competitor free – your VP will stop wasting the rest and you will see (with this kind of budget) millions added to the bottom line. That is some share holder news for you.
If you are a smaller business with little or no marketing budget – this should be your sweet spot.