There is an audience for just about everything. Really. Your job is to find yours.
I was reading Smart Money magazine and ran across Bart Centre, a retired New Hampshire retail executive behind Eternal Earth-Bound Pets: The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World. According to Mr. Centre, he has sold 263 pet-care contracts to Christians concerned about their dogs and kittens left behind in the upcoming rapture. For $135, clients can count on pet-rescue services provided by one of 46 atheists who are guaranteed to remain on Earth after the Second Coming. Yep. It’s for real.
A good marketer’s job is to connect the product or message with the target audience. It’s simple, but not always easy. Before you put together your marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions:
Who is my target audience? The more defined your audience the easier it is to communicate your value proposition with them. In the example above, the audience is pre-tribulationalist, pre-millennialist, pet-loving Christians. While that might be a very small group, they are willing to spend a lot of money to insure their pet’s well being after they are left behind during the rapture.
What are my audience’s hot buttons? We all have “hot buttons,” things that elicit a strong reaction from us and cause us to make an emotional purchase or decision. These 263 folks who bought the left-behind insurance for their pets are responsible, loving, and humane people. While they might be accused of being gullible, they cannot be labeled irresponsible or lacking in conviction on their beliefs. They know for sure they’ll be going up in the sky and want their loved ones taken care of, even by atheists.
Who are my sneezers? These are your biggest fans. This is perhaps your most powerful marketing strategy. The sneezers are often responsible for 20% of new traffic to their favorite Web sites, retailers, or ministries. They buy, give, volunteer, and leverage their networks to promote your product. If you know who they are and can give them tools to maximize their sneezing, then you’ll have a powerful marketing tool. Perhaps the first insurance policy Mr. Centre sold was to a member of the Rapture-Ready Club, who after sharing the good news with his friends, helped sell several more policies.
How well do you know your audience?