At a recent family get together, my husband lost his beer between trips to and from the grill, home office, and the garage. I was busy in the kitchen so when he asked me where he left his beer, I thought, “Really? I’ve been in here the whole afternoon. Ask the dog. She’s been following you all over the place.” OK, now besides the fact that dogs can’t talk, another reason exists as to why the dog would have no idea where hubby’s beer is…and yes this does have an angle to it regarding perspective marketing and connecting to the customer.
Think of the world from the dog’s perspective. Our beast is about 50 pounds and about 2 feet tall. How do you think she sees the world? Imagine crawling around on your hands and knees and how different the world would look compared to your human height. You’re probably not going to be able to see where hubby placed his beer and wouldn’t be much help in searching for it. So let’s translate this into a lesson in marketing.
Each of us has a unique perspective in any given situation based on our personal experiences, values, and beliefs. Since it is virtually impossible to create individualized marketing campaigns for every unique person, marketers instead group potential customers into what is called “target markets”. Philip Kotler, a marketing pioneer, defines the term “target market” as “…a well-defined set of customers whose needs the organization plans to satisfy”. Target marketing dissects the population into identifiable, unique groups with group members being as similar as possible within the segment, while being as dissimilar as possible among other segments. Customers can be defined on an infinite number of characteristics including demographics like age, gender, and income, as well as psychographics like a love of hip hop music, fear of spiders, and the need to live for the moment.
A key point to remember when targeting your selected group is to go beyond just describing them. You must be able to put yourself in their shoes and see the world through their perspective Henry Ford once said, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” To add on to that thought, you must also be able to remove your feelings and viewpoint so that the message you ultimately deliver is most effective. For example, you may personally believe that being frugal and saving for the future is the way to be, but if your target market believes in living for the moment and instant gratification, thereby spending impulsively, now is not the time to educate them on what’s best.
So when trying to connect with your customer, keep in mind the idea of having the dog’s perspective. The world, and your product, may look very differently through other eyes. Cater to this viewpoint and your marketing efforts will have a greater chance of success.