How to Market to People Who Are Not Like You

Kelly McDonald

If you could grow your business simply by marketing to your existing customers, making money would be a cakewalk. But to generate new revenue, you have to win over the customers you’re not getting. Who are these mystery customers? How are they different from your current clientele?  Most importantly, how do you forge a bond with them across these differences?  Forget “spray and pray” promotion. It’s time to narrowcast, get to know, and then deliver a welcoming message to a specific group. You have to research new customer segments and learn what they need.  Then modify your product offerings to communicate that you value that customer.  You say to them, “I see you, I value you, and I want you. I’m putting out this welcome mat just for you.” 

Our world is more diverse than ever before.  For the first time in the U.S., one in three Americans is not white.  Every brand, company and product is scrambling to learn how to tap into new and diverse market segments to grow business. 

Diversity marketing is the new norm, and this doesn’t simply mean racial diversity.  Diversity comes in many forms:  gender, race, age, lifestage, language preference, religion, sexuality, and hobbies or special interests are all ways in which people’s differences are recognized.  

By recognizing these differences and tailoring your product, message or marketing efforts to reflect consumers’ uniqueness, you are validating the importance of a consumer group.  It’s about marketing to values, not demographic profiles.

But how do you do this without making mistakes or potentially offending a new market segment or looking foolish?    In my session “How to Market to People Not Like You”, you’ll learn the steps to tap into new customers’ values.  And by doing this, you will tap into their hearts, mind and wallet.

Kelly McDonald is a recognized expert on diversity marketing and business trends. She is the author of the new book How to Market to People Not Like You.  She will be speaking at the May 5-6 IBA Marketing Conference.

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