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In my last article I talked about using obscure holidays in your marketing campaigns. I pointed out that this allows you to stand out by doing something different. But the reality is, if you are writing a blog or newsletter, the non-obscure holidays can make great starting points for your articles, too. The trick is to do what I do here: Tie something related to the holiday (in this case, Halloween jack-o’-lanterns) to your topic in an unexpected way.



MARKETING LESSONS FROM A MOLDY JACK-O'-LANTERN


Years ago a friend of mine, who had recently moved to Southern California from the Midwest, made an exciting announcement: In was only October 10 and she was already totally on top of things for Halloween! In fact, she was the first in her neighborhood to carve the jack-o’-lanterns and put them out on display.

She couldn't understand why I laughed at this news. "It is 85 degrees out," I explained. "By now the jack-o'-lanterns you carved four days ago are a moldy mess!"

What I learned from this

I always say that before you can market to your target audience you must understand who these people are. This jack-o'-lantern incident is a reminder that instead of really understanding your target audience, you might be making assumptions based on your own point of view.

As a Midwesterner, the idea that a carved pumpkin would mold in the heat never occurred to my friend. As a native Southern Californian, the idea that much of the nation carves their Halloween pumpkins long before October 30th never occurred to me. If I was selling pumpkin carving kits in Wisconsin, I might have started my marketing campaign too late.

What assumptions are you making?

As you talk to your customers, pay attention to the clues they give regarding how things look from their point of view. Use this insight to question your assumptions about your target audience.

Don’t assume they’re seeing things through the lens of your worldview or that they perceive their problems the same way you do. Recognize that the things you think are important to them may not be the things that actually keep them up at night. And always ask yourself: Just like the issue of when one should carve their Halloween pumpkin, what isn’t occurring to you regarding your target audience’s challenges and needs?



 



What Others Are Saying

"Geez, Linda, you sure write well!"

Ray Johnston
President, Lido Property Management