How to change your marketing strategy to aim for a different market
Let's discuss ways of changing our market strategy to aim for a different market.
1. When speaking of marketing, of course, we're talk about a pretty broad range of things. A "marketing strategy" includes such varied activities as (if necessary) finding a manufacturer for one's product, building an advertising approach (direct mail and email advertising, etc.), developing the advertisements themselves, and so forth. Let's assume, though, that for this question (how to change our strategy to aim for a different market) we've already gotten past the preparatory stage; we've been in business for a while; and we need, or think we need, a new approach.
1. Let's take a silly example just for fun. Let's imagine a business and then imagine why they'd want to change their marketing strategy to aim for a different market and then imagine how they'd possibly do it. OK, so our business is-the Owl and the Pussycat decide to partner up and form an Internet company offering artistically touched up photographs of their adventures. They're beautiful photographs; magical; and they're NOT KITSCH, meaning they've got authentic intellectual and aesthetic appeal. Why do we emphasize NOT KITSCH? Simple-the Owl and the Pussycat started out by aiming at an older crowd, knowing that older crowds sometimes like kitsch and will therefore buy anything that smacks of it.
2. So what do the Owl and the Pussycat do? They advertise, through email advertising and direct mail advertising and very selective magazine advertising, their wares as kitsch-because what they've got is photographs, touched up for drama and mysteriousness, of their adventures sailing the sea in the moonlight and visiting different bizarre islands and so forth. Their market aim, remember, was older folks, because (the logic went) if older folks will buy pictures of kittens hanging from trees with helpless expressions and dogs dressed in tuxedos, they'll probably go for owls and pussycats in pea-green boats. And they do!
3. The Owl and the Pussycat have success with older markets. But now they want to expand-they want to change their marketing strategy to aim for a different market. They want to appeal to a younger crowd, too. What are some ways in which they might change their marketing strategy to aim for a different market? If we're successful in our business, no matter what it is, we'll be asking ourselves this question at some point.
4. So far, the Owl and the Pussycat have been doing (a) email advertising, (b) direct mail advertising, and (c) advertising in little kitschy magazines. As one can imagine, only (b) and (c) turned out to be successful. Email, they learn, isn't the best way to reach an older crowd-and not, as one might guess, because they aren't Internet-savvy etc., but because they simply don't trust Internet advertisements that come randomly into their email accounts. The Owl and the Pussycat, so far, have used a kitschy marketing strategy, so that even if their email advertisements reached a younger crowd they most likely wouldn't appeal to the majority of it.
5. In changing their marketing strategy, the Owl and the Pussycat decide to keep (b) and (c), and thus hold on to their valuable "older crowd" market, and to change the style of advertising for (a) to appeal to a "younger crowd" market. They also begin, tentatively, to advertise in two different magazines, each teen/early twenties-oriented, and finally they choose three Internet art sites to post notice of their products on.
6. Bingo. The Owl and the Pussycat have changed their marketing strategy to aim for a different market. It's that simple. Now, "it's that simple" is a pretty deceptive statement, as changing marketing strategies to aim for different markets is always a complex business. But if we stick with what's working, and slowly add different approaches aimed specifically at the new market we'd like to explore, we can't go wrong.