Most of you know that a great deal of my consulting is for large businesses, and–especially if you work for a small business–you might think that large businesses don’t need to specialize. If they’ve got all that money and they can produce whatever amounts they can sell, why would they need to specialize. After considering it for a moment, you might say to yourself that maybe large businesses would need to specialize only when they were up against other large companies. But you’d be wrong.
I wish that I could tell you the company–it would make the story a lot better–but all I can say is that it is a health care product, one you’ve probably heard of. And the manufacturer has done all the right things–advertising, distribution, shelf space, you name it. But with all of those techniques, you can only say so much. And this product has been positioned as much as it can be against its competitors–some large and some small.
And they’ve had no success with digital marketing. It’s not an e-Commerce product, so it will never be sold online. But the manufacturer has always done a good job of distributing coupons that are redeemable in store so that they can count how effective their digital marketing is. And the news is bleak. Very few people are coming to their website and even fewer are printing coupons. Fewer yet redeem them.
What to do?
I asked a few pointed questions. Are there a few conditions for which this product is head and shoulders better than its competitors? Is there a kind of person who would much rather use this product than others? Are there places that it would work better than others?
They all said, “Oh yes. Doctors constantly tell us about how…and customers recommend us for…and we always hear about people using it at…” And then I asked, do you talk about this on your website? Or in your marketing? They don’t.
They never even thought of it because traditional marketing affords no way to do it. You can’t get into marketing messages that detailed and that specialized and that targeted in traditional marketing. But on the web, that’s what works best.
I can’t guarantee that this approach will jump-start their sales, but it has a much better chance than what they’ve been doing.