By D’Arcy Rahming
“I don’t understand,” said a friend of mine in a meeting with my international mastermind group. “Your judo school should be overflowing with kids.” He was reacting to my complaining about how the Children’s martial arts market had been reduced due to the recession. “Your country has a lot of obese, non-athletic children. Just do a programme for weight loss for kids through Judo,” he added.
We were both making classic mistakes. Let’s deal with his mistake in this article. Many a business has gone bankrupt chasing a fast buck while trying to fill unwanted needs.
“Find a need for a large group and fill it!” This is a mantra sung everywhere from business schools to marketing gurus. I can tell you that it is really nonsense, and you should largely ignore the person telling you this. The simple reason? People buy what they want, not what they need. For example, my friend assumed that the parents of these obese children would naturally want them to lose weight because of the health risks.
Yet the actual behaviour of parents with obese children show a whole different story. These parents continue to feed their children junk food, and a steady mental diet of video games, with no physical activity. What my Mastermind member does not realise is that culturally, these overweight, video game overloaded, couch potato kids are fast becoming the norm. Many parents consider their oversized child as cute and do not see their weight as a problem. Or they lack the parenting skills to discipline them enough to eat proper portions.
So a marketer who wants to just make money might argue: “Sell these kids more junk food, more video games and cool, oversized clothes. Because that is what the parents and kids appear to want.”
Let me be clear: I am not saying to give people what they want, and not what they need, without moral consideration.
I put it to you that just because you know people buy the things they want, this does not mean you have to sell what you don’t believe in to be successful. In fact, many persons have discovered that being passionate about their products and services adds value to their clients’ lives, and is the key to selling success. It is my job as a marketer to find and build that list of interested persons who want my clients’ product or service. That usually means increasing the quantity and quality of my marketing materials and message.
NB: D’Arcy Rahming holds a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A lecturer at the College of the Bahamas, Mr Rahming has clients in general insurance, retail, the health and medical fields, sports federations and financial services. To receive his marketing newsletter FREE go to http://DArcyRahming.com or contact him directly at email@example.com