Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Embrace The Negative to Understand Your Audience

Do you sell a Negative Commodity?

Negative Commodities are products and services that people have no choice but to buy, but probably would not chose to do so if they could avoid it. Negatives Commodities can include - but are not limited to - such things as medications, insurance, home security, financial services, funeral planning, feminine hygiene products.

Let's face it - if you didn't *have* to, you'd never spend your money on blood pressure medication, would you?

There's an element of pleasure in buying Positive Commodities. It's fun to get that new TV or car, dinner out every once in a while is a pleasure. A sense of relief at having your funeral planned for isn't quite the same thing as going on a vacation.

If your business is tied in with something people *have* to buy, then you have a unique set of stressors on your messaging.

Don't mistake the Negative for the Positive - your market is not an "audience." No one *wants* to have to buy medication, insurance or feminine hygeine products - we simply can't not have them. Your "audience" does not want to listen to you. They don't want to ever think about what you sell unless they absolutely can't avoid it.

When you connect with your market, you are talking to people who have no - or little - choice in the matter. They begin and end their search as quickly as possible, and want things to be as painless as they can manage. Don't pretend that these people are your pals, and that buying medication is fun, rewarding or pleasurable. Medication might extend a life, or enhance a lifestyle, but no one purchases diabetes medications because they want to.

As you reach out to your potential market with social media, avoid the glib, the hip, the pretension to being a partner or a friend. You might establish yourself as a trusted source of information, you might focus on the ways you lessen the pain of the process and speed it up, but always remember that no one reaches out to you for fun.

Embrace the Negative when communicating with your potential market.

The less delusion you have about your potential market's need (as opposed to desire) for your product or service, the more authentic you can be in your communications with them.
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