The centre of Rome is full of street vendors and hawkers. When the sun is shining, they sell handbags, jewellery, and religious artifacts. But as soon as it starts raining, out come the umbrellas.
I was impressed by the way they switched products so quickly, depending on the weather.
Hmmm... Selling umbrellas when it's raining, and not selling them when it stops raining. Not exactly a marketing breakthrough, right? In fact, it might seem obvious to you.
But wait - not so fast!
I wonder whether you are as smart as these hawkers? Nothing personal, but I see a lot of people who don't follow this simple marketing principle.
Let me point out five mistakes that many businesses make...
- Selling umbrellas when it's not raining: Are you sure there's a real demand for your product/service? Or are you so in love with it that you haven't checked whether your clients need it?
- Selling handbags when it IS raining: Are you really solving their most important problems? Or are there more important things on your client's mind than you, your products and services (If so, they just don't have time to think about you).
- Selling umbrellas to people who already have them: Are you reaching the specific niche market who most needs your services? Or are you just taking a scatter-gun approach, marketing to everybody and hoping the right people just happen to notice you?
- Hoping wet and bedraggled customers will find you: Are you actively involved in marketing? Or are you just expecting customers to stumble across you?
- Thinking you're the only umbrella salesperson in town: Those street vendors in Rome are assertive! And they have to be, of course, because they're competing with five others on the same street corner. Are you watching your competition and continually staying ahead of them? Or are you hoping customers will pick you anyway?