Geico changed the insurance industry by adjusting the process by which insurance was sold, making it more efficient to be sold over the phone, thus giving a very specific audience what they wanted most: time. This was a complete change in the structure of the business built upon a very specific marketing strategy. This new structure allowed Geico the flexibility to afford billion dollar ad campaigns while continuing to offer some of the lowest rates in the industry. Geico is a major player in the insurance market not because of their enormous advertising campaign but because their marketing strategy is a fundamental element in the design of the company.

The biggest mistake I see marketers make is trying to sell themselves and their products to the masses. By trying to please everyone they end up pleasing very little overall and blending in.

For example, client A has product X to sell. They worry about trying to sell product X to as many people as possible, not concentrating on the faithful followers that are most likely to buy. There is a definite market out there for product X but instead of structuring the company around this market, Client A tries a little bit of everything with no real commitment to anything. In the end, Client A sees marginal success with this strategy and moves on to the next product, again, aiming for anyone and continuing to be an average company with average products for average customers.

As scary as it seems to change the way you do business based on a very specific market, the real risk lies in trying to reach everybody. Everybody is trying to reach everybody. It’s hard to stand out by taking that approach. What works is a much more narrow approach. Focus on the market that is willing to be reached, tweak your product so that it’s tailored to them even more specifically and speak to them over and over. When your product sells, focus on what your customers are saying and ask for their feedback. Engage them and they will expand your market share for you. Make your marketing strategy an innate part of the structure of your business, just as Geico has done. And instead of just hoping one day someone will need what you have to sell, give them the thing that they simply won’t want to live without.

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