What to do when your market doesn’t understand you
by Kelly Hobkirk
If you’re like me, everything you create, you try to make it great. You do original work, push boundaries, and you are always innovating.
One of the biggest problems entrepreneurs face is people not understanding them. That’s when you see lengthy descriptions of what, how, and why people ought to take notice. The problem itself, however, is often grossly misunderstood. The problem is not lack of understanding.
The problem is lack of attention.
When people are unable to quickly grasp a concept, they typically move on to something else. Once your audience has moved on, all the explaining and proof of concept in the world won’t reach them.
How do you command attention when you have created something so advanced that people don’t yet know they want it?
You go backward.
Getting people to change a behavior they don’t even know can be changed requires gap bridging. This is an incredibly hard step for visionaries because it requires you to create something less grand. Yet, doing just that may just be critical to the marketing of your big idea.
You may have to create an intermediary product, one that bridges the gap between your big idea (where you want people to go) and where they are. And make no mistake, the intermediary offering is itself marketing. It is physical marketing, or showing possibility by delivering a physical product that inspires your market to think well beyond their current habit.
While you are branding and marketing your intermediary product, you can keep the big idea in the back of your mind or in your long-term plans. Once your initial offering gains traction, you can study the numbers to determine when you can launch the big kahuna. The gap bridging you are doing will help people understand your idea much quicker. Then, you can command their attention right when you need to, at the launch of the big one.
Getting there requires the same tried and true marketing methods that have worked wonders for decades. It’s all about visibility and credibility.
1. Float – Gain visibility
2. Swim – Gain visibility
3. Compete – Gain credibility
4. Win – Gain visibility and credibility
Let’s expand that:
Float your intermediary idea as though it is the big one. Get it out there, talk about it, write about it. Connecting with people will help you understand and speak to their needs and concerns. For many people, your intermediary product will seem like a huge step forward. Why is the intermediary offering important? This is all about seeing if people respond and connect with you and your concept. If they do, you are literally inspiring their steps that lead to your grand vision.
Swim with your would-be competition. Brand your company and product so that your marketing can do its job with maximum effectiveness. Identify which marketing methods will most likely yield success, and hatch the simplest plan possible to implement them. Why simple? It keeps your marketing do-able.
Compete for your would-be customers’ attention. Implement your marketing with amazing consistency. Rock it, every week. Stay true to your mission, brand, and vision, and see if people respond to it.
Win by staying true to your market. If your offering really is a game-changer, even the intermediary product will turn heads and manifest the behavior change you seek.
Every step of your marketing is trained on building visibility and credibility. If you do it with consistency, people will take notice and trust you. This is how you become an authority, a market leader.
When you have done the work to become a leader; when you have bridged the gap; when you have gained an audience that knows and trusts you — that is when your big idea can successfully be launched.