4i Newsletter Masthead 465

Think Small.

Four i 465 ThinkSmall

Picture a beach, with waves crashing onto it, roughly 7-8 a minute. Note that’s every minute of every day and night – over 10,000 in 24 hours. Imagine the impact that has over many years.

Now see yourself at the sea edge with a bucket of water, trying to eke it out with a drop here, a drop there.

That’s the difference between the largest brands in the world and you.

You are not Apple, Coke or Nike.
Even if you have more than one brand, you’re not Procter & Gamble.
And you’re definitely not HM Government, the biggest advertiser in the UK, (well I suppose technically you are, as it’s our taxes they’re spending, but you know what I mean).

So why do you try to behave like they do?

You can’t afford to turn up everywhere.
You don’t have the resources to be brilliant at everything.
Attempting to emulate the marketing giants, with a budget less than 0.01% of theirs, merely results in wasting what precious little you have.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete – you can, and you must.

Brands like Coke and Nike, pretty much seek to sell their products and services to everyone.
For sure they have segmented the market, but added together their target audience is “everyone with disposable income.”
With a limited budget you have to think much smaller. Indeed, as Seth Godin put it so well, you have to define your “smallest viable audience”.

But that’s not enough, you also need to understand the smallest viable method to communicate with your smallest viable audience.
And note I said method, singular.

With your budget you can’t be brilliant, never mind dominant, in all marketing mediums.
No one with your resources has ever been able to sustain the effort, time and money required to master Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter and TikTok and Facebook, never mind national media, local media, events, community activities, charities, PR, direct marketing….the list goes on and on, you can’t do it all.

There’s a simple three step process:

  1. Define your smallest viable audience – it’s highly likely, near certain, that your first attempt to do this will not be sufficient. You will still be thinking too big. Go as granular as you possibly can.
  2. Learn and understand your audience better than yourself. In particular, what do they currently think, feel and do in respect to the problem you seek to help them solve? Before you can help them to change what they do, they need to change what they think and feel… and that requires knowing where they are at now.
  3. Where do they hang out? In particular, where do they hang out immediately before they might need you? This will enable you to define the number one medium for you to focus on and dominate. Only once you do that should you consider 2-3 other mediums… and no more.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would spend hours on our holiday building sandcastles, incredibly complex ones with towers and bridges, all surrounded and interconnected with moats and waterways.
As the day drew to a close, and our mother shouted at us for the umteenth time to pack up and get ready to leave, we’d open the flood gates, the entrance to sea, and watch as after just a handful of waves rushed into our city, it quickly crumbled and disappeared, within just a minute or two, leaving a small mound of sand which would be flattened by the time we had left the car park.

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