Perchance to Dream (of New Customers and Untapped Riches)
Last night I had a dream. I had a vision of many customers. Not just any customers, but the most coveted buyers of them all…mail order buyers!
And They bought often and recently, and liked to purchase many products at a time. They loved these products so much that they would never consider returning them. They liked to purchase in a specific category – they were niche buyers. A plentiful niche that was easily identifiable, a targeted market – the lowest hanging fruit from the tree!
And I remember in my dream that I felt warm and secure knowing that these were soon to be my customers. It was time to start my dream business and be richer than anyone can imagine. All I needed was the right products for these perfect customers.
But then something happened. My dream became a nightmare! For I had no products to offer my customers.
In my dream, I wracked my brain trying to find product ideas. I contacted various sources looking for products, but to no avail. Nothing! I asked friends and business associates alike, “do you have any products that would fit my market?” Again nothing! I couldn’t come up with one single product that this beautiful niche of customers would want.
And I woke up in a cold sweat, thankful that this was just a dream, and in real life this could never happen.
The truth is, we don’t wake up in the morning with ideas for new customer niches, but sometimes we do wake up with ideas for new products.
And sometimes these new products become businesses. This is the classic entrepreneur beginning: a dream turns into a business because someone thought up a great product idea and had the moxie to take it to market.
In last week’s blog, Bob the Ph.D. posted a comment reminding me that customers come first. Good point. A tad out of context, Bob, but you get an A for effort. Customers do come first when you have an ongoing concern or service problems. But I was answering a question regarding choosing products for a new catalog. Keyword: new!
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.