There is one indisputable fact that marketers who sell soap already know about their customers that you probably don't. Men and women buy soap differently—that's no surprise. But while you might be tempted to focus on packaging or different scents... it turns out the key to getting repeat purchases is knowing that for women, it is the scent of the soap that is the most important, and for men it is the lather. Sell a great smelling soap to a man with no lather, and he won't believe it worked as well and stay away from it. There are presumably scores of evidence and research to back up this basic soap fact—yet even if there weren't you could read this point and immediately understand it to be true.
Soap is a simple product and the lesson that selling it offers for your small business is simple too: find the one ingredient that matters most to your customers and then find a way to focus on it. Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? Now consider home pregnancy tests. Most of them are the same, but what marketers of THOSE products know is that people generally buy them in two emotional states: hope or fear. Depending on which emotion they are buying with, the packaging is different.
What we are talking about here is basic motivation... why is someone going to buy your product in the particular moment that you are selling it? Traditional marketing advice tells us to pick a message, stick to it and drive it home with consumers. We have the BEST suitcase for your next vacation, for example. But now how can you market to someone who isn't taking a vacation? This is the central problem that we often face with our marketing... that all our messaging is focused on a set of principles or situation that might change.
To fight this, you need to find a way to be more than one thing to your customer, depending on what they need. To be Superman AND Clark Kent simultaneously. How are you going to do it? Thankfully, there are a few online techniques that can help you:
- Create page versions. One of the best things about the Internet is that you can create almost identical experiences with small tweaks at very little cost. If you offer accounting and tax preparation, why not create separate pages talking about each of those services and what makes you unique? Then you can point people to one page or another depending on which service they happen to be seeking.
- Use test campaigns. In addition to multiple page versions, you can also test different messages quickly and easily. Google AdWords and Facebook are great options which are set up to let you run tests independently and find lessons which can help your campaign overall.
- Categorize and drive people to the categories. One of the best things about blogs and creating your own content is that you can categorize them for subjects that different custom groups may care about. So as you create content on a single topic, make sure you have a way of grouping it together.
- Create a sub-brand (advanced technique). This could be called a "master brand" technique only because of how easily it could go wrong, but the idea of this is to create a way of branding multiple versions of your product or service depending on who you are selling it to.