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The Downside Of Adopting An Umbrella Marketing Mindset

The fledgling entrepreneur is embarking on a career in travel. She has just completed her training and is aiming to abandon the 9 to 5 and earn a great living selling discounted flights and cheap hotel rooms. Today though she is working her day job at the beauty salon so she can pay the rent.

Her strategy for finding new customers is simple—she just tells everyone she meets that she is in the travel business and since ‘everyone loves to travel’ she is bound to get a bite from someone. She delivers the same pitch to the guy who fixes her computer at the Apple store and the suburban mum who pops in for a quick leg wax.

The misconception she has been sold is that everyone is a potential customer until proven otherwise and that all customers and the stories they believe are created equal. Of course travellers come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone wants what she’s selling, delivered in the way everyone else wants it.

While it might be convenient for us as business owners to adopt an umbrella marketing mindset, treating everyone like everyone else doesn’t work so well any more. Assuming that all potential customers are created equal and will respond to the same story if we can just deliver it often enough makes for undifferentiated, homogenous products, lazy marketing and disillusioned customers and frustrated entrepreneurs.

You didn’t set out to be average, or to make something for everyone and you don’t have to market that way either. Go make your customers feel like someone.

Image by Sascha Kohlma.

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