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Targeted Or Untargeted…That is the question.

10_Cane_Rum.gifThe question on every business owner, entrepreneur and sales pros head these days should be, "How do I segment my prospect group so I can communicate with them on a more personal level?" If you're not asking yourself that question, you're most likely wasting tons of cash, time and energy on wasted efforts. Why segment? Because as marketing messages become more abundant and confusing and as prospects become better ignorers and marketing costs continue to rise, the only thing that's really going to get attention and resonate with a potential client is something that speaks to them on a personal level. Companies big and small need to focus on breaking down their target markets into smaller bite-sized chucks they can identify with and really communicate with on a personal level, specifically about that smaller group's wants, pains and desires. A newsletter I received from a marketing trade magazine announced the launch of a new marketing campaign for Ten Cane Rum. As I see it, Ten Cane is a luxury rum—somewhat obscure made from sugar cane grown in Trinidad. The company is not a major brand but is going to market like one…how foolish. The story continues with how the 10 Cane is going to do a billboard campaign in New York and L.A. It's only on two billboards one in each area. Over a five week period the billboard will grow a sugar cane field. Woo Hoo. This has value only for its PR and media appeal. It's completely untrackable and in my opinion completely misses the mark. Not everyone who drives by the billboard drinks and out of the group that do, not all of them drink rum. Out of the rum drinkers, some of them drink only well liquor, some are brand loyal, some won't try anything new and what's left may give it a shot. Here's the problem…a cane forest growing out a billboard doesn't speak to someone or deliver a clear and compelling reason to care or to drink the rum. Who is this rum for and why should they care? Captain Morgan is for the masses. Ten Cane isn't. They can't be. They can't compete with the Captain. They don't have the budget or the longevity. They're a specialized brand, and they need to market like it. Here are some questions they should ask themselves.
  • Who are our core customers?
  • What makes them unique?
  • How can we segment them into small groups?
  • How can we reach those groups?
  • What are they thinking?
  • What hot buttons can we press to make them embrace our rum (wants, dreams, hopes, fears, desires)?
A quick trip to their web site and two minutes reading their story told me that they were told by many that making this rum was a stupid idea and they shouldn't do it. They scoffed at them and did it anyway. A rebellious nature and a streak of stick-it-to-ya-ness. A desire to do what couldn't, shouldn't be done. These sound to me like entrepreneurial traits. A rum for entrepreneurs? Never heard of it before, but if the story's good enough, I think it's a winner. That's my five second marketing idea. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are better ways to reach entrepreneurs who engage in alcohol consumption and talk directly to them on a personal level than to build a cane forest on a billboard -- which can't be cheap.