Creating Awareness: If A Tree Falls In The Forest…

In the marketplace, if nobody hears your tree fall, then it does not make a noise, and you get no customers. To use another popular metaphor, you could build the best mouse trap in the history of the world (I almost wrote “…the best mousetrap the world has ever known) but if nobody hears about it, nobody will ever buy one. The entrepreneur’s dream of “This is so great, it will sell itself!” is a fantasy.

Awareness is one of the hardest nuts to crack for any offering. Even established companies spending millions to introduce new products that often fail to make a splash. For a company with a more modest budget, the challenge is often overwhelming. If a big, established company struggles to get people’s attention, how can a small company do it? There is usually no easy way to create awareness. Companies must be very strategic and laser-focused on their audience in order to contain Customer Acquisition Costs. The ultimate goal is to make more margin on each sale than it costs to get and serve each customer.

What Laser Focus Means

I had never heard of Ryan Kaji, a kid who stars in short YouTube videos, apparently promoting toys through excited user experiences viewed, presumably, by other kids. Ryan spent several years atop the YouTube earner list, and I only learned of him through a business-focused newsletter. I read that Ryan makes something like $30 million/year based on his videos. I am not in Ryan’s target audience, nor do I have a child in my household who is, so it makes sense that Facebook’s algorithms don’t target me to drive Ryan’s content to my feed. That would be a waste of resources.

Similarly, your precious resources must be directed at your target audience, and just like any good public speaker, you must be able to “read” your audience to see if your messages are resonating and adjust your delivery as necessary. Adjust your product or your service until it resonates with your customers, giving them an “aha” moment where they understand not only how it benefits them, but that they wish they had your offering all along, and now that they know about it, they want it now.

This doesn’t necessarily mean adding features to make all of your customers happy. It’s a common mistake to try to be “everything to everyone.” Those who try often end up being nothing to anyone, or everything to a very small audience. What Laser Focus means is concentrating efforts on the things that have the greatest impact for the greatest number of customers, and resisting the urge to add features that benefit only a few.

Awareness Comes After Fit

There is no point in generating awareness until after you have something that customers really want. Not only is it a waste of your advertising budget, but it wastes your target audience’s attention and creates resentment.

Published by Alex Galatic

Advisor to tech startups trying to commercialize technology as new products, services and companies. Electrical Engineer, MBA and entrepreneur.

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