What can a meat market teach Internet marketers about marketing
Asia is famous for its big cities all of which support massive populations, and they all need feeding and clothing; which doesn’t immediately make clear what a crowded Asian marketplace can teach Internet marketers about marketing.
Characteristics of an Asian market
All Asian markets serve a large population, the law of supply and demand very much applies. If the city has 5 million people to feed and the markets have enough perishable food for 5.2 million, then some of it will go to waste. In the real world, it is never possible to get the supply chain and demand chain in perfect sync.
This is obvious for many reasons; people want choice! If they want to eat pork the dinner, they don’t want to be forced to eat shoulder of pork, and they want to choose between the leg of pork, belly of pork or pork tenderloins. Few shoppers will buy at a market stall which sells only one type pork, although they will buy from a store which specializes in one type of meat.
The Butchers, the Bakers, and the candlestick makers.
Whenever you walk down an Asian market, all the butchers are together in one aisle. There may be a few stragglers on the outside, but 95% of the butchers will be in one place competing against each other. This bunching up applies to the bakers and the candlestick makers and everyone else. They are all jostling for position, in the same marketplace, just like Internet marketers on the Internet.
The Positive Power of Competition
You may think that that competition doesn’t work but in practice, it works very well. Never be afraid of competition – competition makes the world go round. The irony of competition is that not every consumer is looking for the same thing!
That means that the cheapest butcher will not necessarily sell the most meat. The guy with the best quality of meat at the lowest prices will not necessarily sell out. The butcher who delivers free of charge may clean up. Even though he has not offered the best deal.
What Makes People Buy
Others may want a sympathetic butcher who has time to coddle them. They may not know about buying meat, and they will pay for knowledge. They may want to know the provenance of the animal that they are buying.
It may be important to them that the food is locally sourced some people only want to buy food that has been grown or produced within 50 km or 30 miles. They are not going to buy New Zealand lamb in London even if it is half price because they can buy lamb produced locally in Kent.
In this case, the driving power to purchase the emotional trigger is buying locally. So the butchers selling lamb from Kent maybe standing next to butchers that have imported lamb from Australia and New Zealand. Standing together and next to each other is a good thing because the people who want to buy the cheapest possible product will be able to compare prices very quickly. The buyer can see the market forces in action; the price tag will tell it all.
The Customer Benefits
So both types of consumers benefit immediately they can understand the provenance and also the price. On the other hand, the young man who wants to impress his girlfriend by cooking for her and whose usual repertoire is beans on toast is going to need some help.
Chances are he may not even know which meat he wants to buy, which cut of meat or even what to do with it. He has the opportunity to look at five stalls and listen to the patter of the traders and decide which one is the most sympathetic. Which man or woman is going to give him the most help in choosing his meat. Despite the fact that his desire for knowledge may overcome a little embarrassment he will be potentially overwhelmed by going to the busiest butcher.
Don’t under estimate the ums and Ahhs
Will they have the time to speak to him, can they advise him? Will they be abrupt or will they help him? He doesn’t know the answer to these questions and these questions need answering so the chances are he will choose either the quieter stall in which case he can just have a chat and if he doesn’t want to buy the meat he can walk away and purchase it somewhere else when he has obtained the knowledge.
On the other hand, he could choose a store in the middle of the range which has a few customers therefore it has a turnover of meat and will probably be fresh, but they may have time to answer his questions. So what’s all this chat about meat got to do with Internet marketing?
Never be frightened of competition
You can either shout your way to the top or quietly kill your competition by price and quality! You can win over your customers by your customer relation skills. How you treat your potential customers is very important it is necessary sometimes to spend time with people to convert them from interested parties to buyers.
Even though meat is a basic commodity and everybody needs to buy it unless of course there are vegetarian, some people need help. It’s all about the buying cycle, and it’s critical that you understand where your potential customer is in that buying cycle.
Not everybody buys the first time this is particularly the case on the Internet the official figures are it takes seven types of contacts with people before they buy this can be in many forms it can be follow-up emails, it can be further comments on the website, or it can be visits to a website. Certainly, people don’t buy from people they don’t trust this is a basic hardwired instinct in all of us.
Customers are not always buying things that they need even in the case of food. You have to remember that a lot of people are a lot of households throw excess food away every week. There’re lots of reasons for this they’ve either bought it and then not used it because alternative plans have come up. In other words, they may decide to go out and have supper in the pub. It may be that the special price seduced them into purchasing.
It may have been an impulse buy because it looked beautiful. So we have established that people don’t always buy because they need something. Tomorrow we will go through that buying cycle and explained the difference between a customer wanting information, just wanting information doesn’t mean they will ever purchase they may want to they may not.
You may not think it’s possible to teach Internet marketers about marketing, but it is.