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AMiable Solution #232: How to Make Lasagna

Marketing understanding what your competition’s doing

Most families have one recipe for lasagna, or at least a favorite. Heavy on the sausage. Skip the ricotta. No veggies. Tons of veggies. Homemade red sauce. Store-bought spaghetti sauce. The lasagna always looks the same because it’s always made the same way, for the same people.

But what happens when Uncle Fred, a known vegetarian, comes to dinner? You can’t serve your meat-rich dish as-is. Or what about your neighbor, Mary? She can’t eat wheat, so you have to skip the noodles--at least the traditional, gluten-filled ones--altogether. But you can do it. You simply adapt your recipe to meet your guests’ needs.

As marketers, we sometimes wonder why a traditional, go-to marketing promotion doesn’t work. We wonder why our favorite “recipe” doesn’t bring in the same results for some mailings that it does for others. But the problem might not be with the marketing piece: it’s with who we’re sending it to.

If you’re trying to send your favorite promo to a new set of customers or prospects, your usual way might not cut it. You have to consider your audience’s particular interests, needs, motivations, and buying habits. You may have to swap out certain “ingredients” to suit your audience’s tastes. That could mean changing up the offer, rewording the headline, taking a different tone, giving more emphasis to descriptions and basic information, or featuring more expressive or detailed photos and graphics.

If you do these things, will your audience bite? If you’ve done your research and catered to their tastes to the best of your ability, then, hopefully, yes. The more you know your market, the more satisfied everyone will be.

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