How to market to people not like you

I recently had the opportunity to hear Kelly McDonald keynote a session at the National Speakers Association on “How to Market To People Not Like You.” It is based on a book with a similar title: Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You: How To Delight and Engage the Customers Your Competitors Don’t Understand.

“If I can figure out what you value, I can get into your wallet,” McDonald said. When defining diversity, she went on to explain that she actually doesn’t like that word. “It’s really more about people who are not like you,” she said. For example, she does not have children so those people that have kids are not like her. Therefore, people not like you comes in many forms: gender, religion, age, generation, ethnicity, geographic, etc. (this list is endless).

“Understanding someone different from you means understanding their life,” McDonald added.

She offered six strategies for marketing to people not like you:

  • Be relevant—“You need to identify what people want and then give it to them,” McDonald said. She noted that Target succeeded where K-Mart failed because Target’s strategy of “style on a budget” resonated with women.
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