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Leaving a Market Behind?

by Randall Craig on April 21, 2017

Filed in: Blog, Digital Strategy, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever slipped into the assumption that just about everything (and everyone) is fully connected over the social web?  That a connection is one click away on the latest smartphone?

Randall Craig at North York Harvest Food Bank. Sorting food at North York Harvest Food Bank

Recently I had a stark reminder, in the most unlikely of places, that this is absolutely not the case.  For several hours, I spent sorting food at the local food bank. Instead of going through the front, where patrons were able to pick up their food, I went through the back, where potential food bank users had to register for the privilege of being able to eat.  This group wasn’t sitting in chairs surfing on their smart phones (they didn’t seem to have them). They weren’t using the “surf station” (there wasn’t one), and they weren’t talking to each other about the latest innovation on Facebook or LinkedIn.  The only computer in the entire area seemed to be a 1990s-era machine used to record the volume and type of food collected.

While you and your organization may not consider food bank users a target market, this experience was a great reminder that in our haste to adopt social and mobile marketing, we may inadvertently ignore bona fide groups that either do not have access, or choose not to use, these channels.

This week’s action plan:  Has your excitement about social and mobile caused you to inadvertently de-emphasize or ignore an important, but unconnected group?  This week, look between the cracks of your existing outreach plan, and seek to identify parts of your market that you may have left behind.

Internet insight:  The reasons for “not connecting” are quite varied. In large parts of the country – particularly rural areas – high speed internet is simply not available.  For others, it may be a philosophical barrier: they have concerns about privacy.  For others it is educational: they don’t feel comfortable with technology.  And for others, economics play a role, either for the cost of the technology, or the cost of data access.  And of course, there are many others, including language, accessibility/access, and even lack of awareness about your organization.  Connecting with each of these overlooked populations may mean the difference between success and failure.

Lessons from the food bank:  I had the opportunity a few years ago to interview Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of the Daily Bread Food Bank.  This organization distributes over 1 million pounds of food monthly, through 170 member agencies.  Here is the interview:  http://www.professionallyspeakingtv.com/gail-nyberg/

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released “Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business”, and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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