international seo

Are you selling to a customer, or yourself?

A self-fulfilling prophecy is one where a prediction directly or indirectly causes itself to become true and confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s own existing theories and beliefs. One necessarily follows the other, which is why when looking at your own marketing demographics you’ll see a lot of people that are just like you.

There’s nothing wrong with that in small business. We do what we know. Often when identifying a need for business, we’re identifying our own need and begin selling it to people just like ourselves. The problem, however, is that it creates a situation of limited growth. Think about it.

I’ve worked in international SEO where stakeholders thought the same sauce they poured on the domestic market would make a foreign market taste just as good. They did the groundwork and built infrastructure, developed the logistics, hired people for that market’s office, launched the website annnddd… crickets.

Where they went wrong is they knew nothing of their customers.

Let’s say that I want to sell widgets to Caucasian males, aged 40-49, 5’9” tall, and weighing 191 lbs. to illustrate how my market dwindles. Those numbers being the U.S. national average for height and weight makes it seem ideal. But out of 325.7-million in the country, only 119.4-million are males. It’s okay, we can still make money. Further down though, 76.9% of the U.S. are Caucasian, 47.8% meet the age requirement, 40.4% are 5’9”, and 43.7% are in the 190 lbs. range, so, 7.8-million. That’s assuming you’re able to reach all of them.

In the end, you’re planning for a 6.5% market share. Many might still call that a success. But it’s not success. It’s arrogance. Get to know the customers that aren’t you and find out what their needs are. Find out what they like about your product and find out how you can improve what they don’t like.

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