Don’t look at me like that.
If you are Nigerian, you most definitely know what I’m talking about.
Maybe you’re even a master/mistress at it sef.
There’s this babe you like. Maybe you saw her at a party, or in a club, or in church. The location is irrelevant.
You like her… that’s what’s important.
So you approach her, everything went well i.e. you got the digits and proceeded to run your game on her on Whatsapp or through phone calls.
And then one day, you finally “manned” up and asked her out.
Then she hit you with that famous line:
” Bla bla bla….. let’s just be friends.”
Regardless of whether you’re a master, or whether potential baes run like Usain Bolt when they see you coming, you’ve definitely experienced this at least once in your life.
Yes, you were just friend-zoned.
And normally, that would be okay, but you like her and want more from her, so you try different strategies to try and “convince” her.
#1. You act as her friend and hold out hope that one day she’ll finally see that you really care about her… but somehow that one day never comes.
#2. You get mad, ignore her and pine for her from a distance… I don’t know about you, but that hasn’t really worked for me.
#3. You try to make her jealous… This one has a 50/50 success rate, but even with that, most times it doesn’t work.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
And this exact thing happens in marketing…
You come up with some fool-proof (at least you think it is) marketing campaign and you believe everybody would love to buy your product and your marketing campaign would be successful.
Then you put it out… and the numbers tell you something entirely different.
Your fool-proof marketing campaign is more “fool” than “fool-proof”.
What went wrong?
I have good news, and bad news… Which do you want first?
Let’s start with the good news. The good news is that you have developed a fully functional marketing campaign.
The bad news is that one of your basic assumptions about your business is wrong.
Now, you’re thinking: “Tomi, which one be basic assumptions?”
What I mean is:
#1. You’re probably marketing to the wrong customer, or
#2. You don’t have product-market fit (are people actually willing to bring out money to buy what you’re selling).
How to avoid the friend zone in business or otherwise…
So what do you do when you find that one or both of your basic assumptions about your business is wrong?
Easy. You go back to the drawing board.
When I started this blog, I wanted to write a writer’s blog, but I wasn’t getting any traffic and I also wasn’t enjoying blogging. I assumed that my target audience was writers. On closer examination, I discovered they were actually online entrepreneurs and business owners.
So get back to the drawing board, and take a second look at your assumptions concerning your target audience, tweak it and optimize your marketing campaign accordingly.
But at the end of the day, all the super-hero-genius marketers in the world cannot save a product that nobody wants to buy.
Re-examine the reasons why you think people buy or should buy your product. Does your product actually do what it’s supposed to do? Is it easy to use? does it give your customer the best user experience?
Interview your customers, ask questions from your target customers, run surveys, and iterate changes to your product accordingly.
When you’re done with the drawing board, then go back and retest. Rinse and repeat till you have product-market fit.
With these done, you can craft the right marketing message.
Marketing is all story telling, but the wrong story told to the right customer will lead to the same result as telling the right story to the wrong customer – NO customer and an Iron throne in FriendZone Landing.
Just like with chyking a babe, in marketing, there is no “one size fits all” marketing campaign
So rather than try harder, re-examine your basic assumptions about who your customers are and why they buy/ would buy your product.
That’s how you avoid the friend zone in business or otherwise.
P.S. Ladies, make una no vex o. I had to write this from a guy’s point of view since well, I’m a guy. Just flip it around and think of babe as guy and you’ll get what I’m saying.
What are your thoughts?
If you think Tomi was jonzing on this post, or you’re feeling this, leave him a comment and he’ll get back to you.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.