By now, readers of this blog know photography is a big part of my life. I got my first camera with a “normal” lens in 1978. My 2nd photography purchase, a few months later, was a wide angle lens. I love wide angle lenses and the all encompassing viewpoints they provide. I use them heavily for many of my photos because they have a perspective that often helps put the subject in a bigger context. One thing I’ve noticed in operating a small business, or two, is that marketing ideas can come from many angles. Being narrowly focused does not allow one to see ideas that might be useful in a different context. Keeping a wider angle of view on marketing, across services or products, helps identify different ways to reach clients. Things can be modified just a bit, regardless of business speciality, to provide new services. Any service business, for example, depends on word of mouth and referrals. Many times, I’ve picked up ideas when reading about marketing a photography business which I’ve applied to our trial consulting world. The commonality is that both businesses provide a service; these services range in quality and price depending on who is offering them. Finding ways to reach your target audience depends on how you combine, and promote, the service while emphasizing your unique selling points. That concept applies across a wide array of service businesses. Because I realized this many years ago, I’ve made a point of reading about businesses, service or product based, across industries, to see what can be gleaned from various perspectives. The same is true of networking. Once can pick up ideas or tips from people in many different fields. Being too narrowly focused on a specific industry limits the creative marketing process. Think beyond your field; learn from others. Who do they know? What do they know? Be open to ideas, from whatever source. Let your brain wander.
Within our company, Magnus Research Consultants, marketing is, clearly, David’s job. After all, he does have a college degree in marketing, as well as a master’s degree in business. I know almost nothing about business, but I do know that marketing involves some psychology, for example, finding out about what factors are important in people’s decision to purchase one product instead of another. Over all of the years David and I have owned and operated Magnus, we have recognized the need to inform our clients about the services we offer. For some current and prospective clients, the fact that we conduct mock jury research to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case prior to trial does not automatically convey that we conduct essentially the same kind of research prior to mediation, arbitration, or bench trials. We know we must make it abundantly obvious that we possess the education, skills, and experience to conduct social science research in the litigation arena in whatever form the litigation takes place. Our marketing is refined and specific, depending on whether the client’s case will be tried by a jury, tried by a judge (a bench trial), decided by a panel of arbitrators, or is likely to be settled during mediation. Some of our clients have cases that are almost always decided in arbitration. These clients are not interested in knowing how many juries I have selected with clients (the answer is over 200); instead, they are interested in our experience conducting mock arbitrations, including whether we have resources to find certified arbitrators who can assist us as research participants. Knowing one’s audience is always important so that marketing efforts can be aimed in the best direction, to provide the most optimal outcome. And learning what other people do, across a wide variety of service based companies, is a great way to start when the decision is made to add new services to one’s business.