The 4% mistake

Bear with me for a moment, please.  Here’s a couple of questions:

Did you wake up this morning and decide that today you’re going to buy a car?

 Or a new washing machine?

 Or a kitchen?

 Chances are you didn’t.

You see, research indicates that if you take most products, only 4% of people want them TODAY.

Does that mean that the rest of that 96% aren’t interested in any way, shape or form?

Not on your nelly.

Let's take kitchens as an example.

Rather than boxing people into ‘want to buy’ and ‘don’t want to buy’ categories, it’s far more useful to view them all as, on a journey.

4% of them are waking up today, and they’re determined to buy a kitchen, or at least make an inquiry today.

But, maybe 20% of them have started to look at their kitchen cupboards and begun thinking that it’ll soon be time to upgrade.

Maybe another 20% have had ‘new kitchen’ in the back of their mind for a few months, but they’ve been waiting to get the summer out of the way, or they’ve got Christmas as a goal for completion.

In other words, you’ve got ‘Today Customers', who have the intent to buy today, and you’ve got 'Tomorrow Customers', who aren’t in the market to buy today, but will at some point in the future.

The latter group is far bigger, which means, they are far more valuable to you.

But here’s the thing – many local businesses spend 100% of their time on the 4% - the people who want to buy today.


The most effective businesses are the ones that have two ongoing marketing efforts:

  • Marketing that reaches the ‘Today Customers' and compels them to take the next step
  • Marketing that reaches the ‘Tomorrow Customers', builds trust, educates and keeps your business top of mind, so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re firmly part of the conversation - you're one of their three quotes.

If you’re only doing the first one, then at least two things are probably happening:

  1. Less people know, like and trust your business, which means you’re getting less referrals, less website visits and fewer opportunities to quote or sell
  2. People are getting to the point where they’re ready to buy, and they simply don’t consider your business because they’ve not heard from you.  You've not established your credentials well enough, in the period when they were moving towards buying

Marketing that brings in immediate sales is important, but if it isn’t complemented by marketing that builds trust, generates awareness and keeps you top of mind, your business will never become market leader.