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How Big Is Your Aquarium?

January 7, 2011. Posted by johnf

clownfish_image

Over the holiday break, my three year old son was watching Finding Nemo for the 73rd time. As I sat on the couch, dodging BeyBlades and various holiday gifts, I noticed the differences between fish that lived in the aquarium, and fish that lived in the ocean.

(Stay with me, I eventually make a point.)

The aquarium fish see their world as big, but with definite boundaries. The ocean fish don’t comprehend the size of their world either, past the reef is the great unknown. When each group realizes there’s more to their world, the adventure begins.

When you’re working on your marketing plan, or rolling out a new service or product, it’s easy to stay in your aquarium where everything is known, even the limits of your world. There’s less chance for failure, and bankable results.

But if you look beyond the glass walls, you increase the chance of success. It might be frightening, but here are a few ways to make this leap seem less chancy.

  • Use an online survey tool and feel out a potential audience It doesn’t take much time, there’s little cost involved, and the results help you fine tune your marketing message.
  • Research the competition. Everyone has a website, take an hour and research what your competition is saying, and doing. Don’t forget blogs, message boards and news articles. This isn’t a license to steal, be original.
  • Try a test market – it’s a small investment that yields loads of concrete data. Your product might be ready for this new audience, or it might need tweaking or a major overhaul. Like those old GI Joe spots claimed, “Knowing is half the battle!”

Your aquarium is as big, or small, as you make it. Searching out new audiences, markets and methods creates growth and ensures survival.

If a cartoon clown fish did it, so can you.

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