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  • Ange

Funny or offensive? It depends. You just have to know your market.

You need to know your audience before you take risks with your marketing and communications. It is important to add customer feedback into your marketing mix.

I’m a member of the ‘The Seamen Ocean Swim Squad’ — they had the dodgy name long before I joined!

If they didn’t exist I wouldn’t be able to swim when I feel like it (which is most days) so I put up with the ‘banter’ that comes with the name. And because I love the adventure, often at sunrise, I sometimes join in the 7km ‘Sea Monster’ swim which has a very dubious shape on the GPS!

The 7km 'Sea Monster Swim' entices athletes from all over New Zealand so they can log it on their GPS

I asked a few friends if they thought it was wise to use ‘The Sea Monster’ GPS in this blog, and I had mixed responses. All of my friends thought it was funny, a couple spat out their coffee when they saw it. There was hesitation too — about what some people might think, and whether some people would be offended.

But the reason I chose to use this picture is to illustrate how the Seamen Ocean Swim Squad know their market.  

They are completely disinterested in swimming with anyone who doesn’t find this funny. And you know what? It works. Athletes, including some pretty famous ones, travel from all over the country JUST to complete ‘The Sea Monster’ and to put the swim in their GPS. They use this shockvertising to ensure they entice swimmers they WANT to swim with.

Personally, I’m not into the gag…but it doesn’t offend me. Their offering is so compelling and unique I’m willing to overlook this because I just love to swim!

So, the question is, do you know your market?

Do you know why people choose to do business with you? Do you know why they continue to do business with you? And do you know why they have stopped doing business with you?

I’ve completed feedback for many companies now and although they understand some of why their offering is compelling, there are ALWAYS surprises. What I see often is how businesses underestimate the stuff they are doing GREAT, and how at risk they could be if they lost sight of that.

Because when you’re busy running a business and focusing on everyday challenges it’s easy to lose sight of why people chose to do business with you in the first place. Bringing that back into focus is important at a strategic and operational level and can be a real energy boost for the team.

Whether you want to be very niche and take risks like the Seamen Ocean Swim Squad or you’re aiming for broader appeal, you need to know your market. So, if you want to understand your market better, we should chat.


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