While driving today, I saw this billboard.

Ahh, the state elections are here. But let's remove politics. Put on your marketing glasses. What do you see?

I see a bold statement.

I read the headline, then the subheadline. The black background stood out. The billboard was unusual (most were colorful), and it worked. It was a purple cow.

Alas, the message is a huge miss.

The billboard was in an area filled with middle class people. People who mostly got around – driving a car.

They don't take buses.

Do you really know your customer?

The billboard tried being clever.

But it didn't understand its audience. Yes, buses are late – but is it a burning pain for people there?

The lack of car park spaces is probably a much bigger pain.

Most entrepreneurs do this

Just like the billboard, instead of talking to customers and figuring out what they want, they focus on themselves – and try sounding clever.

  • I want passive income.
  • I want to start a cool music recommendation app.
  • I'm going to build the next unicorn!

Your customers don't care.

Stop focusing on what you want. Get down to your customer's level – and figure out what they want.

  • What are their burning pains?
  • What are their hopes and dreams?
  • What keeps them up at night?

Then serve that need.

For someone to care

It's not just gaining their attention.

You can scream like a mad person in public and get a lot of attention. But I'm also sure nobody is going to want to go near you.

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