Monday, January 20, 2014

A Question I CAN Answer

Still rolling thoughts about branding and its big brother, marketing, around in my head. Much of what is written on the subject has some overlap, naturally, and one question keeps cropping up: who is your market? Who buys your products?

At first it seems like a tough question, and my contrarian impulse is to resist it: how the hell do I know? Anyone and everyone can use pottery. They buy it, they take it home, I don't ask them to fill out a survey.

But I do know, or I have an idea.

So, who buys my work, and for what?
  • Women more often than men
  • Middle income or higher; just by definition, it has to be someone who has some disposable income
  • Buyers are often shopping for a gift 
  • Often people are shopping for their cabin or vacation home. 
Most interestingly:
  • One category of people buys probably 80% of the ware I sell online, and that category is other potters.
I am always very appreciative when potters buy my work; that is a very special feeling. But there are a couple of takeaways here. One is, it's a losing game to market pottery primarily to potters. Coals to Newcastle, you know? 80% of the ware I sell online is to potters, but I hardly sell anything online. Because my primary audience are people who have no need of more pottery (though, like me, they sometimes have desire for more pottery!!) and not a whole lot in the way of spending money. No offense, y'all. I'd buy all of your work all the time, too, if I had the money, but we're potters, so, you know. We don't. Also, there just are not all that many of us, not enough to be the primary market.

The point here is that the reason my web sales are to potters (when I sell online at all) is not because potters like my work more than other people do (or, I dunno, maybe they do, but that's not the point) but because that's who I've been able to connect with online. That's who sees my pots.Who reads this blog? Potters! Which makes me think....I've been able to reach you all. Maybe I could also reach others: those gift-shoppers and people with lake homes....maybe through a different blog. One about...what? Home decor? Cooking? Gardening? Or all of those, under the rubric of the Maine Lifestyle.

This might be blue-skying. I hardly have time to do the things already on my docket, never mind maintain another blog, which would need to be updated a few times a week, at least, to gain any readership. Still, it's a thought. And that's what the Week of Reflection is for.

EDIT: Giving it a shot.  If I find I don't have time to keep it update, well, you can't get fired from your own blog. No harm in trying.


Donna said...

Very cool! Yes, I think a generalized blog would attract more of a, well, general audience. Wonder if the Maine tourism site might link to you? That's be awesome.

Lori Watts said...

Excellent idea, Donna! Once I get a few posts up, I will contact them about a link.