What Marketers Can Learn About Customers from Boring Industries


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Businesses that belong to yawn-inducing industries do not seem to warrant blog posts or social media interaction. But let me tell you from the outset that that is a false assumption. Anyone can develop and execute a content strategy. It is just a matter of knowing your customers well.

There are companies from un-sexy industries that have captured the attention, and eventually the pockets, of their targets well. Marketers from less dull sectors can learn a thing or two from them. Here are several examples for you to start with:

They look up to the pros

When Mike Jackson was given the task of launching a new line of high-end fishing products, he did not target the people who were most likely to buy. Instead, he focused on professional anglers, the ones who would influence others to buy. His rationale: if the pros would use and talk about the products, that alone could drive followers to purchase. From a marketer’s point-of-view, that makes sense. Besides, you can consider what he’s done a variation of word-of-mouth marketing. When people have the inclination to buy, whether it is an angler or a smartphone, they will seek the experts for information and advice.

They can smell hard selling from a mile away

Talking about yourself most of the time is a major turn-off. That goes for businesses of any kind. But in a boring industry like oil and gas, turning potential customers, or in this case, investors off is least likely when your problem is not attracting that many in the first place. So for Payton Petroleum, which targets independent investors, it is a matter of positioning itself as an educator and expert in the field. According to a Forbes feature, it even created an app to provide users with oil and gas “price predictions, market news, and investment calculators — all things that would be of interest or use to potential investors”.

They are persuaded by social proof

If you are not Salesforce, selling customer relationship management software (CRM) can be met with difficulty. Insightly tackles that by telling customer stories. It provides actual use cases for its software products. It also sorts its clients according to industry. And lastly, Insightly has the confidence to show prospects how it fares with others. It links to a Gartner report that tallies reviews and ratings of CRM vendors including Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft.

They like engaging content

What is your unique value proposition? For soap and other body cleansing brand Old Spice, nothing much. Of course, it can say its products smell nicer or clean better. But that message can easily sound tired at the end of the day. It’s going to be a stretch to wrap content and social media marketing strategies around those two qualities. So for Old Spice, it is a matter of letting Mr. Wolfdog, its new Director of Marketing, jump in with a dash of humor and creativity.

They like lightening things up

In addition to the previous example, customers of a boring industry often do not have the time to deal with jargon. So ditch business-speak and start talking to them like you would in real life. Oscar, a health insurance firm, knows how to turn it up a notch by making things personal. In introducing itself to prospects, it uses the “Hello, ____. We’re Oscar” template that you would often find in the more creative sectors.

They want to try something new without obligation

What do Amazon Prime, Canva for Work, and Netflix have in common? They offer a limited-period free trial to their prospective consumers. Users can cancel their subscription before their credit cards are auto-charged at the end of their free trial. But e-commerce, design software, and streaming service are considered sexy industries. The challenge is to provide would-be customers with a no-obligation estimate when you are offering manual labor services, such as roofing repairs. But based on the experience of Eagle Roofing based in Huddersfield, United Kingdom this kind of situation opens up opportunities for the company to generate and nurture leads. Their staff will visit a prospect’s property, discuss which works to carry out, and dish out a written quotation all free of charge.

Vikas Agrawal
Vikas Agrawal is a start-up Investor and co-founder of the Infographic design agency Infobrandz.com, He is a highly influential research analyst and strategic marketing consultant.Vikas advises and plans the visual marketing campaigns of Medium to Large companies. Vikas has worked globally across multiple industries including retail, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals deploying effective strategic marketing plans and methodologies. A renowned blogger on the subject of Technology, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.


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