Marketing Rule #1: Know Your Audience

Not too long ago, I read an article about how women control four of the five stages of the purchasing process. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad that I was the one pushing a lot of the purchases at my house: the new mattress, new chairs I really, really want for our dining room table, and a new-ish car.

After we got that new-ish car whose purchase I had "controlled," we needed to take it in for a very expensive oil change. I found several places in Berkeley that specialize in Volkswagens and set about digging into each of them to see which one "felt right" and then narrowed it down to two.

CHOICE #1 The first one had great Yelp reviews (my favorite quote: “The customer service was friendly and prompt, no waiting and watching employees stare off into space or BS.”) and their site definitely gave off a “we’re serious about high performance” vibe. I love cars, and I like them to perform well, but for better or worse, I’ve always been more concerned about style than high performance.

CHOICE #2 The other one had equally great Yelp reviews (favorite quote: “They knew what I was talking about based on a sketchy description.” Yep, I’ve given many of those in my day) and I really liked how they talked about themselves and their approach to car-fixing on their About page. AND I CHOSE... Karmakanix. At the end, it came down to gut instinct. And a lot of that had to do with the “Gallery” on their website. It features a slideshow of a cookout/picnic in front of the shop with the mechanics cooking up assorted meats and kids of the people who work there (and even a guy from a competing VW shop) milling about. It spoke to me, and I'm sure it speaks to a lot of people who want to know that their mechanic isn't just technically proficient, but a real person, one that you might want to hang out and eat some barbecue chicken with. AUDIENCE MATTERS So how did things turn out? I knew I’d made the right decision when I got to the office/waiting room and saw a local artist's work hanging on the walls and the equal-opportunity reading material on the table:


And my instincts turned out to be right. I didn’t just fall for them because they were trying to appeal to a woman who controls 4 of the 5 stages of the marketing process.

They actually walk the walk: Their service is as good as their marketing.

And of course that’s the most important thing.