Safety in Numbers: The Marketer’s Challenge

If you ask a business owner, how many customers is enough, the answer will invariably be the more the merrier.

It’s obvious enough. We make more money when more people buy our products. But what may seem a little funny is that the more people buy our products, the more people will buy our products.

Part of being a human being is that we want to be like other human beings. We have an instinctive tendency to be like other people who we think are like us. And if we see a number of people all doing the same thing, our minds tell us that it’s the right thing to do.

When applied to marketing, it’s easy to see why many companies brag about being the most popular or the biggest. That’s why companies prepare for major product launches by delivering only a limited quantity of products to the market, hoping that they sell out and there is a delay in meeting the demand.

People see something that other people want, and they are going to want it too. Because the potential customers, all those people who’ve yet to take that step, are more likely to purchase now that they know so many others have done so. It’s like we think to ourselves, if that many people have bought it, it must be good.

And it works. Popularity breeds further popularity.

So what’s the problem?

It’s getting to that point that you’re popular. It’s convincing the first 1, 10, or 100 people to buy from you before you’ve established the fact that people want what you’ve got. That’s marketing.

Once you have the numbers, you’re job is easy.