Family and friends of people with disabilities is market of approximately 105 million. They influence purchase decisions and respond to companies that are disability inclusive. In this video Carmen Daniels Jones shares effective tips to reach this segment of consumers.
Companies that successfully reach consumers with disabilities understand it requires commitment, discipline and strategy. The truth is there’s such a barren landscape of companies speaking to them directly, that any company serious about penetrating the market has the opportunity to make the competition irrelevant. These disability inclusive companies know that moving beyond understanding to market penetration requires a well-developed game plan. A few things to consider as your organization takes actionable steps to engage people with disabilities, their families, and influencers are:
- Make it Personal: Many companies get into a quagmire about what to offer and how to communicate with consumers with disabilities. Understanding who these consumers are and what drives their behavior provides insight into the opportunity to reach, employ and serve them. It’s imperative to create an efficient path for consumers to navigate so they understand how their needs will be met. Communicating with them consistently minimizes the number of information sources they must touch while moving confidently toward a purchase. The most successful brands achieve this by personalizing the route. A way to personalize the process is having customer service staff that understands how people with disabilities use products and services.
- Offer Value: In many instances, people with disabilities, and families with a disabled child, live financially below their typical peers. They make their dollars stretch among the basics, with medications, therapies and medical supplies that also need to be purchased. Companies that simplify the purchase process offer bundled packages, incentive discounts as value-adds, which build loyalty and repeat sales.
- Be Consistent: The general rule is prospects have to have 7+ interactions with a company before making a purchase decision. To make an impact, companies have to develop an integrated disability market strategy, which is implemented consistently, resulting in desired results. There can no longer be a scramble to develop a plan to reach people with disabilities in July (anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act) or October (National Disability Employment Awareness Month). Consistent implementation, with resources, is critical to make an impact.
If you are interested in developing an year-round, inclusive marketing and outreach game plan for your organization, get in touch to request your free 30-minute consultation.
A rule of business is to create products, experiences and/or services needed by customers so they buy it, share it, and buy it again. If customers aren’t buying what you’re selling, your business is a hobby. For instance, coffee by itself is just a caffeinated, warm beverage, but Starbucks has created an experience for its customers. Howard Schultz, company President and CEO, defined the atmosphere that Starbucks attempts to create when he said “We’re in the business of human connection and humanity, creating communities in a third place between home and work.”
Starbucks has done extensive research to understand demographics, customer behavior and key drivers that guide purchase decisions for customers, which includes college students, suburban moms, and road warriors. The data informs the strategy, which gives companies like Starbucks a real understanding of customers and what motivates them to buy, time and time again.
I’ve met business leaders whose organizations target various markets. When the discussion shifts to explore what they know about the disability market, these diversity and multicultural market champions name the organizational barriers that impede progress, which are primarily fiscal constraints and needing more information to build the business case. I ask my colleagues “Can you imagine if your company didn’t target the LGBTQ or African-American markets?” Typically, the answer is no. I share that with the same focus, discipline and intention used to build relationships with other markets, the same focus and drive has to be applied to the disability market.
When I engage clients to understand, penetrate and retain the disability market we start with foundational questions. As we’re on the cusp of a new year, you may find them helpful to guide internal discussions to position your organization to become disability inclusive. I suggest inviting 3 to 5 internal stakeholders to answer these questions with you. This is just a preliminary list to begin with so feel free to add to it:
- What has your organization done to market to, serve or employ people with disabilities?
- What does your organization know about the disability market – as consumers and potential employees?
- What does the company need to know that it doesn’t know?
- Who are the senior leaders that can advance disability inclusion?
- What additional data is needed?
- What are the first steps that can be taken, not requiring resources, to understand people with disabilities?
- Does the company have an Employee Resource Group? If so, how can this group be tapped to provide input for the organization’s disability inclusion strategy?
People with disabilities want to buy products and services, and work for organizations that know them. Let’s make 2017 the year your organization takes first steps to move beyond compliance to new customers and employees.
Many organizations know they should do more to reach the disability market, but few take decisive action. They’ve answered questions such as: What are their needs? How do we communicate in ways that resonate with them? And, how can we build a relationship that inspires the know, like and trust factor? Organizations that are the most successful know that to reach consumers with disabilities and their influencers, it’s important to understand what drives them. In this video, SMG President/CEO, Carmen Daniels Jones, will share important insights to build an understanding of the disability market.
Successful companies know that in order to reach consumers with disabilities and their influencers, it’s important to understand what drives them. What are their needs? How do you communicate in ways that resonate with them? And, how can a company build a relationship that inspires the know, like, trust factor? In our new video, Understanding the Disability Market, we provide key insights.