A Bigger Slice…or a Bigger Pie?

One of the biggest challenges we all face in marketing and sales is capturing market share. In this case, especially in highly competitive industries, we often see the existing market as set and limited. Thus, we then struggle to go after a bigger slice of an existing pie.

In limited markets flooded with competition, you can see how this might become drudgery. I experienced it quite a bit when I was in the health insurance industry. And yet, when so many professionals in the business were going after a larger slice of an existing pie, I was amazed at how many marketers would not leverage their content to grow the size of the pie itself.

After all, there are several ways to define what a market is. One approach is that which needs what you offer and are actively on the market for a solution (either from you or someone else).

Then there is the “sleeping” market: that which needs what you offer…but doesn’t know it! And let’s face it: you can’t sell a solution to someone who doesn’t believe he has a problem.

That’s where real content marketing can work to your advantage. To prove my point, I’ll share a content marketing example from more than twenty years ago. I was working with an insurance advisor who had a solution to protect families from being financially wiped out by estate taxation. He was promoting an audio cassette program (remember those?) on the topic, and in our marketing, we set the stage not to answer questions in the prospect’s mind, but to raise them.

The narrative went like this (and I am paraphrasing here):

[Headline]: The Federal Government can SEIZE as Much as 55 Percent of Your Estate.

So, what does that mean to your children?

Let us compare your total estate—all of your liquid and personal property—to an orange. Imagine that, upon your passing, the IRS declares that HALF of your “orange” is due. Your children will sit down with the IRS agent, who will then take your orange, and cut it in half. 

Half for your children; half for the IRS. Right?


Instead, the IRS agent will take your orange, and pull out his trusty juicer. And he will squeeze out every last drop.

The IRS will take the juice—the life blood of your estate. And your dependents will get the lifeless remains.

It was a great story…when this guy delivered it in person it was enough to frighten even the youngest of children who didn’t have a penny to their name. Why? It was a fact-based eye opener (aimed at people over fifty, with a total estate value of at least one-million dollars) meant to illustrate how when calculating the value of an estate upon one’s demise, the IRS counts everything. But in the end, they want cash NOW—and surviving families must often sell off the goose in order to give the government its last golden egg.

This was not a sales pitch. It was an engagement. You could call a toll-free number to receive the tape at no charge.

No appointment was necessary, but you can bet it was a winner at closing new business. The reason: people don’t know what they don’t know.

Let me repeat because you have likely heard this expression all too often before: People really don’t know what they don’t know! Content marketing, whether a PDF white paper, a YouTube video, a SlideShare presentation or even an audio cassette, gives you the power to tell them.

When you do, and deliver it in a compelling way, suddenly, they DO know. They are concerned. They have a problem, and now they want a solution.

So remember, the most effective content marketing consists of solid information that will open the audiences’ eyes to something that they were unaware of before.

Which begs the question for your prospects: What don’t they know? Answer this and forget the bigger slice of pie…you will grow the size of the pie itself.

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