Most business-to-business communicators will instantly recognize it doesn’t make sense to tell a company’s story to an audience of millions. They’ll emphasize that your true high-value audience is smaller but more strategic because its members are in a position to influence the company’s success.
Of course, we agree with that.
But we wonder if enough companies are doing the best job they can at keeping in contact with their highest-value audience – a group they might take for granted because it’s so close to them.
Seventeen years ago, we came up with a concept called Star Trails, which no one understood. Sometimes we are too clever for our own good. But the idea was that each star (“star” meaning the client) is surrounded by different circular trails. The nearest one would be the smallest but it would be the most valuable because it would consist of the people most closely connected to the company, and thus in the best position to connect the company with opportunities for success.
Let’s call this group Star Trail 1.
We’re talking about the people who are so close to you it might be tempting to just assume they already know everything that’s going on with you. Your employees. Your customers. Your vendors. The other companies in your office building or on your block. Even your family members. If someone is going to give you a referral, or connect you to a resource, or make a critical introduction, there’s a very high probability it will come from someone within Star Trail 1.
That being the case, how many companies are really keeping this group informed about their latest news and developments? You might have a close-in group of 50 people who are in a strong position to help you succeed. Do they get a regular newsletter? An e-mail update? A physical piece of correspondence in the mail?
If you’re not keeping your closest group of contacts informed, you’re probably getting diminishing returns by reaching out to everyone else. The audience beyond Star Trail 1 is much more hit-and-miss in terms of their interest, ability or capacity to help you succeed.
Who are these people for you? Identify them. Make sure you’re able to connect with them regularly. And then keep them informed. They have a vested interest in your success anyway. You might as well equip them with all the information they need to help you achieve that success.