In the early 1900’s marketing was easier. You simply told folks what you were selling and they bought it – even easier if your product or service was somewhat unique. Many companies continue to use this same practice in their marketing today, which can be a costly mistake in today’s marketplace. We need to realize that it’s not about us—it’s about the customer.
So who is your customer? Do you know what they want? Why and how they want it? If you try to understand these things you will begin to understand how to construct a meaningful message that your customer truly wants to listen to.
They’ll listen because it will be about their favorite subject—themselves. We’re bombarded by information on a daily basis. We are a society that is information rich and time poor. Our brains spend a great deal of time trying to filter out the things that don’t matter. For example, the spam crowding your inbox and social network feed. Your customers are not interested in hearing about your latest achievement. Accolades and endorsements are great, but a majority of customers will smile, nod, and turn their brains off while you wave around your trophy. Your customer’s primary concern is “What’s In It for me?”
Whether they are aware of it or not, customers prefer businesses that will cater to their individuality. Make the connection with what you’re selling, and then make the purchase important. They want should feel like your product or service was designed with them in mind. It has been said many times, many ways, that the key to a sale is having the right offer, in the right hands, at the right time. The only way to determine any of these things is to understand your customer.
How do I get to know my customers?
1. Conduct a phone survey. Yes, you can call a customer. It sounds crazy, but it is legal. The survey should be no longer than 8 questions. It will help you better understand what your customers expect or want.
2. Hold a focus group. Invite some of your customers in to give you feedback on products or services. Always give them something in return for their time. Feeding people always seems to work pretty well.
3. Ask for feedback on your website. Your website is a great tool for acquiring feedback from your customers. Many times people are not comfortable giving their opinion to a live person. The web feedback option allows people to be honest without the bravery that goes along with a live interview.
4. Take a look at your current data. Is there information in your databases right now that may help you better understand what your average customer “looks” like?
5. Collect information as you go. Consider a less-intrusive approach to collecting information for customer demographics. Email addresses, telephone numbers (area code), website analytics, and event attendance can serve as a helpful tool to better understand who is interested in your product/service.
6. Make it a part of your marketing strategy. Understanding your customer is not something that you do one time. It needs to be ongoing. A good marketer always measures and makes the process better.
What do your customers want?