WHY DO I NEED TO ANALYZE MY CUSTOMERS?
In the previous blog, we talked about Step 1 of Marketing – Understanding the identity of your business in order to build a brand that influences the emotions of your customers. If you are able to influence their emotions, you will be able to build a connection with them that will turn them into paying customers.
Yes and no. To truly maximize the ROI of your marketing, you need more of the right kind of customers, or as we call them, ideal customers.
What is an ideal customer?
Your ideal customer is someone whose exact needs are met by your product. And you should take it even further than that. Your ideal customer is not only someone whose needs are met by your product or service; they are also someone whom you truly want to target with your marketing based on your current business situation.
Perhaps your customer base has been mainly composed of retail customers up until now, but you would like to shift and supply contractors and wholesalers. In other words, your existing customers may not actually be your ideal ones. Analyzing past interactions and what your company tends to do best can help you decide exactly which group of customers tends to benefit or should begin to benefit most from your services.
The goal, of course, is for your ideal customer to combine both of these aspects. He is someone who both needs your exact product or service and fits the goals of your business in every other way.
Here is an example of a description of an ideal customer. Our (Craft and Cloud’s) ideal customer:
• Understands that marketing is an investment.
• Desires to bring life to his business story.
• Sees a marketing difficulty and seeks a solution.
• Values relationship and ongoing interaction.
Identifying your ideal customer may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not actually that difficult if you take it step by step. It’s also extremely important for business growth and development, so let’s dive in. How do you discover your ideal customers?
Define the common questions you answer or problems that you solve for your clients. Use these 4 questions that we posed in the previous blog as we looked at helping companies explore their business brand.
- Why does your company exist?
- What are the problems you solve for your customers?
- What is the experience you want customers to have as they work with your company?
- How do you tell them what to expect? What is your message?
As we answer these questions, a picture of a particular target audience begins to emerge. As we incorporate all the other factors related to your business growth and goals, we can begin to understand exactly who your ideal customer is.
Once they are identified, study everything about them that you can find: demographics, what they listen to and read, what they search for online, what triggers their search for your solution, and how quickly they make purchasing decisions. Since marketing is about solving customer problems, the better you understand the problems of your ideal customer and what it would take to solve them, the more formidable you will be in the fight with your competitors to win their business.
That is if you USE the information that you have collected.
Far too many businesses make a big mistake: they spend the time researching and identifying their ideal customer and his problems only to let that information sit somewhere on a hard drive unused. If your goal is to target these specific customers in order to grow your business, you need to always keep this customer profile at the top of mind. It should influence every move and decision your company makes.
Simply defining your ideal customer and his problems won’t bring them through the door. You need to put that information to work!
Probably nothing is more important than using it to position you as a brand that your ideal customer will trust. You can have the best identity and the slickest marketing system in the world, but if customers don’t trust you, you won’t get their business, or at least you won’t retain it for the long run.
How do you get and keep trust? Trust is built through both the promise of your brand as it connects with the emotions of your customers and also through the way you deliver on that promise in your daily interaction with them. By knowing exactly whose needs you want to meet, you can learn to meet them at a level that exceeds your customers’ expectations. This will build your brand faster than you can say “Satisfied customer.” 😊
Positioning your business to build long-term trust means constantly keeping in mind the question “What does my business look like from my customer’s point of view?” Put yourself in his shoes to the best of your ability and think about how the problems he faces and the solutions that you offer appear from his angle. What draws him to come to you instead of one of your competitors? How do you meet his needs and how could you improve and expand that service?
With your ideal customer profile in hand, you will also find training your customer service personnel much easier. They can study the information, learning the most common FAQs and preparing valuable solutions in advance, as well as working to tailor all customer service to meet one set of needs first and foremost.
Another way to put this information to use is by optimizing your advertising to a whole new level. You can comb through current ads and weed out the ones that are clearly not aimed correctly and write all your new ones with a laser focus. This will probably allow you to both reduce your ad spend and increase your sales to achieve a far greater ROI. You can also decide with greater confidence which social media platforms you should spend time and advertising dollars on. This is especially true if your target audience can be defined as a certain age bracket.
Your website as well as all your company communication, policies, and procedures can also much more easily be evaluated and streamlined when you know exactly which customers you want to make them work for.
There’s no end to what you can do once you know who you’re doing it for!
Most customers are busy and look for a solution only when they face a problem. In this search, they prioritize finding that someone whom they can trust. Positioning your company as the problem solver, not the hero, will gain you their trust and their business.
You need customers. Your business cannot exist without them, but they cannot be manufactured at will the way that products can be. They must be attracted.
By figuring out exactly whom you want to attract, you can position your brand as the answer to their needs at a deep level and then follow that up with trust-worthy customer service that keeps them coming back for years to come.
Fortunately, you are not alone in this important step of your business growth and development. Craft and Cloud has plenty of experience in helping business just like yours find their way in reaching not only more customers – but the ideal ones.