“Where should I spend my time online, to best reach my customer?
The question is laced with fear, anxiety, stress and confusion. I wish I could answer this question simply – and send you on your way to success. The fact of the matter is, the question itself brings about more questions.
This article from Entrepreneur.com identifies the questions you should ask yourself when determining the best way to communicate with your customer. Get out your notepad and write down the answers. This will help determine where you should spend your time online to reach your customers, if that is where you should invest your time. Print marketing is not dead, so don’t rule it out just yet.
Brian Tracy, VIP Contributor for Entrepreneur.com writes:
Define your product or service from the customer’s perspective.
What does your product do for your ideal customer? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What needs of your customer does your product satisfy? How does your product improve your customer’s life or work?
My additions: How does your product/service make them feel? Do you have a system in place for your customers to share testimonials and referrals?
Define the ideal customer for what you sell.
What is his or her age, education, occupation or business? What is his or her income or financial situation? What is his or her situation today in life or work?
I’m adding in these questions to consider, because it’s worth diving into. How does this idea customer consume information? Do they read through Google product reviews, search on Amazon, or source printed catalogs? Did they sign up for your newsletter, and better yet, do they open it and read it? Are they more apt to buy online than in-store?
Determine the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product.
Of all the benefits you offer, which are the most important to your ideal customer? What are the most pressing needs that your product or service satisfies? Why should your customer buy from you rather than from someone else?
Additional thoughts: Do you have superior customer service? Is it because your store location is better than the competition? Do you make them feel valued and important? Do you offer value-added services?
Determine the location of your exact customer.
Where is your customer located geographically? Where does your customer live or work? Where is your customer when he or she buys your product or service?
Things to consider: Does physical location matter? Are you an on-line based business? How do you communicate your message in the digital sphere and how is it received?
Determine exactly when your ideal customer buys your product or service.
What has to happen in the life or work of your customer for him to buy your product? What time of year, season, month or week does your customer buy?
Determine your customer’s buying strategy.
How does your customer buy your product or service? How has your customer bought similar products or services in the past? What is your customer’s buying strategy? How does your customer go about making a buying decision for your product.
Let’s take it a step further.
By now, you should have a good understanding about the buying habits of your customer, where they are located and what problems your product/services solves for them. But let’s dig a little deeper. Are they sharing the love of your product with their friends? Are they referring people to your business because of their great customer experience? Are they tweeting about it, or sharing a story on Facebook? Did they forward the email to one of their friends? Did they clip a coupon out of the newspaper or bring in the postcard you had mailed them? How does your business reward referrals?
That’s a lot of questions.
Anyone can tell you to create a Facebook page or an Instagram account and “just market your business” there. In our experience, many businesses don’t have a customer profile to help determine where their time and energies should be spent. Answering the questions above will help you keep your customer at the forefront of your planning so you can best improve their buying experience and create lifelong relationships.
Do you need help defining your customer base? We’d love to help. Shoot us a message and let’s start the conversation. Stay tuned next week, when we spend some time learning where customers are located and how to reach them.