By Daisy Quaker
This post is part of a series that come s out every Thursday, and is your essentials guide to Marketing Planning, and Online Brand Development.
Every small business has a set of customer that can at be broken down into at least four groups. Very rarely a business will serve one type of customer, often the customers that frequent a store or website will be of different ages, income levels and interests. The key to setting your business apart is to speak in their language.
The process is simple and it’s a key to figuring out what benefit you prove and the right channels to expand your customer or reader base.
Customer analysis step 1: Who buys from you?
If you understand and can explain the lifestyles, age set, income level or interests of your customers, then you can figure out things like pricing, what type of promotions they would appreciate, and even what type of causes to support.
Basically group your customers into groups based on similar interests or lifestyles. It could be the teens, the corporate group, the business owners, the moms, the college group, the young professionals and so forth. By focusing your plan on these four segments you have a clear cross-section of the customers that visit your store.
Case in point:
I once did a project for a local pizzeria that had its niche in the local market (it made a very particular kind of pizza). In the customer analysis we broke down who came to their store, or was more likely to stop by, what benefit they got, and how we could speak to them.
Customer analysis step 2: Why do they like you?
This is the benefits sought by your customers. If it’s a store: what do they get? If it’s a website: what time do they visit? How long do they stay? What do they read?
It’s important to know why people buy from you vs. others because these answers help you target the different segments and gives clues to why they should seek you out instead of others. Understanding why they like you is the key to figuring out and catering to their needs.
Next where can you find them?
Customer analysis step 3: How can you market to them?
Speaking to the hearts of your customers involves the right message, on the right platform. Do they follow their favorite brands on Facebook? Do they read certain blogs that you could guest post on? Do they respond well to e-mail campaigns? What kind of causes do they support? Or shows do they watch?
This is super helpful if you want to have a more dynamic social media approach because it helps break down who you are talking to across the various channels instead of an unknown audience. It’s far easier to personalize messages today making it more meaningful and memorable.
This strategy can also be applied to your site. Using the analytics, you can look at how many people visit your site in a day, and where they are coming from. Monitoring your high traffic times helps in planning when to have fresh content available to meet the readers needs, looking at what links lead customers on to your posts helps brainstorm ideas for future articles.
A great strategy is all about picking the right combination to speak to your audience. It doesn’t have to be 4 groups, but try to make it enough do that there are enough sets to spark some marketing ideas, but not too much to feel overwhelming. After all, not everyone is in your audience, so why shouldn’t your marketing strategy have focus?
Contact me if you could use a hand getting started in your own customer analysis plan.
Image credit: Flickr-Scoobay