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Target your customers and hit the business bull’s-eye

Gerhard VisagieGerhard Visagie of Exceed UK discusses the importance of knowing your customers, identifying your best customers and increasing your chances of success.

Businesses who market randomly and haphazardly are likely to hit a few customers here and there by the sheer law of averages. Businesses who know who their customers are and what customers are going to respond to, hit the bull’s-eye every time.

Know your customers
A fundamental principle amongst marketing professionals is this:

  • 20 percent of buyers consume 80 percent of product volume.

When you understand this, you understand how important it is to know exactly who your customers are and, more importantly, who your best customers are. But if you don’t know already, don’t panic.

Identify your best customers
Here is some basic information that can help you identify your best customers (and find more customers like them):

  • Demographic information: average age, average income range, location, occupation, education, marital status, gender, race, disposable income
  • Lifestyle information: hobbies, interests, what they do for fun and entertainment, political beliefs, memberships of organisations, cultural practices
  • Psychographic information: personality traits and emotions that affect purchasing decisions, e.g. do they see themselves as fiercely independent? Do they long for stability? Do they want to keep up with everyone else or stand apart from the crowd? Are they adventurous?

Increase your chances of success
Knowing this information increases your chances of success in two ways:

  1. You can use this information to adjust your products and services to best suit your customers’ needs and desires.
  2. You can sharpen your marketing messages and hone your promotions so that they reach the right customers – that is the 20 percent who are going to make up 80 percent of your business.

Romance is never easy, but it’s easier when you’re a wanted suitor. Here are some tips you can implement in your own business:

  • Offer an appropriate incentive for repeat business. Offer a free service or product after a certain amount of purchases or visits.
  • Get to know your regular customers and make it easy for them to do business with you. Think before they have to. Use what you know about them to be proactive in offering the appropriate product or service, e.g. a hairdresser with a client who wants to try something new but is frightened by anything too drastic would be wise to suggest a temporary colour wash. She can try it out for a while and wash it out if she hates it. These suggestions let customers know that you’re thinking of their best interest and not just trying to increase your bottom line.
  • If you are offering prospective customers a free gift or some other incentive, consider making the same offer to existing clients. Not only will it set you apart from other businesses, it will provide an opportunity for repeat business.
  • Find ways to acknowledge repeat visitors and let them know you appreciate their business, e.g. send a thank you note or a discount voucher.
  • Provide an opportunity for customers to give you feedback and then let them know when you have implemented their ideas. Avenues for feedback range from a suggestion box, a wall in a restroom and a corner of your web site to an organised meeting with regular clients where a facilitator solicits their ideas and complaints.
  • Commit to responding to feedback, implementing an idea or offering a plausible and reasonable explanation as to why something can’t be done.

Consider this example
A toy company that markets to parents of infants and toddlers understands that the majority of its parents hold university degrees, many of them graduate degrees. Through some basic research and market surveys, the company learns that education and exposure to the arts are important values to this market. Their expertise also tells them that young infants respond to bright, multi-coloured objects.

From this, the company sets out and markets videos that depict art in bright primary colours against black backdrops while classical music is playing. Does it sound somewhat silly?

The Disney Corporation didn’t think so when they bought the Baby Einstein Company for $18 million in 2001.

Our services
By combining our knowledge of your business, the personal relationships we share with our clients and our consulting toolkit we can help you achieve more with your business than you have imagined possible. In short, we can, and will, do so much more for you than just ‘keep the score.’

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you implement any of the topics described in this article, and help you build a business that delivers on its promise.