Successful small businesses continuously seek feedback and a deep understanding of what makes their customer tick. This helps them anticipate evolving customer needs and wants to help them fine tune their product and services offerings.
Market Intelligence is an activity that all businesses, whatever their size, should engage in to answer the questions of “who, what, how much” your customers buy, “when, where” and, what is happening in your market?
At a fundamental level gathering Market Intelligence is as simple as talking to your customers, asking them about themselves, what they like, their issues or problems in their business; and storing that information. Then to be used to inform product or service development decisions and marketing campaigns; identifying trends and preparing your business for whatever the future brings.
No customer is wholly satisfied with their situation, because if they were satisfied, nothing would ever change. Insecurities cause dissatisfaction which then motivates us to pursue actions to change the status quo. If you want to write a marketing message that resonates deeply with your customer, you have to tackle their dissatisfactions as well as their wants.
Overwhelmingly, what people are worrying about is finding the right customers? And it helps to know what they’re willing to do to resolve this.
Use this approach to build a clearer profile of your ideal customer:
- What price are they willing to pay?
- Are they willing to shop around or make an immediate purchase?
- How desperate are they?
- Do they need a solution immediately or over time?
- How much do they want to work with you compared to another business?
Customers sometimes have different needs and therefore are attracted to different offers. In creating your USP or Value Proposition, you need to satisfy the following:
- be distinctly superior to other offers available,
- be highly valued by a sufficiently large customer market,
- it’s possible to communicate it in a simple and impactful way,
- is not easily copied by your competitors,
- that the target customers will be capable and willing to pay,
- that you will achieve additional profit margin as a result of being different.
You cannot position yourself as the preferred solution if you have not deeply understood your customers needs or frustrations, nor can you build rapport without being absolutely authentic. What are their frustrations and how could you reduce or eliminate them?
With the answers to these questions, you can create marketing plans that have a balance of strategies for attracting new customers as well as retaining existing ones. You will know what areas you need to work on and what to constantly keep on top of to avoid losing customers.
Evolving and tailoring your business marketing message and offer for your ideal customer builds trust, and trust creates raving fans and advocates. Customer advocates will promote your business to potential customers; the very best way to find more customers.
When was the last time you asked your customers how they feel about your products or services?
About the author: Teresa Bassham is the boss lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort. She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation. If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:
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