by The Trilojee Team, posted 1/3/2018
Whenever you start a business, the starting point is to fully understand what need or want you are satisfying. A particular product, service or even an innovation exists with one purpose only- to meet someone’s expectations or satisfy a need. The customer is the most important part of the business process so once you accept this fact and work towards satisfying them, you are putting yourself in a better position to succeed. However, competition can be fierce and there are many new products and services, but the opportunity to create a stronger demand for your product is always possible. Every entrepreneur needs to do thorough research on who their potential customers are, how to attract them, which are their shopping habits, and what their specific needs or wants are. You need to know the customer in depth so you can convey the right message to the right people.
Here are the most important steps when determining who your type of customer is and how to establish your marketing strategy for that type of customer.
DO A CUSTOMER RESEARCH
The starting point in this research is to get to know your type of customer. Once you establish the type of customer, you can easily address your marketing campaign towards people who are interested in products similar to yours. Is your product convenient for younger or older people? Or maybe the price is important to your customer? Any question that is related to your customer must be answered in the research. These answers will later on serve you and guide you through the process of marketing your business and selling your products. In order to target the right people and have a successful marketing campaign, you need to know to whom you’re offering your products or services and how you can raise above your competitors to succeed. Once you gather all the needed information such as gender, age or location, then you can do in depth research in order to get to know your potential customer even closer.
GO ONE STEP FURTHER INTO YOUR RESEARCH
The basic research about addressing the right people and targeting them will be great for your marketing, but you also need to dig a little deeper in order to be even more successful in getting your business closer to your needed customers. At this point, you can step up your game by taking note when your potential customers shop the most, what motivates them to buy (is it price, quality, material, shipping, etc.). For instance, if you are a proud owner of a small gift shop, then it’s normal to assume that your potential customer will shop mostly during the holidays, so you’ll know that you should engage more during the holidays.
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
If you have something to offer, then you must be 100% positive that it’s a quality product worth having. Customers can sense deception and an inferior product will lead to negative reviews and create a bad reputation for your small business. If you want to sell something, you need to emphasize all the unique features of your product, when it works, when it doesn’t work. Most importantly, you need to know what will be crucial for customers in convincing them to turn to you. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes, what will you as a customer want to know before buying that type of product? If you are convinced that your product is worth having, then you can easily sell it to other people.
ENGAGE YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS
Customer service is extremely important for your business, because it can later improve your product and help you to strive for excellence. You can also organize questionnaires and ask for reviews. Satisfied customers speak volumes. They tell you and others what they love about your product. On the other hand, negative reviews are also a lesson learnt. How can you as an entrepreneur be the best if you don’t listen to what others have to say about you? Your marketing strategy should be based on the comments you get about your product and your satisfied customers will be some of the best free marketing that you can ever get.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER’S METHODS OF SHOPPING
Which method of shopping is more convenient for your potential customers, online shopping or at your store? Is your customer looking for a thorough consideration before they make a decision, or is it something that can be bought spontaneously? How can you meet your customer’s needs without taking these questions into consideration? People love it when everything is simple and clear so make sure that you offer online purchase as well as at your store. If they have a choice, it will be easier for them to make a purchase. Another extremely important thing to know is how to attract your customer with simple and clear speech. You will want to notify them via e-mail or messaging about important things such as discounting or maybe the launch of a new product. Even though some customers don’t make a purchase immediately, that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in making a purchase somewhere down the line.
COLLABORATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
The best way to do this is to involve your customer base in testing new products, getting valuable feedback and using that feedback in strengthening your marketing campaign. There isn’t anything more valuable than an honest customer who would gladly evaluate your latest releases. Some companies prefer to release beta versions to some of their customers and by doing so, they can get feedback about the needs of their loyal customers and an insight on how to meet those needs firsthand. When you involve your customer in the creation of your product, you are a step ahead in satisfying their needs and meeting their expectations.
TRACK YOUR CUSTOMERS
It’s great to have your own data base where you’ll have contacts and purchases from previous customers. A customer relationship management strategy can help you in collecting that data and most importantly, will help you in keeping your own record of customers. A CRM system will tell you everything that you need to know about your customer starting from payment methods, period of purchase, channel of communication, type of product and even transactions and contacts. This type of system will not only determine your type of customer, but it can also help you determine individual customer’s needs and preferences. Normally, this type of strategy requires an existing customer base, however the abovementioned strategies can help you build one in no time.
Customers fuel your business and keep it running so in order to successfully increase your customer base, it’s your duty to meet their needs and expectations. The abovementioned strategies will bring you closer to your customers and therefore bring you closer to sealing the deal.