Before you can begin investing time and money into any kind of marketing campaign, it’s important to know WHO your customers are. What are your demographics of your ideal client? Are they in the top one percent of your best market? Are they male or female? What’s your target age? All of these questions are vital to have a successful marketing plan.
Another important variable to identify is WHERE your customers can be located. How might your future market investments be affected if you’re reaching out now in different marketing approaches? In today’s tech-savvy world, many businesses practice online marketing as if it’s the only way to reach their potential customers. A troubling offshoot of this occurrence is that it denies our human need for face-to-face interaction and deflates the true power of word-of-mouth referrals. Knowing where to reach potential customers is a key strategy in spending your marketing dollars wisely.
Let’s begin with online marketing. Now this is a whole new can of worms to break into. Online marketing has a range of places where your customers are. This includes email marketing, websites, social platforms (which again is another subject to dovetail into), and pay-per-click advertising. And the list doesn’t stop there. It’s important to keep in mind not only who your customers are, but the product or service you are selling.
Some questions you may want to explore are:
1) What is the gender and age of my customer? For example, if you are selling something that is geared towards younger to middle-aged women such as house-hold items or child services, your two main social media platforms should be Facebook and Pinterest. According to Pew Research Center, the largest demographic for both Facebook and Pinterest are younger to middle-aged women.
2) Am I selling a product or service I can sell online through an E-commerce function? With the exploding online shopping market, we continue to see less in-store shoppers and more online buyers. According to Business Insider, in the first quarter of 2014, 198 million U.S. consumers bought something online. That translates to 78% of the population age 15 and above!
3) Is my website easy to navigate? Whether your customers are in an older population who prefer not to be online for very long if at all, or your customers are of a younger generation who will lose interest if they can’t find what they are looking for within three clicks, you need to make sure your website provides information quickly and efficiently.
Chances are that no matter what business you are in, online marketing will be a key asset to your efforts. However, it’s important to keep in mind that in many businesses, you cannot hide behind a computer to close every deal.
Even though in today’s world, most people will look-up a brand or product online to learn whether they can trust it or not, sometimes it’s face-to-face contact that can seal the deal. Online marketing can get them in the door, but it’s the trusted eye contact that can make a customer feel more comfortable with their investment choices.
So when should you put effort into face-to-face marketing?
1) Do your customers value relationships and trust? Let’s face it. We all prefer to work with vendors and business partners we trust and with whom we share something in common. When it comes to making big financial decisions, people want to feel as if they are making a safe purchase. That feeling comes from trust in the seller, and what’s a better way to do that than relating with your customer to understand their needs.
2) Do you want your customers to refer your business? Of course you do! Once a prospect becomes satisfied with the product or service you provided, a good business practice is to ask prospects for referrals. If customers feel you listen to their concerns, answer their questions honestly, provide high-quality products, and serve them with a high level of integrity and support, they are typically happy to share referrals from within their families, communities and other networks. This can be invaluable in growing a thriving client base and increasing the volume of business to ensure your success.
3) Do you want to get to “yes” faster? When you understand a customer’s needs, you build that trust more quickly, allowing that “maybe” to turn into a yes in a quicker timeframe.
No matter what your business is, it’s imperative you look at not only WHO but WHERE your customers are before investing in a marketing strategy. If you’re not sure how to answer those questions, contact us! We’d be more than happy to speak with you to not only help you know who and where your customers are but what steps need to be taken next.