Ingredient #2: “Know your Audience”
Have you ever noticed that some clients just seem to “fit” within your corporate climate a bit better than others? When working with these clients, everything just seems to flow more effortlessly – process, paperwork, production. If you can relate to this, take just a few moments to reflect upon who your “best clients” are.
You might say that these “best” clients are your “ideal” clients – you know, the ones that you’d like to use as a “clone” for all future clients to come. Now think a bit deeper. What are the key attributes that these clients possess? Can you see any commonalities in the attributes they exhibit - such as business size, industry vertical, or demographic similarities?
To make your marketing messages work and to create repeatable positive results, a key ingredient will be your ability to identify and then speak to the traits that your targeted clients are needing to hear. In other words, you need to “know your audience”.
So, the question is, how well do you actually know your audience? Let’s go over a few ways that can help you to know them better, regardless of what your current level of knowledge may be:
Work to develop an “ideal client profile” – This is a way to really “dig deep” into the traits that your best (and most desired) clients share. If you work primarily with B2B end users, this profile may include items like company size, industry vertical, specific key demographics, niche market information, etc. If you work with B2C clients, it may include educational and income levels, career and family demographics, social club and organizational affiliations, and observed personality profiles. For added effectiveness when creating this “ideal client” profile, include your key employees in this process, so that you have as accurate an information base as is possible.
Get to know your clients personally – I’m a big believer in “relational” sales rather than “transactional” sales. Getting to know your clients on a meaningful level builds the bonds between you, and provides more insight into what matters most – to them! Remember that people do business with people they like and feel connected to.
Survey your clients – It may sound self-evident, but the best way to understand why your clients are your clients, and what they value and appreciate most about your company – is to ask them! This should be done periodically, and always with the intent of using the information learned to better serve their needs.
Pay attention to your “Social engagements – If you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to communicate with clients, pay attention to what they say, share, and take away from your posts. Useful patterns will emerge and can be quantified if you remember to monitor and analyze what you experience.
Understand your competitors – Who are they, what are they doing to put forth their message, how well do you think their “brand” reflects their services and values? Knowing how to communicate your “value added differences” can go a long way in speaking successfully to your “ideal” clients.
Finally, now that you have a better understanding of what your “ideal client” looks like, ask yourself how your messaging can be tailored to reflect the interests and needs of this customer segment.
I hope these simple ideas can have a positive impact on you as you continue to “fuel your strategy”! Next week we’ll look at our third ingredient, “Reviewing your Display Locations”.
Until then, I hope you’ll make an effort to get to know a few of your best clients on a deeper level!