In the world of marketing, there’s tons of emphasis placed on your target market, your buyer persona, and your ideal client profile. Understanding your customer is key, and defining your target market is crucial, but knowing what kind of magazines your ideal client likes to read or what brand of vanilla ice cream they prefer isn’t going to help you reach them better.
The most crucial thing you need to know about your clients is why they needed you in the first place, and what made them decide to choose you over everyone else.
That’s it, it’s really that simple. If you understand the place your customer was in emotionally when they sought you out, you know everything you need to know to reach thousands of additional clients just like them.
I know, talking about emotions seems a little woo woo for the business world, but trust me on this one. If what you’re doing involves selling to a human at any level, you’re dealing with a helplessly emotional audience.
So, how do you gather all the critical knowledge you need to cater your marketing efforts toward your best future clients? Find out these five things, and you’re all set:
Your client’s life was proceeding normally before your product or service was a part of it, but at some point something happened that made them stop, evaluate, and decide that they needed something like what you offer. What was that tipping point? If you offer a cleaning service, perhaps the tipping point for a stay-at-home mom was the birth of a second child and a suddenly more overwhelming schedule. If you’re an interior designer, perhaps the purchase of a new home led to your client’s realization that their current furniture wouldn’t work in the new space.
There are many layers to triggers. Things like a new baby or a new house are easy to identify, but there can also be deeper more emotional layers to triggers like needing to belong, feeling insecure, or wanting to keep up with the Joneses. I’ll delve into these more internal triggers next week here on the blog, so stay tuned.
Once your client identifies a need, they’ll begin to research. This could look like a web search, chatting with a friend, or consulting a professional network. Where do your clients go during their research phase and what did they learn about you and your competitors? What kinds of questions did they have and what information were they seeking? If you can answer these client questions efficiently in your marketing materials, you’ll find yourself ahead of the pack.
After research, your customer must weigh the options and exclude what doesn’t suit their needs. How your customer decided and what criteria lead to these exclusions is crucial. Is there an additional add-on service that you provide that sets you apart? Are there features of your product that customers are seeking and no one else offers? Understanding your customer’s assessment process will help you figure out what differentiates you and how to leverage it better in your marketing strategy.
Once the customer has a list of potential options, they must weigh the benefits and costs to narrow down their selection. Understanding what your customer was willing to sacrifice, and what features or services were non-negotiable will help guide what aspects of your marketing require the most and least emphasis.
After much research and thought your customer will finally make a purchase decision. Ultimately there will be one aspect of a product or service that draws the client in (or repels them away) enough to make it the winner (or loser). Understanding what final crucial piece of the puzzle led to the decision to buy is your golden ticket. Use your marketing materials to play up this piece and your potential customer will feel like you’re reading their mind and speaking straight to them!
These little snippets of info seem elementary, but they provide you invaluable insight into the journey your customers take from initial spark of need to final purchase.
Imagine what it would look like if you carved out a marketing strategy based on this journey rather than statistics and data sheets that your customers will dismiss as marketing jargon immediately.
Buying is all about emotion. Get into your customer’s head emotionally, and they’ll feel like you’re speaking their language from the start! Stay tuned to the blog next week as I uncover the deeply held secret reasons why your customers buy aka: subconscious motivation!
If you enjoy geeking out on this kind of stuff like I do, check out Buyer Persona Institute. This list was partially sourced from their amazing bank of info and articles.