Marketing Focus – Understanding your Customers
Customers; we all need them and want to attract and retain as many as possible to be profitable. However do you really know your customers and what they want?
The ideal scenario is to treat all your customers as individuals, get to know them and provide them with exactly what they want, in the way a good barman remembers what their regulars like to drink and has it waiting for them when they arrive. However, if you do not come face to face with your clients regularly, or you have a larger business, this kind of personal service and communication is hard to achieve.
One way which businesses are getting around this is customer grouping and segmentation. First you must understand what they want and how they buy. Then you can group similar customers together so your communication, product and service can be tailored to the different groups.
Grouping and targeting customers can help your business to:
- Meet the needs of larger numbers of customers as the business grows
- Maintain or increase profits as the business takes on more customers
- Retain customers by providing products and services specifically for them
- Focus marketing communications by communicating messages relevant to your target customers in the right places
In order to group your customers accurately, first you need to profile your customers. Consider conducting a survey of your current clients to get insights into who is buying. Another way to understand your customers is focus groups with current and potential customers to find out their perceptions and experiences of you. Questionnaires and polls can also provide useful data and customer insight. Apply the information you get back from these methods to your insight as business owners and consider groups who should be using your product or service, but have not been up to now.
Put them into clear groups which are large enough to be profitable and specific enough to target. Then decide which group you want to target and how best to do that with an offer, event or advertising campaign for example and monitor the responses with accurate testing. By testing the responses of different groups to offers and services you can judge the promotional spend required to achieve sales and identify your most profitable groups. These are worthy of the most promotion and targeted offers and services as they will give you the best return on investment.
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