If you want your business to succeed, it follows that you need to know everything you can about your customers. They’re the ultimate boss of any company, as Sam Walton once remarked. They can destroy your entire business simply by spending their money elsewhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of product or service you sell, you need to put your customer first, and that applies directly to your marketing efforts.
What you need to do is to know your customer, in much the same way that ancient tacticians recommended that battle strategists know their enemy. So just putting out a product or service that you think has an impressive list of benefits and features doesn’t really matter, if these are products, benefits, and features that your customer doesn’t care about.
So when you’re engaged in marketing, you need to find out the following tidbits about your customers:
1. What’s their gender? Genders may be equal, but men and women are simply different from one another.
2. How old are they? The age of your customer dictates how you communicate with them and attract their attention.
3. What kind of education do they have? This will affect the tone of your marketing information.
4. What are their cultural affiliations? Culture affects language and preferences, which you need to cater to if you want to interact properly with customers.
5. What are their needs? These are the features and products your customers are looking for.
6. What are their wants? These are the features that will convince them to buy one thing instead of another.
7. What turns them off? These are the attributes that customers simply turn away from.
8. Where are they in the real world? Their location affects your marketing.
9. Where are they online? You may need to also hangout at the websites that your customers frequent, or else build a website or social experience that your customers would want to visit.
10. What are their interests? By knowing what interests them, you can then tailor your blog and website content to include topics that would entice them to stay connected to your sphere. By establishing common interests, you forge a type of community which can be nurtured and built upon.
11. What do they want to know about? You can then answer the questions they have so that you appear friendly, helpful, and authoritative.
12. What (or who) influences their behavior? If they’re influenced by certain bloggers, then you may want to have that blogger feature or even recommend your brand in their website.
All the data you gather about your customers unify their image into your marketing strategy, so that you’re better able to identify them and interact with them. Marketing is like being in a party when you have something to sell. You have to know which of the people there are more likely to buy your product, and you have to know how to approach them properly. You need to wear the right clothes and say the right things about the right topics in the right tone.
Know your customer—this is the very essence of marketing.