Who buys your products and services? Most business owners know the answer to that question. You know exactly who you are reaching, who loves your products, when they purchase your products, and from which kind of location (storefront or ecommerce).
What you, like most entrepreneurs, don’t know is who you aren’t reaching. There’s an elusive group (or groups) of people who will love your products and services. You just haven’t identified them yet. Here are the three steps you can take to identify these prospective customer and reach them.
Ask What Needs Your Products and Services Fulfill
The biggest mistake most businesses make is trying to make their products and services a figurative cure-all for every ailment. It’s important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your products. What you sell should fulfill a very specific customer need.
Let’s say, for example, you sell moisture-wicking clothing. Your product is both a form of casual wear and technical apparel. It’s not for business attire. It’s not for going out on the town. So, don’t pretend that it’s versatile. Your product is designed to keep active people dry. That’s the need it fulfills.
Once you know which needs your product fulfills, you can start asking who could use the product. In our example, your product, instead of just appealing to hiker and runners, could also appeal to yogis.
Split test your advertising to identify which customer type produces better sales.
Gather Demographic Information and Utilize It
You can’t argue with cold, hard facts. Objective, demographic data gives you evidence of where your product is being purchased, who is buying it, and for what purpose. Without demographic information, you cannot identify buying trends or prospective customers.
Don’t miss an opportunity to leverage actionable information. Start collecting information from your customers, particularly thier contact information. For example, you can use surveys, newsletters, and email blasts. You also can use social media channels, such as Instagram, to see how old your customers are, which gender they are, and which ethnicity they are.
If you’re new to building a business with Social Media channels, take a look at our white paper Growing Your Business Through Social Media
Create a Multi-stage Marketing Funnel
You have to be able to narrow your focus with a marketing funnel. To do that, you must create filters. These filters, which can range from things like income to gender to age, will help you target prospective customers.
Let’s say your first filter is income. Your product is costly, and it only makes sense to appeal to customers with disposable income. Your next filter might be gender. It’s more likely that active females would purchase moisture-wicking fabrics. Your third and final filter could be age. Women, ages 50 and under, might be more likely to buy your product. After you’ve used this multi-stage funnel, then you’ve found your “sweet spot” customer base. Continual A/B testing of your filters from that stage will help laser target your adspend and ROI.
As you grow your business, follow these steps to identify new audiences locally and globally. Audience identification is the springboard to reaching new markets and offering your products and services to those markets.