Information is everywhere. It’s knowing how to appropriately harness it that’s the challenge. Many companies struggle unnecessarily because they forget that human decisions bring them success. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, the ability to understand your customer is critical if you want to grow.
And when I say “know your customer” I don’t mean age, marital status or HHI. I mean who they really are – their behaviors, values, pain points and motivators. Behind every dollar your company makes is a human being with a million choices. How can you make sure they choose you?
1. Group your audience into subsets
By casting a wide net and talking to everyone who you think is your ideal audience, I guarantee you will find a small sub group of people who are the crème-de-la-crème – the top 10% that make up 80% of your revenue. We do this by conducting large-sample surveys (300 – 1000 people) and grouping people based on how well they align with your brand values, how much they need or want what you’re selling and how much they are willing to pay for it.
2. Understand what makes each group unique
After identifying your groups, take a look at what makes each group unique from the others. Do they believe the same things? Participate in the same activities? Have the same needs? At the end of this exercise you should be able to loosely describe 3-5 types of groups.
Psychographics over demographics, always.
3. Prioritize the subsets
This next step requires having a strong Brand Platform, or understanding of why your business exists and what it’s trying to achieve. Assuming you have that in place, you will be able to quickly identify which of these groups is most critical to your growth and success and prioritize them from “greatest opportunity” to “lowest opportunity.”
I’m going to take a quick break here. It’s here that businesses often have an ah-ha moment, realizing they’ve been pushing a rock up-hill for far too long. BREATHE. It’s ok. You’re doing something about it now and get on the path to success.
The key take-away is this: your company has focused too much on low opportunity groups. Shift your thinking – focus energy on your greatest opportunity groups instead – they will impact your bottom line more.
Now that that moment is over, let’s focus on the fun stuff:
4. Understand Your Customer: Get to know them
Once you’ve identified who your top priority groups are, go out and talk to them. YES, TALK! No surveys, no emails, no social media, pick up the phone and have a REAL conversation about…THEM (READ: Not You!). Understand what their current experience is like with companies/products in your category.
- Are they 100% satisfied? Typically not.
- What’s working for them and what isn’t? In other words: what are their pain points?
- Next, have your customer describe an imaginary company that’s doing it 100% right. What does that look like and how does it differ from their current experience in the category?
- Finally, ask them to give you open and honest feedback about your company or product. No holds barred. You want the dirty truth. Without it, you can’t get ahead.
The key is to ask them the right questions.
5. Leveraging your Insights
Coming out of these conversations you will have gained a TON of insight. You will know:
- Your audience’s pain points
- How other companies (maybe yours included) are falling short of their needs
- And most importantly, how your company can fill the void to give them exactly what they want
Essentially, you’ll have the keys to the proverbial castle.
- Create a Ven Diagram to visualize how all these things fit together.
- Identify your Sweet Spot. A singular idea that you can own. One that solves a consumer pain point, distinguishes you in the marketplace, and forces people to pay attention.
- Flex your creative muscles to package your unique message in a way that’s interesting, relevant and engaging. If that’s not your style, or in your wheelhouse, contact a professional marketer (we have a few partners in case you’re in need of a recommendation). They’ll be thrilled to help someone who’s done so much leg work to understand their consumer!
Are you ready to make sure your audience chooses you over the competition? Stop guessing and start winning by taking this approach to understand your customer.
Need help? Give us a ring, we’re always thrilled to assist a fellow knowledge-seeker.