Marketing Effectively: Getting to Know Your Customers

To market your business effectively, you have to KNOW your target audience and what problems they face. People don’t buy things. They buy solutions to problems; they want to fulfill a desire or meet a need. It should be specific and real…AND you should care about their problem. Examples of powerful motivators include making money, saving money, having more time, reducing effort, decreasing stress, increasing comfort, good health, being fit, losing weight, romance, and praise.

So, what are your customers trying to figure out, overcome, fix, heal, or prevent? What is their biggest concern on a daily basis? How are they feeling about their problem? And what unique solution do you provide to their problem? Don’t get sidetracked by describing your service or product – stay focused on solving their problem.

How do you want your target audience to feel when you provide your services/products? Trust? Motivation? Inspiration? More knowledgeable? Begin to think about the emotions you want to evoke in your target audience and the lasting impression you want make.

Let’s take an example. Say you are a financial planner who focuses on working with new parents to invest money for their infant’s future college payment. You might say that their problem is not having enough money right now to pay for their child’s education. They feel worried and scared that they won’t have enough, confused about how to make the right investment choice, and committed to sending their child to a good school. You are going to help them to create a secure future for their child. With your planning services, they will feel more in control, confident, and secure.

By focusing on this part of your marketing planning, it will make all of your marketing messages easier because you understand exactly what motivates your target audience and the result they get from working with you.

You can talk to your customers, either current or past. Take them out for coffee and ask for their assistance. Most people are flattered to be asked for their opinion. Ask them some of the above questions: Why did you need my services? What were you struggling with before you sought my help? What was the biggest improvement in your business since we worked together? And so on.

Interview several people about their particular challenges, needs, and problems. Try to get enough data to help see the trends among your target audience. By tailoring your marketing to solving your customers’ problems, you will position your company to be magnetic to your customers.