One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is a marketing problem: not reaching customers and not knowing why. Sometimes businesses fall into a trap of approaching marketing as trying to market to everyone and not a certain target market. The simple fact is if you are trying to market to everyone, you may be marketing to no one who actually needs your services. No matter what type of business you own, you need to know who your ideal customer is and why. Here are four mistakes you may be making that are causing this problem.
You haven’t made decisions with your ideal customer in mind.
Sometimes business owners are afraid that by going after a specific market that they are limiting who they will do business with. This is rarely the case. Just because you try to attract a specific customer does not mean you cannot do business with someone outside of that market. Even the largest businesses you can think of such as Walmart, for example, cannot say they are marketing to everyone. After all, when was the last time you saw a millionaire in Walmart?
So if you have failed to realize who you can or are reaching, how do you solve this problem? It really comes down to asking yourself who is buying your product or services and why? It sounds like a simple question, but the more detail you can put into this, the better off you will be.
You may need to think about who your ideal customer is or you may have someone in mind that actually exists. Everything from what type of advertisements would appeal to them, the ideals they value, what kind of car they drive and shoes they wear to what type of experience they want to have when entering your business matters.
If you consider one of these ideal customers a friend, ask their opinion anytime you can! Someone that is willing to provide you with candid thoughts will give you valuable insight into how your business is perceived by others.
You haven’t given your ideal customer a reason to send other ideal customers your way.
Someone may think your business is the best in town at what you do and still not refer anyone to you. Why? Well, do you tell everyone about the errands you run or the business you take care of on a day to day basis? Of course not. That’s boring! If you want your customers to rave about your services, you have to give them an experience that is worth raving about.
Do you and your staff address customers by name when they enter the door? Even if you cannot possibly know everyone that comes into your business, find a way to personalize their service. Starbucks is a great example of a company that implements this concept by asking for your name for your order. Even though ordering and picking up your coffee may be your only interaction with a Starbucks employee, you feel more like they were focused on serving you by attaching a name and not just a number to your order.
Speaking of Starbucks, are your services and products very rigid or could you customize more to meet the needs of your ideal customers? Starbucks has bragged of having over 80,000 combinations. Talk about meeting the needs of their customers!
Can you offer customers some type of promotional items? It may be something as simple as a pen with your logo that gets your name out there or a larger item reserved for your top customers, but the more you can afford to do, the better. It may even be something as simple as offering a discount on products or services for special customers.
You haven’t reached out to your ideal customers at all.
Investing a little time and money into marketing is crucial. You don’t have to have the best location in today’s world with all the dozens of ways you can let people know your business exists, but you do have to let them know you are there.
Not all marketing is good marketing either. If you are trying to reach the younger generation, local radio advertisements may not be very effective at reaching this group for example.
Even if you do not have much at all to invest in marketing, any good and honest marketing expert can give you some cost effective tips that will target who you need to reach. We have a few of them already right here on our blog.
You haven’t done anything to combat negative publicity.
One of the greatest and worst parts of the digital world we live in is how fast information travels and that everyone now has a voice to spread that information. If you only have one review on Google or Facebook and it is negative, this can greatly affect your business. If you have several reviews and a handful of them are negative, this can really hurt too! People will often take the time to be negative more than positive, unfortunately. Offer customers some type of incentive for taking the time to send you a referral or write a good review. Most people will take a few minutes to participate if the incentive is great enough.
What is worse than not combating negative publicity is creating it yourself. Take a step back and look at how you would be perceived to your ideal customer. Think of your website as an example. Is it up-to-date? Does it provide customers with a good experience or does it drive away the type of customer you hope to attract?
Now that you have thought about who you should be marketing to, do you have some ideas for how to reach them? We would love to consult with you to assist you to define your market and create a custom marketing plan and resources. Reach out today!