To improve your marketing, to make your marketing effective, you need to get to know your customer better.
In a recent coaching gig in the Global Startup Battle, I met a team who had a fatal flaw in their business plan: they missed their target market. These fellows thought their target audience was the end-user, but failed to recognize a gatekeeper in the purchasing path. Without getting buy-in from the gatekeeper, their business wasn’t viable since they would never get to the end-user. Their concept had two customers, the end-user and the gatekeeper, but this team hadn’t addressed both of them in their original plan.
After we revised their business model to include the gatekeeper, we modified the marketing to align with the new business plan and added the gatekeeper as a customer. The team placed second in the competition and are now moving to alpha test their concept.
It would surprise you to learn how many large companies, with big marketing and advertising budgets, don’t identify and effectively market to their ideal customers.
Without defining your ideal customer, your marketing efforts, the process of finding customers for your product, will collapse. To get to know what your customer values and fears, how they go about making decisions, and what media they consume can take time and is hard work, but your efforts will pay off in three ways:
By knowing your customer better, you will build your tribe quicker
We’re big on tribe building at SpringBoard–finding that group of people who need a solution that you provide and getting their attention so they see you as a leader, bringing them that solution. By discovering the beliefs and behaviors of that group, you will know how to speak their language and set yourself up as someone who cares for them.
A side note about tribe building: If you are inauthentic, you become manipulating and your tribe will abandon you.
You’ll find other products and services to bring your tribe
Once you begin to lead that tribe, they will bring you other problems to solve. This will give you an opportunity to grow your business with the crowd you already are speaking with. In fact, as a tribe leader, one who really cares for your tribe, you should feel obligated to bring other solutions to your customers.
It costs less to market to your ideal customer
If you are already engaging your tribe in authentic conversations, those who do not fit into your buyer persona profiles will remove themselves from the tribe. This means you can spend your time and money on the remainder, those who are more likely to convert.