Understanding Customers is the Heart of Marketing
The term ‘Marketing’ continues to be thrown around like a chewed-up Frisbee, and usually for all the wrong reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, emailing someone a carefully-crafted digital coupon is not Marketing – it is simply a promotion that was put together to support Marketing efforts.
Putting all the minor ingredients aside, there are really 3 major components to Marketing:
Understanding what customers want, and then providing it to them for a price that they are willing to pay. Of course, this price should also provide you with a reasonable profit.
Question to answer: what do my customers want from my product/service?
Selecting (strategically) which customers you want to satisfy based on your brand and the product/service you are offering.
Question to answer: Am I targeting the right people?
Determining the key benefits that customers want and can’t get anywhere else – then creating your brand based on those benefits.
Question to answer: What is the unique benefit of my product/service that my customers are unable to get anywhere else?
What do all 3 components have in common? If you guessed customers, then come claim your prize!
If there is a single, memorable, sharable and re-tweetable line to remember from this entire blog, remember this: Understanding your customer is the heart of Marketing!
How can you give your customers what they want or need if you have no idea what it is? Find out what they want and then exceed their expectations!
With such a bold statement, I better have an example:
Austin’s Pizza has been recognized as one of the best customer service in town after a customer ordered a pizza online, and requested a picture drawn of a unicorn fighting a bear on the box. Chad Frierson, Assistant Call Center Manager, sent an email back with a picture attached:
My name is Chad from Austin’s Pizza Call Center. We received your online order earlier this evening. We saw your note, “Please draw a unicorn fighting a bear on the box.” Unfortunately, our stores are not equipped to fulfill such a request. They simply do not possess the required skill. I, however, took it upon myself to draw out the picture you requested on a post-it note. I hope this suits your needs.
Even if you are in a scenario where the customer is complaining, these complaints should be scooped as like golden nuggets because they are literally revealing ways in which your brand can be improved!
When it comes to finding the need in the market, there are 5 types of customers you need to know:
1 – Current Customers: can help you generate ideas for new products or services by asking them about their future needs and how they can be met.
2 – New Customers: can help you determine what is attracting them to your products or services and why they select you over your competitors.
3 – Lost Customers: can help you realize where you fell short in satisfying them (example: lacking benefits, negative interactions with your brand, or high prices).
4 – Heavy Users: can help you forecast upcoming trends in your market and problems that need to be solved, as they are the experts in your industry
5 – Potential Customers: can help you capitalize on the growth opportunity if you can figure out their needs and how they differ from your current customers. This can lead to making any adjustments to your products and services.
When you look back at the brands that have failed in the previous years, almost all of them were a result of lacking the 3 major components, or assuming that they knew what the customers want/need.
Once you have an efficient strategy in place, you are in a perfect position to promote a desired product/service, to the right people, with a competitive advantage. Now that is Marketing.