The Two Kinds of Customers
In our last blog post, we talked about creating valuable content instead of re-hashing the age old strategy of producing ads. In this post, we wanted to talk about the different kinds of customers you have to market to. There are really just two major groups–potential customers and existing customers. These two groups have different needs that will need to be met in order for you to create the most effective marketing strategy possible.
Marketing for Potential Customers
What does your potential customer want to know? Before they hire you, they are likely looking for reasons not to hire you. They’re looking for flaws on your website, in your messaging, in your pricing, and more. They need to be convinced that you are an expert at what you claim to be an expert in, otherwise, they know they can find someone else who is.
For these customers, there are some marketing opportunities that are no-brainers. The first thing your client wants to know when they find you is who you are. Local businesses have a distinct advantage: people want to support them. It feels better to send your money across the street than across the country or world.
Local businesses should create content that tells new customers who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Why are these the essentials? Because they clear up the immediate confusions that your potential customers have. If your customer is looking for someone who can mow their lawn and do the weed wacking, you want them to know that you provide both of these services, otherwise they will go somewhere else that they know offers this service. Picking up the phone to ask takes far more effort than many are willing to put up with.
Your customer wants to know who you are because they want to know where their money is going. Are you trustworthy? Are you worth the investment? Do you do great work? Are you an expert in your field? You will want to ensure that you tell your client and assure them in any of their doubts.
Your new clients also want to know why you do what you do. It may not seem like it, but your new clients are actually very interested in knowing this. Think about the success of companies like Toms, Whole Foods, or McDonald’s. They are based on very different values, but each has their own that every potential customer is aware of.
Toms represents a company that does social good. It’s obvious why people feel good about supporting them. Whole Foods, on the other hand, is focused on a value that people believe in – natural foods. Their customers value this same thing.
Even McDonald’s has values people are confident in. The company has been built around the value of consistency. McDonalds might not come to mind when you think of quality, but when you’re on the road or in an unfamiliar place, you can always know what you’ll get from McDonald’s.
Customers want to know what your business’s values are, so make sure that your marketing makes these values clear.
Marketing for Your Current Customers
For existing customers, the marketing materials you produce have to be entirely different. They’ve been working with you for a long time, and they don’t need any more convincing about what you do or who you are. While it is still important to remind them of your values from time to time, these customers are also searching for something more. They’re looking to be delighted by your company. They want you to exceed their already high expectations and keep delivering unanticipated amounts of value.
So how do you provide your existing clients with value while marketing to them in a way that produces value for your company?
You continue to follow the same principle as you did with your potential clients. You answer their questions and solve their problems. This goes back to the baking example I shared at the beginning of this post. Your customers don’t care that you sell flour. There are other people who do that.
What you need to do is establish your brand. You have to convince people that your flour adds value to their lives—more so than any other brand of flour. The content you share on the web should follow that same principle. Add value by sharing things that are interesting and relevant.
Whether it’s Christmas cookie recipes in December or a funny video about the inconveniences of baking in July, your top priority should be to engage rather than annoy. In the long run, it’s engagement that will make your product or service sell.