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Guest Blogger: Lauree Ostrofsky "Understand Your Customers to Target Them More Effectively"

Apr 22, 2009

6a010534a53f1d970b011570405365970b-120wi.jpg Today's guest blogger is Lauree Ostrofsky, CPC. Lauree helps individuals to negotiate milestones from launching a new business to marriage and motherhood. Combining marketing with life coaching, she connects clients to who they are in order to express themselves more clearly. Says Lauree, "They articulate what's important and remove obstacles to go after what they really want – the sky's the limit."

Understand Your Customers to Target Them More Effectively

Market research sounds corporate and expensive, but at its most basic it allows entrepreneurs to understand why customers choose them in order to reach them better.


When you think about it, you already know a lot about your customers even if you don't have any yet. With the right questions, you'll gather enough information to use in conversation, on your business card, or on your website and brochures.


Some ideas:


- Go with what you know - think about everything you already know about your customers, even things seemingly unrelated to your business. Jot down what customers like best about your business, what they do for a living, and where you would likely find them on a Saturday afternoon. Keep coming up with things you know they have in common - demographics, marital status, interests.


Once you get going the ideas will flow. You'll also start to put together a profile or profiles of your typical customer(s) based on what all of them have in common. Consider naming the profiles as if they are real customers you want to serve. That way it's easier to create advertising or a new sales promotion because you have 'someone' in mind.

- Use their words - the most effective way to reach a customer is to use words or pictures that speak to them directly. If they think you understand them and their unique needs, they will choose you.


Creating customer profiles are the first step. Next, find current customers or friends who match these profiles. Depending on the size of your business, three to five people are a good start.


Ask them questions like: what do you like about my business? What made you choose my business over others? If you were going to recommend my business to someone else, what would you say? The last one is really important.


Write down exactly what they say. You may begin to hear some of the same words used by more than one customer/friend. The more you can use these words in how you speak and write about your business, the more likely these type of customers will know you are speaking to them.


With these ideas in place, you'll have simple, effective market research for your business -- without the expensive marketing budget to go with it. This information is useful in a number of ways, including written materials, logo design, brand and product naming, and even explaining a return policy change.


Understanding your customers takes a commitment from you, and creates commitment from them. A successful combination no matter the economy.


What are YOU doing to understand your customers?

Category: Marketing

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