Archive for May, 2011

Day 26: Where to look for positive trends that can impact your business

May 30, 2011

So do you know what a positive trend is and how it can help to make your product or service look even better? A positive trend is one trend that encourages customers to purchase your product or service because of something good that is happening in the market or the news. These positive trends evolve and change over time, so being aware of these trends can really help you to anticipate what your customers will do when they decide to purchase your product or service.

So where can you find these positive trends? Look at the media for starters! Newspapers, online publications, radio and TV commercials can all help to provide information for you. Many current research reports appear in online newsletter resources. Analysts are also good at writing up white-paper reports on trends on specific industries.

Helpful Tip: Do a google search today — with key words around your business, your product or service — researching your industry or specific area of interest and look for articles, reports or anything written related to what you may be marketing and selling. Chances are, you’ll get some interesting information about what’s happening positively in your industry!

(excerpt from Chapter 12, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool, How Current Trends can impact your business)

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Day 25: What hot and current trends are affecting your product or service?

May 24, 2011

Think about all the trends out there right now — there are positive trends, negative trends, and then there are even economic trends. There are trends with technology like the iPad, iPhone, teeth whitening trends, business outsourcing trends, and trends with going “Green.” Pick your trend, there are many! Trends are everywhere and they can impact your business every day. Be aware of the trends that could influence your business and the ways your customer may be viewing your product or service. Trends can play an important part in your business and its success.

(excerpt from Chapter 12, How Current Trends Can Impact Your Business, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 24: Leveraging your existing customers

May 23, 2011

If you’ve done my fun customer segmentation exercise below, you have a fairly good idea of how your customers line up in their respective buckets. So, let’s think about your greatest growth opportunity within your existing customer segments. Are there opportunities to grow a customer segment that has a smaller percentage with a bit more attention and focus on that customer segment group? What types of marketing and/or sales activities can you commit to today to help you create increased revenues with your existing customers? If you’re like most businesses, you may be looking to grow an entirely new segment one that you may not have experience with, and that’s okay. But, consider this–when you did your exercise below, which customer segment has the potential to grow the most, and bring you in more revenues? This is your low-hanging fruit opportunity customer and this customer deserves some more marketing and sales attention. This may be a small customer segment, but may have the opportunity to grow the most.

(excerpt from Chapter Ten, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 23: Fun Segmentation: Customer Bucket Wish List

May 20, 2011

Segmenting your customers can actually be a fun task when you think about what you’d like to see in terms of customer growth and revenues. Think for a moment about your ideal customer list, your “wish list” for how you’d like to see your customers segmented. For example, if 70% of your customers are in the biotech segment and 10% non-profit, and 10% Greentech, think about what percentage of your business you’d like to grown in an existing or another segment. Here’s a quick exercise you can do to get started with your own Customer Bucket “Wish List”:

1. I have X customer buying my product or service now.
2. From a segmentation perspective, my customers fall into the following industries/categories in terms of percentages. (your answers should add up to 100%)
__% Industry or category here
__% Industry or category here
__% Industry or category here

You get the idea! Now do the same exercise but use the exercise above to instead document your ideal “wish list” of what you’d like to see in terms of segmentation for your customers. If there’s a new market you’d like to enter, be sure to include in this “Wish list.”

___%Industry or category here – Wish List
___%Industry or category here – Wish List
___%Industry or category here – Wish List

I’ve seen a lot of people use this exercise to really define where their existing customer sit in terms of segmentation. A funny thing happens when you start to document what’s happening and really define where you’d like to go–it can really help you to set a path for success! This customer bucket “Wish List” is really handy for planning purposes and allowing you to see where you have the greatest opportunity in your business today with low-hanging fruit customers.

(Excerpt from Chapter 10, Segmenting your customers, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 22: Segment your customers first – even with social media

May 19, 2011

I talked to someone a few weeks ago who was saying that in social media you basically don’t have to segment your customers because the social media groups segment your customers for you. But, this is actually not the case! Social media groups attract specific types of customers with interests, but you still need to understand what type of customers YOUR business wants to market to and do that, segmentation work is very helpful. If you know the types of customers that you want to talk to you, it will make your life that much easier when you reach out to potential customers on social media sites. Defining customer segments can actually help to improve your social media efforts and your marketing efforts in general.

So what is customer segmentation and what does it mean? To make it simple, customer segmentation is defined as the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals who are similar in specific ways. Using a customer segmentation process allows companies to target and market to these groups effectively, and to also determine how to allocate their marketing resources to get the maximum results out of their marketing programs.

So think about segmenting your customers into categories or “buckets.” You can establish these buckets by industry, by revenue or even by age range. Another way to organize your customer segments is by revenue opportunity. The way you segment is up to you, but once you have this established, all your marketing (and social media efforts) will actually seem a lot easier.

(Excerpt from Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool, Chapter 10, Segmenting your customers)

Day 21: Solutions and programs for your target audience

May 17, 2011

If you can get a better understanding for your target audience’s key motivating drivers for purchasing your product or service, you probably have a good sense for their likes and needs. Think about ways that you can package your offerings to provide a special solution for your target audience that can make their lives easier. For example, do you have a product or service that you can bundle with another offering? The retail industry is notorious for bundling one consumer product with another with a incentive/discount to buy. Technology companies often times offer a product with a service fee at a discounted rate when purchased together. Think about your biz for a moment. Can you bundle several service or product offerings into one package that can save your target audience time and money? Once you’ve achieved this bundled idea, try giving it a catchy phrase that your target audience will find compelling.

(excerpt from chapter nine, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 20: Key Drivers for Purchasing your product or service

May 13, 2011

What motivates and drives your customers to actually purchase your product or service? For some companies it’s a need to make something in their lives easier, or to save costs or even to ensure peace of mind. When you discover what drives your customers to a purchase you can start to think about how to mold and package your product or service differently to drive even more customers your way.

Think about what drives your customers to your offering. Are there ways you can package them even easier for your customers today?

(excerpt from chapter 9, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 19: Messaging to your target audience

May 10, 2011

Where can a customer see your marketing messages? Think about all the existing materials that you’ve created that may have the potential to include your marketing value statements. Have you read these materials lately to make sure key buzz words, phrases and your value proposition is clearly articulated?

– LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter account profile pages
– Advertising logo/tagline
– Newsletter (online or print)
– Company overview on website, brochure, collateral
– PowerPoint presentations (sales pitch)
– Articles in trade publications that feature your product or service
– Boilerplate summary of your company on a datasheet, whitepaper, or press release

Remember to keep your marketing message to your target audience consistent!

(Excerpt from Chapter 9, Identifying and Connecting with Your Target Audience, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 18: Talking to your target audience

May 6, 2011

How do you talk to your target audience today? Do you use words and phrases as well as call-to-action messages that encourage them to respond to your product or service? What are you saying about your product or service and what types of words do you use to attract your target audience? Think about what types of phrases seem to work best.
Once you develop an idea of catch-phrases and buzz words that make your target audience respond, be sure to include in all your marketing materials. You never know when a potential customer may read about your company! Be sure to also keep your messaging consistent.

(excerpt from Chapter 9, Identifying and Connecting with Your Target audience, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)

Day 17: What does your target customer look like?

May 4, 2011

If you have been selling your product or service for a long time, you may feel like you know your customers quite well. But how well do you really know them? What really makes them tick? Ask yourself these questions and see if you can answer them to the best of your knowledge:

-What types of publications does your customer read?
-What companies does your customer find credible?
-What research reports would get them to take notice?
-What types of online newsletters and papers would impact your customer’s purchasing decisions?
-What is your customer’s general age range and what are their purchasing likes and dislikes?
-What influences your customer’s purchasing decision-is it price or performance? Or is it something else?
-In your customer’s current day-to-day activities, what takes up the most time in their job and what are some of the challenges in their own role?

All of the answers to the questions above are important because they can help you to identify the motivating factors that influence your customer’s purchasing behavior and these answers can help you to identify your customer’s profile for your target audience.

(Excerpt from chapter 9, Identifying and Connecting with Your Target Audience, Market This!: An Effective 90-Day Marketing Tool)