By Chris Holland
The Power of Marketing to the Right Segments
In many of our initial conversations with small and medium sized businesses, many founders and owners want to skip past all of the branding and marketing talk to get to leads and sales. Their key question is, “How will a web redesign, how will a digital campaign help me sell more products and services?”
And the customers who ask me that are asking the right question, but the answer is more complex than a coupon, a PPC ad, a social media campaign or a video. The process of marketing is the process of bringing good products and services to market, and in presenting them to people when your product is pressing for their needs. Personas, a profile of your primary customer and his or her attitudes and behaviors become very important in matching every touchpoint in your marketing efforts to customers similar to the ideal persona.
But Isn’t that for Corporate Brands?
A lot of people see how that makes sense for a Nike, Coca Cola, Toyota or Apple – the executives are working from a bird’s-eye view and focusing on the big picture. Personas, it’s argued, can keep these executives grounded and in touch with the customers that sales, product design and customer service are working hard to connect with.
Personas can be vitally important for a small to medium size business as well. Suppose you have a group of customers with disparate needs and you are running ragged trying to keep up with all of the changes, expectations and customization each client is asking for. It makes sense to serve those customers to keep the doors open and cash flowing, but it leaves little time to assess whether the customers you are serving are asking for the things that will help you expand your business, develop efficiencies, grow your team’s knowledge and position yourself for flexibility in a highly competitive market.
For businesses in this scenario, the question becomes “what can I do to understand my offer in relation to my customers and the market?”
One of our existing clients serves primarily individual operators in their sector, yet the industry, which has expanded over the past two decades, is seeing the beginning of consolidation, with smaller businesses coming under pressure by organizational efficiency, and a process of buyouts as new technology gives the upper hand to larger companies with the money for data analysis.
Solving Client’s Needs
What should our client do? As we continued their existing campaign, we began to assess the shift and to identify the expectations of larger firms that are buying out the mom and pop shops that have been the heart of the industry. To become a service provider for tomorrow’s industry requires a new portrait of who they will be talking to, and a new language that meets the needs of the changing market place.
During the assessment, two personas became clear in the marketplace: existing small business, and emerging regional operators. By examining the profiles, the service mix and messaging change to match the customer’s need.
Build on Your Success
Connect with Green Vine Marketing if shifts in your marketplace are causing you headaches. With an assessment of your customers and your market, we can help you develop personas to modify your offer, update messaging and target campaigns to existing, new and changing customer relationships.
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