Last week we wrote a blog about the importance of identifying your target market. This week we wanted to touch on the broader theme this comes under the umbrella of: knowledge. More specifically, demonstrating the knowledge that can help you to perform at your best.
Knowledge is a key component in the sales and marketing framework of any business. These days, the majority of businesses operate in an extremely competitive and crowded market, and staying ahead of your competitors can be a major challenge. So other than the obvious knowledge of your competition, the more knowledgeable you are in your own field, and the more knowledgeable you are about your customers’, their needs and the problems you solve for them, the greater the edge this can give you over your competitors.
Let’s look at that in a bit more detail – why is it important to gain knowledge about your customers?
Understanding your customers will allow you to create marketing materials that are most likely to reach them and it’s your existing customers that can provide you with the biggest clues about who your potential customers might be. If you look at your client base, consider the question, who are my best customers? Then ask yourself the question why? Is it because they’re the most profitable? Is it because they buy most frequently? Is it because they cause the least disruption to your business?
Developing this knowledge can help you understand the type of clients you want to target to grow your business. This will be fed into by the strategy and purpose for your business. The client profile you choose to go after should be driven from the type of business you are looking to grow.
Next when you’ve identified who those targets are, think about your product or service from their perspective, what is the specific problem that they have that your product or service is solving or helping to alleviate?
As an example, let’s consider this from the perspective of a company that delivers garden maintenance services. If you’re targeting professional clients with young families, their primary problem is likely to be time, perhaps coupled with an uncertainty around what to do with the garden, but a desire to have a nice space for their family to spend time in. These are all messages that could be picked up on in the marketing.
Alternatively, if your best customers are retirees, they probably have time to maintain the garden themselves, so the problem you are solving for them is not a time based one. The likelihood is the primary problem you are solving for them is that maintaining the garden has become too much work for them to do themselves, or perhaps what they really value is having someone to consult with on what to do with the garden. So you need to think about the problem from the point of view of your target market, and if you have clients that fit the profile, the best thing to do is ask them.
Depending on who you are targeting, your marketing message to them is likely to be more effective if you address the problem you are solving for them in your marketing collateral, and then provide evidence and credibility that supports it.
You then also need to think about how who they are effects the medium with which you’re most likely to reach them? Looking at the examples we’ve just discussed, professionals are stanchly embedded in the digital age, so things like Google ad-words focusing on locality, SEO, Social media etc. are likely to be good areas to invest in. However in busy towns and cities you may also want to consider local commuter stations and what sort of advertising you could do there. Perhaps local school events or school magazines would bare fruit. Or sponsoring local junior clubs.
If you were turning your attention to the pensioner market, you may find that the digital mediums are less effective. Instead you might be wanting to look more at direct mail, or thinking about other ways you more likely to reach them such as local newspapers and magazines. Local golf clubs, tennis clubs or other sports clubs perhaps.
Ultimately the more knowledge and insight you have about your target clients, the more likely you are going to be to be able to reach them and reach them with a relevant message that will appeal to them and engage them.
But what about knowledge about your own products, services or specialist fields? Why is that so important to your sales and marketing?
Well, industries are changing all the time. For example, if you are an accountant it’s important that you stay fully up to date with all of the constant tax changes that come into place. You are an expert in that field, so if a client comes to you seeking tax advice and your advice is out of date, that has the potential to seriously undermine your credibility to them. It is important to make sure as best you can that you are at the top of your game in your industry so that when, once you’ve done all the hard work and got someone through the door to make an enquiry, that the level of service you can offer doesn’t let you down.
Maintaining this consistent high level of knowledge also impacts on your personal performance in the sales and marketing arena. If you know you are at the top of your sector, and you genuinely believe you are better than your competitors, it fills you with confidence in what you deliver. When you then come to a sales situation (perhaps even an impromptu one that you weren’t expecting) you have complete confidence in your ability to perform and provide potential clients with the right information. This in itself can have a very significant impact on sales, as if you have confidence in your own service or products, potential clients are attracted to that – it gives them confidence that you really will do a fantastic job for them, therefore increasing the likelihood that they will buy.
So staying knowledgeable is key to keeping your business moving forward and growing. And in order to really benefit from this knowledge it’s vital that action is taken to implement learning and get maximum benefit from insights.
“To know and not to do is not to know” – Brian Tracy
The area of knowledgeability that we always endeavor to keep at the forefront of is strategies and techniques that will help business owners achieve what they want to with their businesses, and then we coach our clients to implement their plans.
As always if you feel you’d like to know more about how we might be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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At Engineering Business Growth as part of our ‘Marketing Strategy & Campaign Planning’ programme we work with our clients to stay ahead of thier competition by creating well thought out robust plans and then support them to impliment those plans. So if you feel you need to improve your knowledge on the right approach for you, why not get in touch for a no obligation chat about how we can help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org