By Michael Desroches
Who is your perfect client?
That’s an essential question that every organization needs to answer – and one that often gets overlooked in the daily fray of conducting business. You see many organizations – even good, well-intentioned organizations – become so focused on the minutiae of howthey are serving clients that they forget they need to take several steps back periodically and evaluate whotheir clients are and whether those clients have changed. Yet while understanding your clients is important to your long-term bottom line, it’s critical to crafting the type of marketing campaign that will target them and ultimately get them to try – and love – you.
How do you as a leader of your organization reach that level of client understanding? One effective way is to bring in an outside marketing agency to ask that very question. It’s one of the key initial discovery questions that any good agency should be asking you. And they should not just be asking your top executives, they should be asking it across every level of your organization, because the answers they receive may be surprisingly varied. Those answers are essential for your marketing team to get to know the organization they are about to represent, and it helps them understand the audience they are trying to connect you with. On a deeper level, this query allows your marketing team to hone in on critical aspects of messaging as they develop branding strategies, marketing campaigns and the varied print and digital materials that ultimately will support both.
Yet it also does something far more important. My team has found that asking organizations this deceptively simple question encourages your key personnel to examine what it is that your organization does best and who you ultimately wish to do it for. Asking it across all levels of your organization can reveal hidden markets that can be capitalized upon and uncover weaknesses with key clients that can be shored up in creative ways.
You see, it’s easy for organizational teams to get so caught up in the day-to-day rhythms of doing business, meeting deadlines, and fulfilling sales goals that they lose sight of who they are trying to attract. While that disconnect is detrimental to a marketing campaign, it can be devastating to your long-term goals.
That’s because one of the key things I teach all of my branding and marketing clients and that I hammer home in every talk I deliver is that for organizations today, literally everything they do is marketing.
· The social media images they create and share are marketing.
· The comments they leave on the feeds of other organizations or individuals are marketing.
· The remarks their employees make to friends and family are marketing.
· The reviews that clients post on third-party websites are marketing.
· The way they respond – or don’t respond – to those reviews is definitely marketing.
· The manner in which front line employees interact with everyone who comes through the door is marketing.
· The text reminders they send are marketing.
· The tone they choose to use when they respond to client emails is marketing.
· The thank you notes they send – or don’t bother to write – are marketing.
And, of course, the emails and direct mail pieces you send, landing pages and websites you launch, ads you run, and all of the traditional communications pieces you send are most assuredly marketing.
To attract the perfect client, each of those pieces has be working in tandem to create a holistic approach that’s designed to tell your perfect clients exactly who you are and what you do better than anyone else. Each piece has be delivered in the right tone of voice, using the language the audience wants to hear and presented on the proper medium at the most impactful moment.
To reach that level of understanding you have to fundamentally “get” your clients. This extends well beyond demographics and delves into the primary reasons why they choose to do business with you, the real motivations behind their actions and choices, the pain points that trigger reactions from them, and the solutions they will readily embrace to simplify their lives and those of their teammates.
When you really “get” your clients at this deeper level, your marketing will click. You’ll be able to look at a client profile and understand that a week before the largest trade show of the year, he will most likely need a large quantity of the product you provide. If you look at sales records and see that an order hasn’t yet been placed, you’ll understand that they’ll require a rush order shipped directly to the site of the show instead of their home office in another state. Now imagine if an email from you outlining all this hits as your client sits at his desk, bogged down in details on a Friday night when he’d rather be home with his family. If your email also has a link to a landing page that gives him a discount, if you provide proper follow-up and follow-through and touch base after the show to see how he did, your organization will have won not just a perfect client – but a fan. This holds true no matter what type of product or professional service your organization provides.
Unfortunately, in today’s crowded media climate, you can’t run a single ad and expect your office to be overrun with requests from potential clients. But that’s okay – because in reality, you never could.
I sincerely believe that these new multi-touch ways of finding and attracting clients who are perfect for you are built on a far more solid foundation than old school advertising and branding could ever hope to provide. That’s because these “new” methods are built on the old-fashioned principle of establishing a genuine and lasting connection with your prospects.
You see, the secret is that people still do business with people they like. If your organization proves that it will go out of its way to understand and then serve the people you most want to reach, they will respond – and they’ll ultimately become yourperfect clients.
About Michael Desroches
Michael Desroches is a corporate marketing consultant, brand strategist, speaker, trainer andmentor. The Founder and Principal of Woodbridge, Connecticut-based Brand Inspiration has spent more than two decades helping corporations, nonprofit organizations, mid-sized companies and small businesses here in the northeast and across the country. He and his team help clients uncover their most unique traits and translate them into creative marketing that inspires donors to give, customers to buy, and people to trust. Learn more at www.michaeldesrochesonline.com.