I’m a firm proponent of target marketing. For a small technology or software consulting company, there’s no better way to attract and retain new customers. That being said, I know there are a lot of companies that resist targeted marketing. They think with all of those people out there that would be perfect customers, why would we limit ourselves to just a few? Why would we willingly sacrifice the whole pie for just one piece? Who wants to create a business with limits? Or, we couldn’t survive if we just marketed to one small group of customers.
There are a lot of reasons that may sound valid to you as to why you wouldn’t or shouldn’t target your market. I could offer just as many valid reasons as to why you should. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be addressing many of those reasons for targeted marketing.
Before I start those discussions, let me ask you a question. If you got a sales letter in the mail, which of the following salutations would compel you to continue reading?
a. To Whom It May Concern
b. Dear Fellow Member of the Chamber of Commerce
I’m just guessing here, but I’d say most of you would continue reading the letter that starts out Dear Fellow Member of the Chamber of Commerce. Why? Speaking for myself, I’d read just to see if it has something to do with my Chamber of Commerce membership. If it’s not that, then I’d read it to see what a fellow member has to say. The point I’m trying to make is that marketing that seems to be personalized to me, even in terms of a group I belong to is more likely to get my attention. And marketing that is personalized to a smaller group is, you guessed it, targeted marketing.
Targeted marketing doesn’t mean marketing to an audience of one, although you can do that. At it’s most basic, targeted marketing means identifying the things that matter most to your clients and prospects. How do you know what matters most to them? You ask them. Send out a survey to your current clients. Call prospective clients and ask them what they’re looking for. As a small company, you have the advantage. In most cases, you have a personal relationship with your clients. Start now to capture as much information on each client as possible. This information will help you target your customers as you get bigger. Not sure what to ask them? Harvey Mackey has what he calls the Mackay 66, 66 questions he asks to get to know his customers. Use the Mackay 66 as a starting point, and add or change the questions to suit your business and customers.
Use a social CRM tool, such as Xeesm, to follow current and potential clients on social media. People share a great deal of information online. Listen to their conversations to see what they think is important.