Posted by: hooten1965 | February 18, 2010

Marketing For Customers Is Just Like Fishing

Success in any business thrives or withers away based on its customer base. Whether the business has been in operation for decades or just a few days, drawing customers to your business daily is the prime objective.

Business owners are very much like fishermen. Fishermen pack their gear and lunches and trek to the lake, pond or even an ocean with hopes of landing many fish. Many sit hours with maybe only a nibble, while the more experienced and prepared are busy filling their baskets. A skilled fishermen success is due to several practices. Those may include but not limited to the following: research, location, specific lures and equipment type to name a few. As business owners we must implement similar practices in our marketing campaigns.

There are many factors that adversely affect your customer base daily. What can you do to eliminate those factors? NOTHING, but there are proven ways to help keep your business growing. You must actively seek new ways to attract new customers. Its all comes down to your marketing.

Marketing is such a vital tool, that you should never stop marketing. Don’t even let external factors influence your marketing campaigns. For instance, whether the economy is booming or bust, keep marketing. Why you ask? You must always be in the position to attract new customers at all times.

Marketing is ACTION. You can’t sit down with arms folded and wish customers to your front door. You must TARGET and ATTRACT potential customers. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. You also have to convince your target audience to do business with you. This means you have to stand out from others who are also soliciting their business, and that you have exactly what they are looking for.

Marketing effectively is an acquired skill but just like fishermen, with research, proper tools and practice, you will reap the bounty of your hard work.

To assist you on your marketing campaign, I’ve listed below a few key points to help you target and attract your potential customers.

1. What Is Your Target Audience

What is a target audience? Wikipedia defines target audience as the following:

target audience, or target group is the primary group of people that something, usually an advertising campaign, is aimed at appealing to. A target audience can be people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, etc.

Let’s refer back to the fisherman’s v.s businessman analogy. A skilled fisherman knows even before they leave their house what specific fish that they are fishing for. If the location is a lake, the fish therein could be Bass, Carp, or even Crappie. If fishing in the ocean, the fish could be Grouper, Tuna, or possibly even Shark.

So when it comes to marketing, you also must know who you are targeting. By targeting you will be able to effectively utilize your time, energy and resources. There are many factors to consider when it comes to constructing a marketing campaign.  Target factors for any campaign can range from many to as few as one. It all depends on how specific your campaign will be. Once you have your target audience determined, you will find it easy to fashion your marketing campaign accordingly. Targeting is the foundational step in your campaign; you need this to build on.

2. What Is It That The Customer Desire?

Fisherman’s view: What food does my target fish desire

Business owner view: What does my potential customer desire

As a business owner, your main focus is on the customer. What is it that they want? What is it that they need?  Once you have found the answer to these questions, you will know how to attract many customers to your business. Do your research. Find out what products/services are desired the most. And if you can improve upon the products/services that are already being provided by your competitors, you will stand out from among them. This is because you are providing them a product/service that is not being provided by your competitors.

3. Care About Your Customers

Customers are more than just a source of increasing your revenue. Whenever a customer makes contact with you or an individual working for your company. Marketing is also taking place. A smile, tone of voice, business practices, and much more is marketing your company.  Remember any negative or unprofessional impressions will drive your customers away.

Your potential customers work very hard for their money and they are willing to do business. But you must first create a relationship with them. Show them that they are more than just a ring up on the cash register. Once you have proven that you are trustworthy and that you are providing quality products/services.  You are now on the right path to having a loyal customer.

4. Stay Within The Factors Of Your Target Group

Fisherman’s view: A skilled fisherman will not try to catch a shark with a worm. (A shark doesn’t find a worm appealing as a meal)

Business owner’s view: Remember the factors of your target audience.

Your marketing campaign success is dependent upon your message reaching the right people. By staying within the factors of your target audience, your messages will reach those who are interested in purchasing your product/service. You do not want to waste you time, energy, and money on attracting people who are not interested in or not capable of  accepting your product/service.

5. Be Unique, Be Yourself

There are many avenues in which to market. Whether you choose to use print, radio, internet or etc, be yourself and be unique. Of course you know that in marketing circles this is commonly referred to as branding oneself.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as the following:

a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

Being unique creates a curiosity in your potential customer. Curiosity is the vehicle that will bring that customer to you and will allow you an opportunity to showcase your product/service. During this moment you should show your potential customer that you are the solution for their problem. Make their experience of doing business with you an excellent one. By doing this, you are on the path to creating the desired brand for yourself/company. Excellent branding creates the following:

Separation from competitors

Create lasting positive impression

Establish credibility

Creates loyalty

As stated before, marketing effectively requires skill. But with patience, practice and possibly even with some coaching, you will reap the rewards.

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