When looking to increase business (whether it’s new customers, more campers, more members etc), it’s important to understand your target markets are most likely three distinctly different groups. Unfortunately, most people look at marketing as something you do to everyone and it’s one of the many reasons many marketing campaigns fail.
The three groups to market to would be as follows:
Your current customers
Your competitors customers
New potential customers.
Sadly, the group we frequently ignore the most are the current customers. For example, if you own a restaurant, it’s great to try to get new customers but it’s easier, and more effective, to keep your current customers happy and encourage them to return. What good does an extensive marketing campaign do if you get a lot of new customers and they never return? Once you get a customer in your door, make sure they have a positive experience and work to keep them coming back. Also, as was discussed last week, if you are doing a good job, your current customers will also become your best salespeople, making referrals, bringing friends etc.. This is the last group you should ever ignore.
Your competitors customers are another group you would market to. If you are a Realtor you know there are people looking to buy and sell houses. If they don’t go to you, they are going to go to a competitor. This is a win/lose situation in that if you gain a customer, they lose a customer and if you lose a customer, they gain one. In looking at the Apple TV commercials for the Mac, they are targeting Microsoft customers in order to increase their market share. In order to target your competitors customers, you must know what the competitors are doing well and what they are doing poorly. This is where mystery shoppers, market research etc comes into play. Most marketing is geared toward this group.
The third group is the hardest group to market to. Rather than trying to take a customer from the current market base, it’s trying to increase the market base. Using the Realtor as an example, instead of marketing to people who want to buy houses, it’s marketing to current renters and showing them the advantage of home ownership over renting. If you run an educational convention, it’s trying to bring in people to the convention who aren’t choosing between your convention and the other one, but rather had never considered attending a convention in the first place. The great thing about this type of marketing is, if done properly, it not only helps you but probably helps your competition as well. If you own a hotel and can increase the number of visitors to your area, you will sell more rooms, so will your competition and in the long run, all will benefit from even more traffic. The difficulty with marketing to this group is it doesn’t get done with a 30 second TV commercial. It doesn’t get done with a classified ad. It takes time to educate the new group, encourage them etc.
As an example of this type of marketing, look at the athletic shoe industry. Many of the smaller brands are trying to take market share away from Nike. Nike is spending many millions of dollars trying to increase the overall market (whether it’s adding new sports or bringing in more of the fashion side).
When looking to increase your business, make sure you address all three groups. If you can only address one of them, choose group 1. Your current customers can make you or break you
Have a great day!