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Running a business is Complicated! ...but, are you forgetting your Customers?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by Tom Zulanas

Satisfied Customers are our best AdsIt's not easy to run a business!  You have to find and create a Product or Service - know all the things about that product and service - decide what to the Price is and manage the Cost - and then: "Sell, Sell, Sell!"  But, isn't there something your forgetting?? ...oh yes, it's your Customer!

It doesn't matter if your business is a B2B (business to business), or B2C (business to consumer); nor, worked to line a supply chain or streamline the operations - your business needs Customers ...and it dawns on you (as the business owner) when you turn to the Sales people to start Selling - Who and Where's all the Customers?

If you didn't do your marketing homework - you'll start panicking to figure or define: who is your customer? ...and, how your marketing is going to connect and contact the millions of potential customers?

Yes, Marketing isn't easy! ...and one of the first steps in marketing is to know - not everyone is your customer.  You want to recognize the various you things about your target market: Who they are? What they do? Age; Income; Where they live; ...also, what they like to do; what they value; where they hang out; what motivates them and how to tell them apart from everyone else?

Some businesses might look successful by just having a sign in front their store.  But, there may be an unaffiliated economic engine at work - they may be enjoying.  Like a barber shop/hair-salon may be relying on the sign outside of their store. But, it is grocery store that is bringing in customers.  The sign may remind the customer of that location for the barber shop/hair-salon.  But, if the barber shop/hair-salon isn't connecting with these customers during their 1 visit, it may be a loss of thousands of dollars over the next 10 years.  (...i mean the rough math shows; assuming 1 hair cut at $20 per month = $240 per year ...and over 5 years = $1,200 per customer).

Many businesses have depended upon various anchor stores, especially malls, or busy roads and highways to bring in traffic (and customers) to their businesses.  Much like the history Route 66 - known as the Super-Highway (or Mother-Road of America) all before the Interstate Highway Systems was designed and created in 1956.  Route 66 sign

Marketing today is more complicated; and it is beyond just purchasing an Ad in a Newspaper, phone book, TV or radio.  Marketing is an investment and not a straight relationship for your Sales.  It's the little motto that brings customers to your store, business, product and service.  It's the things people remember, after they have bought your product.  For example,  McDonald's gave us a great marketing tongue twister of what makes up the Big Mac: 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. ...and having them wanting more & returning as customers.

Today's marketing engages customers where they are ...many are on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.)  They may be talking about themselves, their families, pets, etc. ...and it might get into your product.  If they are not happy about your product or service, did you want to know and address that with them?  If you're business is NOT listening or using social media might be just like the business with a sign in front of your store, and missing many opportunities to connect with these customers.  It's like being on the open road and flying by on the internet super-highway.  Of course, you might get lucky and have the highway authorities (like on the internet highway - it might be Google or Yahoo & using Google Adwords) install a stop sign outside of your business. ...and if you have a web-designer on your side (like MediaTrik), they might be able to modify your web-site to integrate today's marketing strategies with SMM, SEO, blogging, etc. ...all to accomplish the goal and increase traffic to your web-site.