Know your Customers – Understand where you need to focus your marketing efforts

October 01, 2019
Written by: Atul Oka, Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development, DUKE Heights BIA


Creating effective marketing messages, while sounding simple, is in reality one of the most difficult things to define because all prospective customers, are not all cookie cutter versions of each other. Every potential customer is different, with different wants, needs and aspirations. Do we know which customers are more likely to buy from us? Do we actively market to them, or do we try and reach all our potential customers by spreading our marketing message as wide as possible?

Our approach depends on what we hope to achieve with our marketing efforts. Traditionally marketing is aimed either at brand awareness, or sales.

Marketing for brand awareness is used to create and maintain visibility of our brand. It keeps our brand top of mind with potential customers and ensures that our company is well understood and positioned. Let’s take two brands owned by the same company but with very different positioning. Jaguar and Tata Motors are both part of the Tata Group. The Jaguar brand is perceived as an aspirational brand while Tata Motors is perceived as a lower cost, value for money brand. If you are planning on marketing for brand awareness, you need to be clear about what you want your brand to stand for.

Most small businesses however need to focus on targeted marketing to boost sales. But, how do we reach, and sell effectively, to our potential clients? Let’s take an example of a product or service from the same company and how it can apply to different markets. Imagine that you are a home baker that has a passion for cakes. Your biggest selling items are children’s birthday cakes and wedding cakes. To whom, and how, will you market each of your products? Ask yourself, who makes the purchase decision, and what type of media do they usually consume.

We all know that the bride has the final say for any wedding cake, so in this instance you know you need to target potential brides. Where would you advertise to make sure that you reach this target market? In bridal magazines and websites of course. Advertising on your community radio station might reach more people, but what percentage of listeners are actually looking for a wedding cake? Radio advertising may reach more people but will not translate into more sales.

Children’s birthdays are usually planned by moms, so how would you reach this market? Your best bet here, would be to advertise at party venues and party supply shops. You should note however that when it comes to small business, word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool, so make sure that each and every client is satisfied with your service.

Wonder how we keep our clients satisfied? We will explore how to measure client service in our next article.