Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Have you tried marketing research?

It is difficult to be both a specialist in your profession and an expert in understanding customers and potential customers. In developing marketing strategies and enhancing knowledge, it is essential to conduct market research to better comprehend your customers and their needs.

The subject of marketing research knowledge has significantly increased in response to growth in disruptive innovation including the internet and technology development. Marketing requires time and dedication to research your customers considering they do not always think, act, believe, or have the same priorities or values as you.

The keys to understanding how to grow your business are in researching your industry and target audience. Once you have researched your customers and developed a targeted strategy to grow sales, your business will flourish with little effort. As market research grows in popularity, your business should persistently react to the market demands and innovations.

Why you aren’t getting referrals

As humans, we are greatly influenced by our relationships. We each enjoy being members of loyalty programs and networking groups that align with our goals. We have selected and continue to go to the same supermarkets, gas stations, banks, and purchase from only select companies. This happens because of an unspoken relationship that exists with these businesses and brands. They make us happy, we trust them, and their consistency is calming in a chaotic world.

Relationships are natural, and our preference of who we develop relationships with are often based on past experiences and expectations. Similar to dating relationships, customer and businesses relationships involve courting, falling in love, marriage, honeymoon, and then the questioning of whether the relationship has a future. At that moment of questioning, the relationship either continues down a happy road or ends in divorce or breakup.

Are you successfully developing good relationships with your customers or are you just present? Are they only with you because they are content or do they actually feel that you are the best option for them? If you haven’t gotten a referral in a while, then you may not be pleasing your customer as well as you think. After reading this email, start a new one and write your customer a thank you message. You’ll be surprised how far it goes.

If you’re a professional — whether you’re an entrepreneur or an executive — you need proven, high-level strategies to really make your business grow and it starts with understanding the needs of your customers.

The most important part of your business

The marketing message is the heart of a marketing plan. It details the business’s plan for the market materials, how the company plans to achieve its marketing goals and the tactics that will be used to meet them. The marketing message determines how the business intends to communicate its message to the customer.

When creating your marketing message make certain that you focus on how you want your company to be perceived by customers. Do you want customers to view your business as having good prices, customer support, quality service, etc? Once you determine your marketing message, you will know the next steps for achieving business success.

Marketing plan vs. Business plan

I’m currently working on a new course around business plan writing, and it reminded me of how often I get asked to create a business plan when the customer actually wants a marketing plan.

To give you an idea of a difference between the two, business plans focus mainly on defining the company, its history, mission, and goals. A business plan includes more than just a marketing plan or strategy. It also includes discussion regarding staffing, locations, finances, and strategic alliances.

A marketing plan focuses on creating keys to success. It takes the mission and goals of the business and outlines a detailed plan to reach those goals and generate success.

When gathering data for either plan or strategy, gaining feedback is important considering most all ideas will affect each department within the company. Leaders and managers can provide realistic data, experiences, and share insight into market opportunities.

Customer marketing with a purpose

Customers often make their purchasing decisions based on available information. Consequently, it is the responsibility of your business to provide customers with information that helps influence a sale. If presented and marketed effectively, the information can persuade the customer that they need what your business is selling even if the product is outside of the customers’ desires or immediate needs. In this sense, information used within your marketing efforts are responsible for shaping the needs and wants of customers. The

implication is that, through marketing, you can capitalize on the customers’ internal weakness and persuade them to make a purchase.

Have you sent your resume?

Without marketing, your business is taking the risks of potentially losing customers and revenue. Think of your brand, website, or artwork as a resume. You spend hours or days writing and designing it to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve culminated and beautified your resume, what next? What’s the next step to ensuring that you land that dream job?

The appropriate response is to send your resume to employers.

In the case of business, that is considered marketing. You need to market yourself to gain the employer. A terrible resume sent to potential employers has a higher probability of landing the job over a superb resume sitting in a drawer. Without marketing, you will waste time and money creating a great brand for no reason at all.

Your customers don’t need you

Do customers really need your product or service? Of course not. But, some customers actually do want what your product or service offers. Customers get solicited to by plenty of businesses, and they have more options than they can count. There is rarely anything special about one product over another.

Most customers are fed-up with businesses and being marketed to by companies continually offering the “next big thing.”

Why would a customer choose you? How are you any different from the rest? What makes you so special? Customers have been so beaten down by poor quality businesses and individuals that they much rather watch a do-it-yourself YouTube video, Google a solution, or get advice from friends and family on social media.

You have to give your customers more than a “solution.” They want you to actually listen. Figure out what their real concern is and connect with them emotionally. Don’t try and gain a customer, but develop a solid relationship with your customers. With a growing society of independent customers, if you don’t show your value in the form of a good relationship, your business will fail to grow loyal followers.

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