She had to shut down her business.
She had a great product.
She had a great vision.
What she didn’t have?
An understanding of her customers.
The 5 line story above may be made up, but it could very well be true.
Knowing your customers is really THAT important.
But guess what?
You often hear “know your customers”, “Know your customers”.
The real question is…
How do you know your customers?
Let’s Rewind a Little
Instead of a marketing or business perspective, let’s look at it from a general perspective.
How do you know ANYONE?
Through a connection.
How do you build a connection?
How do you communicate better?
By asking questions AND listening.
There’s your answer to knowing your customers.
There is a particular set of questions that if you ask your customers, you’d have a goldmine of valuable information.
They’d legit help you get inside their heads… and go beyond their “demographics”.
I have used and collected most of these questions throughout the years while working with multiple clients.
I found them while doing research for this article.. and the credit for them goes to Samantha. (Who learned them from Dan Kennedy)
She’s a great marketer. So make sure to check her out on Twitter.
(While you’re at it, don’t forget to connect with me as well.)
So, without further ado, let’s look at those questions.
1// What are your fears or concerns?
You can use this for fear-based marketing.
2// What are your beliefs? (Political/religious/cultural)
These are sensitive topics.
This would help you shape your marketing for the good.
3// What are your biggest frustrations when it comes to [product or service category]?
This would help you alleviate their pain or problems with your messaging.
4// What are the most common challenges you face when trying to [achieve a certain goal]?
This would help you take them from point A to point B.. by covering those challenges in your marketing.
5// What are the most common complaints you hear from others about [product or service category]?
You’re hitting two birds with one stone here.
Not only getting their perception but the perception of their peers as well.
6// What are the biggest risks or concerns you have when considering [product or service category]?
This would help you with risk reversal or removing that perceived risk.
7// How often do you buy this type of product or service?
This would help you with your retention strategy or getting repeat purchases.
8// What is your preferred method of purchasing (e.g. online, in-store, phone)?
So you can double down on that method.
9// What factors influence your purchasing decisions (e.g. price, quality, convenience, brand)?
This would help you shape your offer & positioning.
10// What is your decision-making process when buying this type of product or service?
Very crucial for framing your customer journey.
11// Do you tend to be loyal to certain brands or businesses considering [product or service category], and why?
This would help you focus on your differentiation.
There are other questions that you can ask as well.
But guess what?
You don’t wanna overwhelm your customers.
These are the most crucial ones and should be more than enough.
But what if you’re early-stage and don’t have any customers at all to ask these questions?
Your competitors do.
What if you don’t have any direct competitors?
Find indirect competitors.
Indirect competitors: Solve the same customer needs as you but offer different products or services.
- Do some social listening.
- Find early adopters who love your product/service.
- Gather data from them.
- Use it in your marketing.
You have options.
You just need to put in the work.
And Remember One Thing
This is NOT a one-time thing.
You’d constantly have to gather data and keep optimizing your messaging.
Marketing is not a one-time thing and you should never treat it that way.
Keep that in mind.
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