Leverage How Different Your Clients Are: Smart Segmenting

Since leading/managing your business, you’ve realized that no two customers/clients are exactly the same. Unfortunately, that can lead you to be taken advantage of by people who then claim that you must therefore market to everyone as well as market the same way to everyone. The result: your marketing budgets will be considerable and measuring your outcomes will be unruly. 

But, fear not! You can always segment — that is, split your customers/clients into smaller groups — and then market to these smaller groups. The resulting benefits are considerable: you can build a better understanding of these smaller groups’ needs, priorities, purchase behaviours and obstacles to purchase. At the same time, you can hone your marketing budgets and collect meaningful measures.

Keep in-mind that when you decide to segment, the challenge then becomes: How do you develop meaningful segments? Robert and I delve into this topic in a future BusinessCast Podcast.

But, before we tackle how you can/should segment your customers/clients, here’s a fun and thought-provoking example that gives you a flavour of one way to segment a specific group of consumers.

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News Flash: Use Social Media to Build and Protect Your Reputation

As a successful or budding entrepreneur, you know that consistently demonstrating that you truly care about your customers can ensure repeat business.

But, here’s another reason: According to a new study, affluent consumers – i.e. the customers you want – are using social media tools to share their customer service experiences as well as to learn about the “care experiences” of others during the purchase decision making process. This is among the initial findings in new study by the Society for New Communications Research entitled, Exploring the Link Between Customer Care and Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media 

These findings emphasize that how you treat your current customers has a dramatic impact on new business as well as repeat business.

 

The study examined affluent/active Internet users and how “customer care” influences brand reputation — given the widespread use of social media tools (e.g. podcasts, blogs, etc.). 

 

The top findings — summarized below — strongly suggest that every entrepreneur needs to focus time, energy and resource on ensuring that current (and future) customers have consistent positive customer experiences:

  • 59 % of respondents use social media to “vent” about a customer care experience
  • 72 % of respondents research companies’ customer care online prior to purchasing products and services at least sometimes
  • 84% of respondents consider the quality of customer care at least sometimes in their decision to do business with a company
  • 74% choose companies/brands based on others’ customer care experiences shared online
  • 84% of respondents consider the quality of customer care in their decision to do business with a company at least sometimes
  • 81% believe that blogs, online rating systems and discussion forums can give consumers a greater voice regarding customer care, but less than 33% believe that businesses take customers’ opinions seriously 

Dell and Amazon were cited more often than any other company when asked which companies have done the best job in using social media tools to respond to customer care issues. 

 

In terms of industry segments, technology, retail, and travel companies were reported as doing the best job, while utilities, health care, and insurance were the least likely to receive positive endorsements.

 

The researchers conclude that the “…most savvy and sought-after consumers will not support companies with poor customer care reputations and, they will talk about all of this openly with others via multiple online vehicles”.

 

By the way, if you’re trying to get your head around social media – don’t feel discouraged, you’re not alone. Check out our blog entries on July 30th and July 31st – for a quick overview and some very useful resources.

 

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Ensure Your Next Sale: Understand Your Buyer

At one time or an other, every entrepreneur asks him/herself the following question: “What incentive should we use to increase sales?

In the upcoming episode of the BusinessCast podcast (show #68 – Incentives that Sell), Robert and I provide some practical guidelines for developing and offering incentives that leverage your buyers’ state-of-mind.

Some of the issues we cover include:

  • When to use incentives (from the business’ perspective)
  • When to take advantage of incentives (from the buyer’s perspective)
  • The core elements of incentives
  • Issues to work through during incentive planning
  • The risks of offering incentives

BusinessCast podcast episode #68 – Incentives that Sell – will be posted this week. Listen and get inspired!

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