Think like a buyer not a seller

Posted On 2/8/2022

How to become 2Marketers surpass consumers in their daily use of e-mail, texting and social platforms. A whopping 93 percent of marketers have made a purchase as a direct result of an e-mail marketing message, while only 49 percent of online consumers have done so.

What is the significance of this? The differences point to a fundamental fact about marketing: Your perspective may be skewed if you make assumptions about customers based on your own behaviour, rather than that of the people you want to reach. If you are operating on a different wavelength than your customers, your marketing will seem like it’s from Mars–and will not resonate with its intended audience.

Let’s take a look at some adages that can help you gain real insight into your customer base.

Fish where the fishes are
You should know who your ideal customer is (Marketers might call this a target persona). But where are these people? Which social networks do they use? What publications do they read? What communities are they part of? Where do they go for information?

A fisherman would plan to hang out by the right pool. How do you find it? Ask, don’t assume. Too often, only sales and customer service reps talk to real, live customers; marketers tend not to interact directly with the people they are targeting. So change that: Survey folks on your e-mail or mailing list. Invite customers to a meal. Or, just pick up the phone.

Shoot where the pheasant will be
In other words, be there before the sale. You can apply this concept in numerous ways. I think of it as anticipating your customers’ needs and serving them before they even know they need you. How do you do this?

By answering both the questions they have and those they should have when they’re looking to buy.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
Can you stand one more animal analogy? I’m invoking it to underscore the concept that while customers may vary and may lurk in many places around the web–Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, discussion groups–some customers are better than others. Most have constrained budgets and limited resources. So focus your efforts on the channels and platforms and segments that will yield the most for you.

Not rocket science, certainly. But in an age when digital tools and platforms and apps are expanding at a rapid rate, it’s worth mentioning.