Using Your Customers to Build Your Marketing Plan

Work with your clients to create a better understanding of why they buy from you

Last week, in one of my posts, I mentioned that if you listen carefully, you’ll find your customers are actually telling you how to market to them.  And if you want to learn even more, make your customers an even bigger part of your marketing plan.  Use them to collect information, make them a part of your advisory board, ask questions, and get them to help you create a experience for all of your customers.

Every small business owner that I’ve ever talked to thinks they know why their customers buy from them.  But the truth is that these business owners don’t get it entirely right.  So why not use those great customer relationships and outright ask your customers?  This is the perfect opportunity to collect information from those that value what you have to offer.

Pro-actively collecting information from your clients ensures that you really do understand what’s important to your customers.  Interviewing your clients is a key step in the Duct Tape Marketing System and it’s what really helps you to understand what you do that is valued by your clients.  It is also instrumental in helping determine what is unique about what you do or offer.

Set up telephone interviews with your clients and ask them key questions like the following:

1. Why did you buy or hire?

2. How are we different from everyone else that you considered?

3. If you looked online, what terms did you search on?

4. What do we do well that others don’t do so well on.

5. What do we do that others don’t?

6. Is there anything about our industry that frustrates you?

This is the perfect way to understand your clients better, their timing triggers, and the problems that they are really trying to solve.  It will help you clarify how you’re different from your competition and that should be a critical piece of your marketing communications.  And the idea here is to use your clients’ words–they think differently than we do and that can be very powerful when you’re trying to connect with others just like them.

If you say the same things your competition says, the only thing to compare you on is price.  Work with your clients to create a better understanding of why they buy from you.  I do this for my clients all the time and I’ve never encountered anyone who didn’t want to participate.  They have a vested interest in your success so why not accept some help.

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