Have you identified who your customers are?

Posted by John Park on Dec 1st, 2010
Dec 1


When I meet for the first time with a prospective client, one of the first questions I ask is…

Who is your customer?

It’s a simple question really because in order for us to help them locate more customers, we need to define who these ideal prospects are.  Unfortunately, most of the answers I get are very general or in some cases, the question outright stumps them. Here are some example answers.


“Any woman!”


“Any business.”

Okay… but who exactly are they?  Anyone who has experienced high school or 3rd grade for that matter knows how different people can be regardless of their obvious and mostly generalized similarities.  As you plan for 2011 and as you attach numbers to your marketing and advertising budgets, defining exactly who your customers are and challenging yourself as well as your staff to be as specific and detailed as possible should be a worthwhile exercise.

Only after you’ve truly defined your customer can you benefit from where you have been and determine where you are going.  When defining your customers, here are some things you should take in to consideration.

1)  Make a list of your 10 favorite existing customers.  Who are they?  What do they have in common?  They are your favorites because they value your products or services the most.  And they value it the most because they see value in what they are receiving from your products and services.
2)  Make a list of what you do or sell REALLY well.  Be honest.  You can’t be everything to everyone.
3)  A gender is not an identified customer.
4)  Everyone or every business is not an identified customer.
5)  When attaching an age range, don’t use a span greater than 10 years.
6)  An income range is not generally an identified customer unless further defined by buying habits and lifestyle.
7)  An identified customer is often in a “situation”.  When we are in a “situation”, we generally need something or someone.
8)  The chances are who you think or want to be your customers are not your customers.  This is not an exercise in who you want as your customers.  Instead, it’s about identifying who your customers are TODAY.
Define your customers first before deciding where to spend your ad and marketing dollars.

Once they are defined, GO AFTER THEM!

Until Next Time…

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From Seth G: “On buying unmeasurable media”

Posted by John Park on Oct 28th, 2010
Oct 28

This is an especially well written piece from Seth.  Food for thought as you plan for 2011.

On buying unmeasurable media

Should you invest in TV, radio, billboards and other media where you can’t measure whether your ad works? Is an ad in New York magazine worth 1,000 times as much as a text link on Google? If you’re doing the comparison directly, that’s how much extra you’re paying if you’re only measuring direct web visits…

One school of thought is to measure everything. If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. This is the direct marketer method and there’s no doubt it can work.

There’s another thought, though: Most businesses (including your competitors) are afraid of big investments in unmeasurable media. Therefore, if you have the resources and the guts, it’s a home run waiting to be hit.

Ralph Lauren is a billion dollar brand. Totally unmeasurable. So are Revlon, LVMH, Donald Trump, Anderson Windows, Lady Gaga and hundreds of other mass market brands.

There are two things you should never do:

1)  Try to measure unmeasurable media and use that to make decisions. You’ll get it wrong. Sure, some sophisticated marketers get good hints from their measurements, but it’s still an art, not a science.

2)  Compromise on your investment. Small investments in unmeasurable media almost always fail. Go big or stay home.

And if you’re selling unmeasurable media? Don’t try to sell to people who are obsessed with measuring. You’ll waste your time and annoy the prospect at the same time.


A “Failure to Commit” To Business Strategies

Posted by John Park on Dec 13th, 2009
Dec 13

After working with both large corporations and small businesses, there are a number of distinct differences I have noted when it comes to executing marketing strategies.
One glaring example is what I call the “Failure to Commit.”  Smaller companies have a very difficult time coming up with a marketing plan and sticking to it.  And as a result, each plan which sounded brilliant in the conference room when conceived, never gets an opportunity to come to fruition.  When a plan doesn’t deliver almost immediate sales results, it is put to death and a new plan is put in place at the next marketing meeting.  It’s the ultimate in stopping short of the goal in a business environment.
Why does this happen in small business?
It’s the owner.  Because finances at a smaller company are tied closely to the owner’s personal finances, it makes him or her react emotionally rather than logically.  To put it simply, when they see money going out the door and they don’t see short term sales returns, they get scared.  And when they are scared, they start questioning themselves as well as everything or everyone around them.  When this perfect storm occurs, they also place very little value on mid-to-long term goals and the step-by-step building which is required for marketing value is brought to a screeching halt.
Over time, marketing strategies tend to look like a zigzag of failed attempts instead of any tangible or measurable business trends.  The irony in all of this is that small businesses will probably spend more money over time because every new attempt requires an infusion of cash.
In a corporate environment, this emotional factor is absent because the decision makers in marketing are focusing on the plan only and have no personal finances attached to their decisions.  And as a result, they are able to objectively see a strategy through and commit to the value it has promised to deliver.  This of course doesn’t mean that each plan is wildly successful.  It just means that they stick to it long enough to get an answer–one way or the other.
As you plan your marketing strategies and budgets for 2010, think about your level of commitment.  Do you have a problem with commitment?  You might have a “Failure to Commit” issue.
I hear often “I’ve built this company over 20 years and we’re successful as a small business.  We just need your help getting to the “Next Level.”
Commitment to your plans and avoiding the zigzag is at the CORE of getting to that NEXT LEVEL.

Until Next Time…

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Choose Your Customers, Choose Your Future

Posted by John Park on Nov 12th, 2009
Nov 12

This is a great post by Seth Godin.  His advice may be one of the hardest approaches to actually act upon but he is right.  After you read his post, you’ll agree.  The problem is… can we ALL do this in this economy?

Marketers rarely think about choosing customers… like a sailor on shore leave, we’re not so picky. Huge mistake.

Your customers define what you make, how you make it, where you sell it, what you charge, who you hire and even how you fund your business. If your customer base changes over time but you fail to make changes in the rest of your organization, stress and failure will follow.

Sell to angry cheapskates and your business will reflect that. On the other hand, when you find great customers, they will eagerly co-create with you. They will engage and invent and spread the word.

It takes vision and guts to turn someone down and focus on a different segment, on people who might be more difficult to sell at first, but will lead you where you want to go over time.

Until Next Time…

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Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months!

Posted by John Park on Aug 25th, 2009
Aug 25

It took Radio 38 years and TV 13 years to reach an audience of 50 million.  Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months!  This is a very important video for all business owners.  Social Media Marketing is here to stay.  As the video states… It is not a fad.

Until Next Time… By the way, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

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