If you are going to succeed on the web, be it as a manufacturer, retailer, dealer / distributor, consultant, or whatever, it is essential that you specifically identify who your prospective customers are. This is the foundation of a successful target marketing, which results from meticulous customer research.
Customer Research Collection
An easy way to manage who you want to target is to create a Customer Composite Index (CCI). Your CCI is a detailed list of characteristics and statistics that very specifically and succinctly defines your customers. Ask yourself the following questions: who, what, where, when, how and why.
A CCI is a collection of buyer personas and information on current and potential customers.
Your CCI helps you focus in on what potential customers you want and don’t want to target through your buyer personas, but it also lists points like shared traits, common problems, your personal marketing goals, and so on. If you conduct a customer survey or questionnaire, those responses would also end up in your CCI after you analyze the results. Here at Cazbah, we also have print outs of your sales/ marketing funnel, buyers’ journey, content strategy, and our statistics laid out in print and graphically.
Essentially, your CCI is the Holy Grail of target audience research.
Your CCI will arguably be the most important document you ever produce for your business, so you need to make sure you’re including the best information possible. This document will influence your sales and marketing campaigns, your business mission, and the longevity of your company.
Ask the Right Questions
One of the most important sections of your customer research is buyer personas. It’s essential to compile well-rounded personas for every level of customer you want to gain and you should even create a persona for customers you don’t want to do business with. Creating a variety of personas will help you focus your marketing strategies and better adjust your targets to gain the most valuable leads.
An example of some of these types of questions are:
- Who are our customers?
- What do they do?
- Where do they live? (in the case of consumer products)
- Where are they located? (in the case of businesses)
- Does their location have any significance to the product or service I’m offering?
- What business are they in – product, service, specialty, commodity?
- What’s their annual income or revenue?
- How many employees do they have?
Additionally, are there customer personality or lifestyle traits that are important to your business? This is especially important, because if you understand their needs as a customer, you truly know what makes them tick! I’m sure you can come up with many more relevant questions that will help you to define your CCI. The point is, if you know who your customers are, by virtue of your CCI, then you know what you are looking for in a new customer.
These types of questions may, at first, seem too personal or specific, but they really will help you gain the most complete idea of who you’re trying to market your service or product to. Knowing this sort of information can help you tailor your sales and marketing strategy to each specific customer, so you can provide the best service to them. Your comprehensive buyer personas can be solid reference points for you as you move your potential customer through each stage of your marketing funnel.
If you have trouble with this exercise, visit an existing customer (or five) and ask them some of the above questions. If a face to face meeting doesn’t work, you can always create a survey and send it out to your customers as well.
This gives you the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone:
- You can connect for a very legitimate reason, which means you can continue to build your relationship.
- In your questioning, you will inevitably communicate your concern through your interest in understanding your customer better. You never know, you may just uncover an unmet need or two that you can convert into a sale!
Customer research is essential for the success of your sales/ marketing campaigns. Compiling all your valid customer research data into one major collection, a CCI, will help to keep you on task and meeting all the needs of your target customer.
Having a complete CCI will help you and your customers. You’ll save time, money, and other valuable resources because you’ll be engaging with only relevant leads and your customers on the receiving end will appreciate your genuine interest and dedication to their individual problems and needs.