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The number one question I receive is, how do I successfully market my business?

The answer I always give is this: there is no silver bullet in marketing and as the saying goes ” there is more than one way to skin a cat”. The question you should be asking instead is, who is my customer? because if you get your customer, you’ll get marketing – in fact knowing your customers takes the mystery out of marketing.

Your customer is your business, without them you have no business. So your first port of call is to stop thinking about what you want and start thinking about what your customers want. In reality most companies do the reverse, they decide on their branding and website design, advertising and marketing activities and then think about how they can make their customers like it – wrong.

There are millions of people waiting to be served products and services they’ll happily buy, marketing is simply about showing the right people the right product – do this and the sale becomes child’s play. The thing is, you can’t know what people want until you know them, so here’s 3 tips for getting to know your customers:

  1. If your business is new think about who your target customers are and write down everything about them that you can possibly think of, even if it seems totally unrelated to your product: Age, gender, income, profession, taste in fashion, style of home, marital status, number of children, car they drive, problems they may have, personality traits, the phone and technological devices they use, how internet savvy they are  – absolutely everything.
  2. If you’re an existing business simply consolidate this information about your most profitable customers and ask them directly, how they found you, why they buy from you and what keeps them coming back.
  3. Take the time to create  customer personas based on the above information. Personas are fictional characters that embody all the characteristics, problems and behaviours of your target audience. The purpose of creating them is so that you can design your product, service and marketing around them. By doing this you ensure that everything you do is designed to meet the needs of your customer.

 

This can be time consuming and laborious but I assure you it will pay great dividends. Here’s a couple of examples that illustrate why: if you know ‘Joe’ (your persona) lives and works typically in London you’re not going to waste your time and money marketing in Manchester, if you know that Joe, hates reading magazines and gets his daily dose of info online every day, you’re not going to waste money on print advertising, if you know that Joe doesn’t have the faintest interest in social media you’re not going to waste your time and money on Twitter updates and Facebook ads.

the point is, you will never know what marketing initiatives will work for you until you know your customer. So if you want to know where to begin with marketing, begin with your customer.

If you need further support regarding the topics covered in this post or any aspect of your marketing and web development projects we’re always happy to help, so feel free to contact us and comment below.

Katrina Douglas, your resident Chartered Marketer

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