Contrary to popular belief, a great marketing strategy is not about what you have to offer. You could have the best Product X or Service Y, but it will not be successful if your market does not want it. Put your ideal client's needs ahead of what you bring to the table and watch your marketing come to life. You can always tailor your offerings to meet your target market's demands, but it's not quite so easy to sell something that does not hit the mark.
That's where market research comes in. As you learn more about what makes those in your market tick, you will learn how to better present your brand and its offerings to win over interested leads. From the type of content you produce to the way you promote your brand, understanding the ins and outs of who you are targeting is key to attracting more prospects.
In addition to identifying your ideal client's needs, you must also learn what methods your competitors use. What interests potential clients about the other options in the market? Where might they see the most value as they are browsing?
Step into your ideal client's shoes and follow these research strategies to strengthen your marketing approach.
Be a fly on the wall.
Many business owners think marketing is a matter of talking loud and clear for all to hear. But, a true marketer knows that it is more about listening than it is about speaking. Sure, you have a robust list of benefits to share, but those benefits may be hit or miss if you have not listened to your market. Spend time sitting back and listening to what your audience is saying.
Join Facebook groups and scour forums where your ideal client lurks. If there is one thing people love to do on social media, it's complain! Show up and listen to their biggest pain points and struggles, letting those insights inspire you to find solutions. You can choose to participate in the discourse to ask questions and offer your ideas, or you may be inclined to watch from the corner. However you approach it, make sure your active listening ears are ready to tune in!
Interview your network.
For more direct feedback, make use of your existing network by requesting input from your past and current clients. Ask them what made them choose your business, whether your competitors interested them, and how you have helped them solve their problems. You can also ask for input on your client experience to see if you can improve it in any way.
As you hear from those in your network, you may discover that you never factored in your largest selling points into your marketing strategy. Your external messaging may be all about top-notch quality and a specific aesthetic, but you might find that it was your quick responses and attention to detail that wins over your clients. With your new insights, you can tailor your messaging to hit all of your value propositions.
Keep tabs on your competitors.
A smart business owner is a knowledgeable one, and it is essential to be aware of what your competitors offer to the market. It's not for replication purposes, but rather to be mindful of what else your ideal clients are exposed to as they are looking for support. Who are you up against? How can you come out on top?
Say you are a florist providing custom arrangements filled with exotic blooms and special, hand-picked binding. Your luxury service comes with a luxury price tag, putting you in the higher tier of your market. Your competitors are certainly cheaper, but they do not offer the high-quality sourcing and experience that is a staple in your brand's reputation.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your competitors helps you remain confident in your unique position in the marketplace. Your business offers a one-of-a-kind experience; make it known!
With all of these new insights at your disposal, you can take a hard, discerning look at your current marketing strategy. Does your messaging align with your ideal clients' needs? Is your brand more impressive than your competitors'? Make the necessary adjustments to tweak your approach and shape your content to resonate with your target market.
A great salesperson knows how to present their offerings in the best light possible. A great marketer knows how to tune into their ideal clients and determine their greatest needs. However, a great business owner can find the happy medium between these two needs, ensuring that all of your offerings are exactly what your market needs.