Small Business Marketing – Meet Your Customers’ Wants


By Karen Cioffi

 This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series.

You just started your own business and you’re creating a small business marketing plan. You may already have created a great product. At least you think it’s a great product. But, is there a customer base for it? Or, is your product name effective? Do you know what your target market’s ‘wants’ are?

Marketing studies are showing that in order to sell effectively, you need to know what’s motivating your potential customer to make the choices he does. This means you need to know what your potential customer wants.
   
People buy what they need, want, or desire. But, ‘when push comes to shove,’ people buy what they want, rather than what they need.

So, you need to determine what it is your potential customer wants and craft your small business marketing strategy around that.

Suppose you’re selling a book on ‘alternative health.’

Many people may know they should look into alternative health options, maybe find an acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor, but if you don’t promote your product to their ‘want’ it won’t motivate the prospect to buy. 

So, what does it mean to promote to a customer’s want, rather than his need.

Well, instead of promoting your alternative health book by explaining that Western medicine may not meet their health needs and that it’s important to address the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms of illnesses, tell the potential customer that alternative options will allow him to regain his health and vitality. Tell him how this product will actually alleviate his problem. Do you see the difference?

Please be aware though that the above example is just that, an example. In your small business marketing you must always be honest and never, ever make guarantees in regard to someone’s health. Your product or service must to be of value and it must fulfill your marketing claims.

As the example demonstrates, people buy based on feelings: Will the product or service make me feel, look, or smell better? Will it help me learn something, or earn more money? Will it get rid of my pain?  Will it make me a better golfer? And, it’s your job to answer the relevant questions effectively.

Watch just about any TV commercial. The marketers are selling an image. They’re selling to the viewer’s wants. Think of clothing commercials. Some don’t even have words; you simple watch a beautiful or handsome model wearing the product. You want to look like the model in those clothes, whether consciously or subconsciously. This motivates you to buy those clothes. The ad is addressing a ‘want.’

Just as a chef prepares a meal for both the taste and visual appeal of a dish, so must a marketer present his product or service in a manner that will be appealing on all fronts to the target market.

Your small business marketing must address your potential customer’s ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) question appealingly and effectively.

What strategies do you use to find out what your customers' wants are and to meet them?

Stay tuned for Part 2 on November 1st!

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MORE ON MARKETING

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Need a writer? Visit Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services


4 comments:

  1. Great tips as always Karen. Your explanations on how to assess needs are very useful.

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  2. Thanks, Maggie. I find the marketing process very interesting and love to share what I learn.

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  3. Thanks for the reminder to focus on what people want instead of what we might perceive they need.

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  4. Thanks for this reminder, Karen. Right now I'm running an event on Face Book so this is timely for me. I need to look out for my readers' WANTS more than their needs.

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