It is vitally important to understand not only market trends, (i.e., your customer in big groups or as a demographic) but also to know your customers on an individual level. Your customers experience your product, service, and brand as an individual, and so this is the level at which you must reach them. You need to use every opportunity available to understand your existing or potential customers.
Take a moment right now to ask yourself a question: What does your ideal customer look like? If a clear image doesn’t spring to mind immediately, you have some work to do. Or, if you say, “Everyone who has a dog is my customer,” you have some mindset change and work to do. As the Seth Godin quote at the beginning of this chapter says, not everyone can be your customer.
What gives every business its competitive advantage is that it meets specific customer needs. It’s impossible to be all things to all people. Your customer needs to feel like your business is in league with them.
You may want to cast your net wide, and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. But not knowing who your customer is to each exact detail is like shooting in the dark. You will spend a great deal of money, time, and other resources without getting clear results.
If, on the other hand, you know your customer intimately, you can use your resources more effectively in order to craft the right message that resonates and perfectly meets your customers’ needs. By focusing your message to your target market, you’ll attract the right type of buyer, and not waste time with leads that you can’t nurture. By carrying out this research continuously, you’ll be able to keep meeting the needs of your market even as their needs change.
In other words, by understanding your customers at an intimate level, you can sell more and earn more profit with less effort. Your marketing will create a perfect match between you and your customers. If just launching your business, you’ll know where to start (with the customer and their needs). If expanding your business, you’ll know how to grow and stay relevant.