I am currently working with a new client on finding their ideal customer.

They are a successful business who have been around a long time.  They have some great clients and are now looking to take their business to the next level.

What this means, is that in order to grow, they need to leverage from their existing capabilities and core strengths. In plain English, they need to really understand the problem that they solved for their client, and the entire experience that they delivered, to sell ‘the things they do best’ into new markets.

They are blowing the cobwebs off the filing cabinets and peeking inside the files, in order to better understand why their existing clients chose to work with them, and what they delivered that made their clients lives easier. The process of understanding their business; the market and types of customers they have worked with, will enable them to focus on delivering the same magic to more businesses.

What they do is actually quite complicated, the industry language is full of jargon and the sector is flooded with cheap and dodgy ‘me-too’ imitators who are giving the industry a bad reputation.  So, cutting through the noise and communicating the benefits of choosing their services over others, is no mean feat! By taking a look inside their business, they are beginning the process of understanding the true value that their services bring to their clients.

They actually solve really painful business problems and they do it exceptionally well, but articulating that isn’t always easy.  It requires taking the magnifying glass up to the business and looking not just from the inside, but the outside too, which involves focusing entirely not on what they sell, but what the customer gains – the customers perspective.

Apple is a great example of a business that focused on the customer needs.  As a music lover, I remember this time very well.

In the year 2000, it was all megabytes of storage and MP this and that, I had no reason to replace my perfectly good Discman when that was the offering – it made no sense to me. Then along came Apple with their revolutionary campaign which turned the entire market on its head!  Apple gave us not gigabytes of storage, but ‘1000 songs in your pocket!’

Perhaps for you, in your business, your product or service allows your client to increase their productivity and revenue, or gain a competitive advantage? Whatever solution you offer, you need to be clear on who your customer is and how you can specifically help them.

For my client, by taking a close inspection of their business inside and out, they were able to begin understanding what expertise their clients valued, and why they chose to work with them.  They commenced the job of streamlining their processes, clarifying their offering and developing a marketing method to move potential buyers to act.

The upside is, that through this marketing planning process; the gathering of business intelligence, they have created a solid platform and are now well on their way to achieving profitable and sustainable growth.

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