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Why knowing and understanding your customer is essential to effective marketing

We have looked at why it is important for your customer to understand your business in a previous blog. Makes sense, right? How can you expect to attract customers if they don’t understand what you do and are not sure if they need your product or service? Likewise, do you know your customer? How can you expect to reach your customers if you don’t know who they are or where to find them?

To create and run an effective marketing strategy it is essential to know your target customers. Enterprenuer.com defines target customers as “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services”.  Let’s pull two key words from this definition and put them together to help focus your marketing plan – specific aim.

First, make sure to identify the specific group of customers that you are trying to attract to your business. Are they millennials? Women over 40? Teens? You get the picture. Even once you know the group of consumers your product and/or service is geared towards, it can remain a pretty large group. Remember, we want “specific”. What are ways in which you can narrow down the vast number of consumers to a more focused target group?

There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to knowing your customer

Know Thyself

You know your product or service better than anyone, so who do you think is going to use it most? Think about your product and what it does. What is it used for the most often? How is it used? Where is it used? Take your answers to these questions and use them to assess who needs this product and/or service the most? Consider multiple factors like age, gender, marital status, income bracket, etc. when narrowing down your answer. For example, a working mother of four children is going to have very different needs than a young bachelor that enjoys the single life.

What does your product do? Who is going to have the strongest need for your product? For example, a teenager is probably not going to have much interest in an upright vacuum with steam clean technology, but that mother of four? Big difference. Identify the specific need that your product or service answers and then match it to the group of consumers that possess that need. Start out with a broad spectrum, and then narrow it down until you reach your particular niche of consumers. This is referred to as the “funnel approach” which is suggested by Chuck Cohn in his article for Forbes. He uses the example of starting with gender, then narrowing it down to an age group within that gender, and then narrowing it down even further by income bracket to arrive at a more focused target group of consumers.

Look Around

Take note of other businesses that offer similar products and/or services to yours. Who are their customers? What demographic tends to use their service or product? This can provide valuable insight as to who your target group will be. And can help you figure out some ways to make your business stand out against the competition.

Look within your own network as well. What do your friends and family of varying ages and backgrounds like to do? What sorts of products do they use? Ask them questions about why they use the product and what they like about it. Find out what they are drawn to when they see different marketing plans for the product. Use their answers to help you develop your own marketing plan for your product.

Analyze

Conduct a market analysis for your business, suggested by Mike Kappel. Go back to the basics of information gathering- who, what, when, where, why and how. Look for the answers to these questions to help you narrow down the majority of consumers to your target audience. Know who your potential customers are, what they like to do, when they are most likely to see your marketing and purchase your product, where are they located, why do they purchase from you (or someone else) and then, based on all of these answers – how can you best reach them

This “how” is important. Once you have identified who it is you are directing your business towards, you need to understand them. The only way to successfully create a marketing strategy that works is to design and develop your marketing tools in a way that will speak to your target customers. You need to learn what makes them tick, what catches their eye and what is important to them in the products and services they purchase. Once you have an understanding of your customer you can effectively aim your marketing in their direction.

Get to know your target group’s interests, hobbies and how they like to shop. Take note of things that will help direct your marketing strategy. Does your target group listen to the radio? Spend a ton of time on the internet or watching TV? Do they go on social media? It will do you no good, for example, to center a marketing campaign around social media if your target group does not spend a lot of their time on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. On the other hand, if your target group are young consumers that are always on the go, then social media and internet-based advertising could be very powerful.

All in all, knowing your target customer group and then understanding them is a key factor in determining the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. I hope this has helped give you some ideas of what to look for as you bring more focus to your target group of customers and work on developing your marketing plan to specifically aim your product and/or service to them. Make sure to check out our other blogs for ideas on how to brand and market your business and build your web presence. Wishing you many happy and satisfied customers!

The Top 5 Ways that Your Website Might Be Misleading Them

Customer churn, or customer attrition, are two of the many names given to what happens when you lose specific customers for whatever the reason, who no longer use your services or engage with you.  This is a problem that businesses suffer from often, and no business is exempt — no matter how big or small.  Perhaps even worse than losing a customer who has used your products or services in the past, is losing an individual who was at one time interested in your business but never became a customer at all.

Whether your customers are not returning or are not converting, the “why” is likely the same.  Customers may not understand your business, what you do, how you help them, and why you can be valuable to their operation.  Some of that miscommunication can come from emails, in-person meetings, or a variety of other forms of customer communication.  However, it’s extremely likely that some of it (particularly with individuals who never contacted you in the first place), was from your website that failed you (and them).

Here are some of the ways that your website may be misleading potential (or existing) customers:

  1. Customers believe that you do not offer the services they want

Customers may believe that you don’t offer the services that they’re looking for if they can’t quickly find them on your website.  Not only should you make sure that each and every one of your services is readily apparent, but you should make sure that SEO (search engine optimization) is in place for each of your services.  Yes, SEO really is that important.  You can do this by ensuring that you are using keywords that people looking for those services are searching for.  You should also consider having a separate page for each of your services.

  1. Customers do not believe that you are a one-stop shop for their needs

Customers may not readily see the services you offer, including your other services related to their original needed service. They may assume that it would be easier to go with another company that can meet all of their needs in a one-stop shopping experience.  Make sure that customers know the comprehensive list of services you offer. One option is to have each of your services mentioned (with a checkbox) on the inquiry form.  Another is to add hyperlinks to and from each additional service from the individual service pages suggested above.

  1. Customers believe that you are too expensive (or more likely, too cheap!)

Customers may see your website and believe that you are too expensive based on your color choices, logo choices, and level of elegance on your page. While you want your page to be representative of your brand and the people that run it — you don’t want it to be misleading.  While it’s never okay to be sloppy, for example, or to have typos — it might be a bit overkill to have an extremely expensive website if you’re selling very basic and affordable services.

Or, if your target market is luxe and high-end, you probably want to avoid bright colors like neon yellow or patterns like polka dots.  Click here for a blog about colors and what they can mean for your brand.  You should also keep in mind that customers often equate quality with expensive.  So if you’re trying to decide between pricing levels, you should probably err on the higher side.  It will only help you.

  1. Customers believe that you are not approachable

Is there a contact form on your website?  Is it hard to find or hard to follow?  The length of time that it takes a customer to figure out how to get in touch with you is directly correlational to how approachable they think you are.  And also how receptive they think you’ll be when they need you over the course of your contract with them.  Be sure your website clearly communicates the various ways they can contact you and gives them a welcoming feeling.

  1. Customers believe that you are not the best at what you do

Do not assume that a customer will know that you are good at what you do.  Especially if they’ve never worked with you before.  And while it may seem artificial or uncomfortable to toot your own horn, it’s necessary, especially when marketing to prospective clients.  You should prominently display any awards that you’ve won, certifications that you or your associates have, and testimonials and/or logos of clients that you’ve pleased along the way.  Make sure to have a place or form where customers can review you. And use a regular system to get those up there as well.

You can never have too much information singing the praises of your company.  Also, having a well-maintained blog or newsletter articles that are published frequently on your website lends credibility to your business.  It’s a really important thing to do– and it’s so easy, you just have to do it!

If you feel that any of these potential issues may be at play with your website, you can benefit from a website review. This can help you figure out what the issues are and make sure that your customers know exactly what you can give them – – and take you up on it!

Custom content marketing through blogging is the most popular and cost-effective way for a business to build their customer base. Taking the time to create new content for your blog enhances your brand’s visibility and product ROI (Return on Investment). Blogging makes a business more accessible and attracts more inbound traffic to a website. This can result in a return as high as triple the average rate for acquiring new leads, aka customers who are loyal to your brand. In short, blogging is the marketing wave of the present and future!

There’s always room to improve your marketing strategies as a blogger. It doesn’t matter if you’re totally new to the blogging world or if you’re a seasoned content writer. Technology is constantly evolving, so with that being said, you’ve come to the right place! Our team here at Komaya is ready to guide you in your journey to being the best blogger you can be. Here are 4 blogging mistakes that you might be making and how to correct them:

No Marketing Strategy


According to Neil Patel, only 9 percent of B2B marketers rate their organization as “very effective” at content marketing and that most people fail because they have no content marketing strategy. Take the time to learn more about the fundamentals and value of online marketing! DemandMetric.com provides a very thorough breakdown of the building blocks for content strategy and its potential consumer impact. Educate yourself, do the research, and seek opportunities to learn about online business in your community. By investing the time to learn now, you’ll be able to discover what methods work best for your brand with confidence in the future.

3 Key Statistics from DemandMetric.com:

  • Internet users are browsing brand-related content an average of 20% of the time.
  • Within that time frame, a staggering 68% of users are reading exclusively about brands that interest them!
  • Once exposed to a new brand, internet users are 60% more likely to research products they’ve learned about—you guessed it—from reading a blog!

Inconsistent Content

group sitting around table looking at notebooks depicting inconsistent content
This issue remains prevalent among businesses across the board and negatively impacts bloggers regardless of a business’ marketing budget or years of experience. Even the most streamlined website isn’t working optimally if the blog section is outdated or altogether inactive. It’s not about a business’ money or credentials, it’s about consistency: take charge of your blog! Review past posts and assess what more successful posts (ones with interactions like comments, likes, or shares) might have in common. Try to emulate those tactics in future content. If you do post regularly, do you have a routine? If not, create a publishing schedule suited to your brand. Example: if you own a business in fashion, post a quick DIY every Monday at noon and a 3-point Q&A to spotlight a fashion entrepreneur of your choice every Friday at noon. At the end of each post, invite followers to suggest future DIY ideas, Q&A artists to spotlight, and what questions they’d like answered. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to create great content, we suggest Jeff Haden’s excellent article on Inc.com.

Bubble Blogging

candy hearts on a computer desk depicting bubble blogging
It’s easy to fall into a rhythm of casualness when blogging, even for more experienced content writers. Of course, original and thoughtful content with eye-catching headlines and pins (the featured image for a blog post) always beats writing content for content’s sake. People who enjoy following blogs can always tell the difference, so burst that comfort bubble! It’s important to remember that a great blog is the online equivalent of a billboard for your brand.

The most definitive blogs out there create signature and engaging content that earns the loyalty and trust of their followers by appealing to them directly. Be authentic, be consistent, be patient, and know your audience! The blog is for them. For a comprehensive guide on copyright dos and don’ts, or if you just want a crash course on plagiarism and how to avoid it, visit HostingFacts.com and scroll to “Tools to Check Plagiarism…” We also highly recommend reading our blog post covering social media for further reading.

You’ve Got Mail?

smiling professional lady working on laptop depicting you got mail
Unfortunately, it’s a common misstep of new businesses to avoid creating a blog email subscription list while likewise trying to build their online presence through social media. Conversely, an active blog e-list is what the most successful businesses all have in common! A blog email subscription list is, bar none, the best way to enhance your brand’s visibility and draw more inbound traffic to your website, period. If your business is well established with a more advanced email subscription list, be sure to offer subscription preferences. It’s that added attention to detail that will keep your followers happy, guaranteed. When is the last time you reviewed your contacts to remove bounce-backs or double-checked contact information? Taking the time to stay up-to-date now will save you from having to backtrack in the future. If you’re brand new to blog email subscription lists, keep it simple. Stick to one weekly email blast or send an email blast per upcoming event. ShareThis provides some great tips for building a blog email subscription list right here if you’re looking for inspiration!

There may be countless resources at our fingertips, but it can be tricky determining which ones are the most reliable. At Komaya, our priority is to support and empower businesses in achieving their online marketing goals with knowledge and confidence! Never hesitate to reach out with thoughts or questions—just send us a message! We’re here to help.

For many successful businesses, blogging is a key aspect of their marketing strategy. It is important to your business for a variety of reasons:  It establishes you as an authority in your field, it lets your customers know about your products and services, it shows everyone who you (and your employees) are personally, and it also sets the tone for your business.  Blogging can make or break you.

With that being said, here are some blogging mistakes you might be making:

  1. Being scared to establish yourself as an authority — Blogging establishes you as an authority, and what that means is that it sets you up as an expert in your field.  A lot of folks are scared to do this because they are waiting for someone to crown or bestow a title of expert on them but, most likely, that’s not going to happen.  What makes you an authority is that you know more than at least one other person.  A real estate agent, for example, might not be the best agent in the nation, but they probably know more about what happens at a closing table than the average person. If what you write could help one person learn more about your field, then you absolutely should write it!
  2. Being overconfident and not backing up facts — The converse side to establishing yourself as an authority is proclaiming false facts. It’s totally fine to give examples of how you’ve done x, y, or z within your business or community, but remember—- what you write is accessible to everyone, forever, so make sure there’s truth in your claims.  You can’t go wrong if you write from the heart on a topic you know about.
  3. Having an inappropriate tone for your business — Blogging should be extremely casual, but the tone should fluctuate depending on what you’re talking about, your audience, and what you’re trying to do. If you’re talking about your political campaign, the rules for your employees to follow, or the legalities of filing a lawsuit, perhaps you should have a more formal tone.  However, if you’re trying to target millennials and you’d like to sell clothing— you don’t necessarily need to do a research article on cotton and rayon fibers with references.  Similarly, if your spelling and grammar are poor and you’re using slang within “ur” writing— that won’t really go far for a professional piece on the benefits of your business.
  4. Not giving enough information — Blogging is casual, but there is an extremely fine line that needs to be walked. Readers respond better to pieces that are written on a lower reading level in a casual tone. They also want to feel as if they’re in your shoes or experiencing what you’re talking about first hand. So, while you shouldn’t over-explain everything, you should also remember that most of your readers are strangers who don’t know anything about your business, and they don’t get nicknames, inside jokes, or industry terms.
  5. Not posting enough — Above all, the worst blogging mistake that you can make is not to blog! Jot down a bunch of ideas that you’d like to talk about and start writing one a week until you get on some kind of blogging routine.  Many can get intimidated by not being professional writers, but that’s not what it’s about— it’s about sharing your ideas and your business with the world.  Even if it’s 100 words here or there, it’s something, and that’s way better than having a page that hasn’t been updated since 1999.  Worst case scenario, talk to us, and we can arrange for you to hire someone to blog for you.

A solid website is one of the most important, if not the most important, assets to a company.  Regardless of the size and strength of the business, everyone needs a website whether they’re a child selling hair ties or socks out of their parents’ basement, to a Fortune 500 tech company. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the proper way to set up an efficient website.  Here are some of the top website mistakes almost every company makes, so you can avoid them on your next web redesign:

Top website mistakes almost every company makes:

  1.   Having A Website That’s Too Cluttered or Too Confusing — How many times have you gone to a website to find a very specific piece of information only to give up after twenty minutes of frustration from not being able to find what you were looking for?  Chances are you probably googled it and found a competitor that had the answer you were looking for.  If someone feels like they’re a secret agent trying to get into mission control when all they’re doing is looking for your hours of operation or price points, this is a sign that you need a new web design.
  2. Not Knowing Enough about SEO and What It Can Do for You — SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has become a really hot topic lately, especially for companies that try to sell you web design services.  Unfortunately, not a lot of people actually know how SEO really works.  It’s up to you to make sure you’ve maximized your search terms, keywords, titles, and meta-titles on every single page of your website, or that you can find someone who can.  At Komaya, this is absolutely something we can help you with, so if you get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact us.
  3. Not Having a Clear Call-To-Action or Way to Buy — Someone can come to your website and think you’re the bee’s knees, but that doesn’t mean anything unless there’s a clear call to action or way for them to buy your products or services right there, on the spot.  People are often impulsive buyers and will talk themselves out of a purchase if they have time to think about what else they can do with those finances.   If you sell goods and services, there needs to be an extremely prominent way for people to add to their cart on the main page, and if you have a different type of service, there needs to be a clear call to action (follow us, join today, etc.) in an equally prominent place.
  4. Not Encouraging Interaction from Clients and Consumers —  Chat rooms can be a really good call as they allow consumers to interact directly with the “powers that be” of a company, and it really makes people feel like their voices and suggestions are heard.   Forums are also a really nice way for people to be able to leave their thoughts and opinions on a product.  You’ll receive a couple of bonuses for doing this as well.  For starters, you’ll receive free feedback on your product (without having to pay for testing or a consumer panel).  Additionally, if people start to interact with other consumers within a forum space, you’ll find that they check in more often on your site for follow up responses.
  5. Not Capturing Information from the Customer to Continue to Follow Up — Speaking of follow up, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any business model is not following up with your consumers.   A lot of times, someone will check out on a business website and enter their credit card information, receive their package, and never hear from the company again.  You’ll want to make sure to record customer information for future use.  You can also have a subscription box on your homepage that someone can use to fill out their name, e-mail address, and possibly even a phone number to sign up for some kind of freebie (or discount code) that you have decided on in advance.  This way, you’ll be able to subscribe them to your offers, and mailing list, and you may even be able to send them a survey asking for feedback on your new and improved website.