Who is Your New “Best” Customer?
What to do when your current customers are negatively impacted by the economic state and they no longer need or can afford your services
Between oil prices and the pandemic, some businesses have been turned upside down. Our best customers are no longer our best customers, they have been greatly impacted by either or both of these major economic bombs. For our businesses to survive, we now have to figure out how to identify a new target market, also known as our best prospects and customers.
We will be discussing in detail the six steps to redefine your target market. Those steps consist of identifying second and third tier prospects and customers, creating your list, researching industry classifications, identifying patterns, researching similar companies that match patterns, and building a list based on research findings.
Let’s start by thinking about who our second or third best customer was prior to the drop in oil prices or the pandemic. In doing this, focus on who these customers are by identifying what industries they might be in. For example, many of our customers are in different industries and are B2B with us as we perform marketing research services for them. This exercise is not impactful if all of your best customers are inside the same industry. Think in terms of “best customers” by different industry types.
My suggestion is to look into your current customer list and flag those second and third tier customers, ideally less impacted by our current state of the economy. Once flagged, create a list of these accounts and include their address, city, and state. With this information you are able to research their industry classification. Document industry classification for each and you might start seeing a pattern of industry segments. It is helpful but not critical to see patterns.
If you’re starting to see a pattern that you trust; next, think about refining your new target market. Most common ways to refine include adding annual revenue and/or employee counts into the equation. Geography might also be helpful. Once you have captured all the necessary data, your final step will be to match other companies that mirror the final product of your research.
If you do not immediately see a pattern, consider adding more customers to your research list. Or, you might find that you have a broader profile of customers. When this is the case, often it becomes helpful to tighten up your requirements by making sure other elements are included in the search. Often these include annual revenue, number of employees and geography, the same as above. These elements are important in broad profiles because they allow you to make best efforts at zeroing in on your potential customer a bit more.
The final step is to build a new list of potential prospects based on the research work just done. There are several list tools available to do this or Dunlap Marketing will be happy to do it for you. The result is you have a spreadsheet of new prospect companies. Now its time to reach out and promote the message of who you are and why these prospects should consider your products or services. At this point you have adjusted your business based on world events, and you are on your way to making new “best” customers.