How common is it for a company to misidentify who their real customer is? If faced with this huge issue, what steps can a business take to identify the problem and re-align with their true customer base?
Surprisingly, misidentifying customers is very common. Two reasons come to mind:
Very often there are internal factors, legacy processes or political issues that keep everyone focused on a certain stakeholder group who may no longer be as relevant as another group.
Often it is an unbalance of reseller vs. end-user, paymaster vs. customer, internal vs. external or the all-too familiar mis-emphasis of shareholder vs. customer.
How often do you set aside time to re-evaluate your customer profiles just as you would re-evaluate your product lines, your marketing plans or your resource planning?
Fennec Consulting offers strategic planning workshops that cover this critical element, and we work with each client to map out every stakeholder and identify their real roles and their drivers.
To identify the problem and re-align with your true customer base, the process of stepping away from the day-to-day and looking at all your moving pieces objectively is critical to getting it right.
We like to start with a look at current customers, resellers, partners or distributors. Listen to and observe what their real motives are for being a buyer - or why they stopped. We find patterns in profiles, preferences and purchasing processes that often create surprises like:
The decision-makers are not always who you thought they were.
Sometimes it is the accessory product that brings them to you, not the product you thought was your core product.
Alternate uses for your product or ideas for an extension of your product line that broaden your potential audience.
Stepping back and examining your client list a bit more carefully often results in a fresh direction for a business, both broadening your potential audience and simplifying your messaging in the process.
One thing to remember: You are most likely NOT your own customer. Your likes, dislikes, experience and life preferences will not be the best way to judge your customers.
To make it happen much more quickly, you can contact us to help you with research and analytics in regards to identifying your real customer: