Creating Marketing that is Targeted to Your Customers

‐ December 27, 2013

bigstock-unique-red-umbrella-32166410Do you give your customers and prospects the same marketing materials and sales pitch? If so, then it’s time for a change. By creating marketing materials based on buyer stages, you will maximize your success and profits by better matching their needs. With most businesses there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to marketing materials. Why? Because for most products there are three different stages of the buying cycle customers go through.

Here are three typical buyer stages and tips for marketing to them:

1.  Suspects. A suspect is someone who you think may be a prospect for your products or services. These are people who may have similar characteristics and needs to current customers or they may be a new market for you all together. Because a suspect has had no contact with your company, your main goal is to create enough interest in your products or services so that they call you or go to your website for more information. Marketing materials for this stage could include brochures, postcards, sales letters, free web downloads, case studies reports and testimonials. Materials at this point are designed with the goal to create interest. (Interestingly enough is that if you have sales people calling on people, they will only be as effective as they have tools that can help them create interest.) Once a person is interested and contacts you they move to the next level.

2.  Prospects. A prospect is someone who has shown interest and contacted you. You have identified their needs and determined that you can help them and that they can afford what you sell. Notice that last part “can afford what you sell”. Someone who has an interest and no money is not a prospect.

Once a prospect becomes familiar with your company, your goal is to nurture their interest and move them along the sales cycle. The goal here is to answer questions and concerns making them comfortable with buying from you. Consider creating a nurture campaign outlining scheduled “touches” to maintain contact with your prospects. Marketing materials at this level can include newsletters, hand-written notes, industry relevant articles, and white papers. If you have sales people, a carefully designed brochure can help them overcome objections and answer prospect questions. You would also want a pocket folder with your logo printed on it. Pocket folders help separate you from your competition, make you look more professional and are a useful tool to consolidate all the information you have given the prospect.

3.  Customers. Because customers have already purchased from you, marketing materials should focus on cross selling, up selling and increasing retention. Educate them on other products and services you offer with product brochures. Newsletters are a good tool that will help keep your company in front of customers in an informative way. The name of the game when it comes to customers is staying in front of them. Customers also present an opportunity for referral programs. They are often your best source of new suspects and prospects. The most effective referral programs have a printed element to them. Don’t forget appreciative marketing as well, such as sending thank-you notes, holiday or birthday greetings, etc.

By creating marketing collateral specific for each buyer stage, you can make the transition between suspect to customer much smoother and more profitable. This can seem overwhelming to most business people. The best approach is to lay out a plan that takes it in gradient steps. Have Wilson Printing design a piece for your suspects, then a piece for prospects and finally materials for customers. Take it one step at a time. Each step moves to the next logical step. This approach saves you time and is easily worked into a budget.

For other ideas on how to stay in front of multiple audiences, give us a call today. We’d love to help you develop the marketing materials you need to take your business to the next level.

Mark Hale


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