Susan is the only person you know who specializes in quantitative attitudinal audience segmentation. Say that 10 times fast!
Traditional segmentation focuses on how a person looks on paper. Age, gender, income level, etc. Susan focuses more on what matters to those people – Attitudinal segmentation. This is done with data to have statistical significance.
Audience Audit uses survey research with current customers, lapsed customers or potential customers that have never heard of your company, depending on the outcome they are trying to achieve.
Why Do Most Start-ups Fail
The top reason? They make products no one wants.
This comes from a recent Fortune article titled, “Why startups fail, according to their founders,” and it illustrates why this type of research is important. It is easy to get wrapped up in doing what “I” want to do and fail to give a lot of thought to who I need to serve in order to ensure my business is successful.
The most important question you can ask is “Why?” Why did they buy? Why do they have a need?
What Can Small Businesses Do?
Audience Audit works with agencies and many small businesses can’t afford to do the type of research they perform, so what are they to do? According to Susan, “even though you can’t afford to do research, you certainly can afford to approach your business and your marketing initiatives from the standpoint of what your target customers really need.”
What can you do as a small business? Get out there and talk to people to understand their pain points. What is your audience ecosystem? Understanding the products and services that are related to yours will help you find your audience’s watering holes — where they hangout and you can talk to them. It could be at events like conventions or stores and restaurants. You need to know where to find your audience so you can talk to them and ask that “why” question.
Don’t get sucked into the belief that you have one customer
People may purchase your products or services for different reasons. Susan’s example was a company that sold scented decorative products, like candles. They discovered they not only had clients that cared about the scent of the candle, but they also had clients that used the products for decoration and sometimes scent could be a problem. Others purchased their products as gifts and the wrapping and price of the product were the primary purchasing factors. A generalized approach would not appeal to all of these customers.
Most websites show you their products and services and leave it up to the consumer to figure out what they need. It is more important to show the consumer that you understand their problems and show them how you can solve them.
It’s hard for small businesses to have a narrow focus, but it is the single most important thing you can do. The more you try to be all things to all people, the less likely you are to appeal to anyone. People like to feel as if they are special and you are doing something specifically designed for them. The more you look like you’ll do anything for anybody, the less you look like you’re building something specifically for your customer.
Small businesses need to spend a little more time figuring out who they want to sell to. Don’t be afraid to carve out a space that’s narrow.
Make sure you have an audience that you want to serve. Identify who you don’t want and make sure you give them the opportunity to opt out. Don’t want a client that requires an RFP? State on your website that you don’t accept RFP’s.
If you are living to serve somebody and focused on serving them, you will succeed.
About Susan Baier
Susan is the Founder of Audience Audit and she’s the only person you know who specializes in quantitative attitudinal audience segmentation.
She’s been doing marketing strategy for 25 years, both client side and agency side.
Her background includes an MBA in entrepreneurship … she’ll tell you she has a real soft spot for the little guys … after all she is one of us. Her business partners are her husband, who’s a helicopter pilot, which is why Audience Audit has a wholly-owned subsidiary called Pathfinder Helicopter Services, and her sister, Sarah, who has a PhD in statistics (the smartest person Susan knows).
Susan’s personal peeve is marketers thinking more about what they want to do than about what their target customers want. Susan works with marketers to help them think about an audience-focused approach for their marketing efforts.
Connect with Susan and Audience Audit
- Book: Youtility : Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer
- Tool: Tableau (data visualization)
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