Knowing Your Market

Knowing Your Market

What is your market? Do you know? The idea behind knowing your market can be mapped out many different ways. You can quickly figure out who you want to talk to by asking yourself some precise questions and giving specific answers. With all the information flying around us on a daily basis, you can research a market as deep as you desire.  

I went to school to become a Data Scientist and have achieved that goal. One thing I notice about working with data and working with people in the data space is that we are getting more distracted. Analysis Paralysis anyone? In addition to being stuck in analysis land. We as a collective human race are getting further away from soft skills.

We are ushering in a new phase. Which is, beyond what we thought possible. We look to the data before we go out and converse with someone. We want the “convenience” of knowing what we don’t know. Here’s the thing we still do not know what we don’t know.

Hang with Me

There have been a lot of new technologies introduced into the marketing system. Heck, I work with most of them. Things that track a person all the way down to what they eat, wear, how big their family is, etc. There are huge companies that sell this data every half second, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

We are becoming numbers instead of people. Some of you may remember a time when people knew you because you actually talked to them. If you’re from a small town you can relate to this I am sure.

With the advent of social media, data tracking software, and more specific ways to stay aware from afar. We got further away from human interactions and are starting to forget what human interaction means. It became about numbers and actions instead of developing relationships. The difference being how are you? to why didn’t they purchase, and looking at the sales funnel.  The second descriptor does not have anything to do with talking to the person. But everything to do with technology. You are building a relationship with the technology and using it as a buffer between you and your customer. If you haven’t developed a relationship or do not even realize this as an issue, you will not be inclined to reach out beyond technology. This may result in a customer never returning.

Relationships Last Longer

Why don’t people come back? Because no relationship was developed in the first place. It was a place to drop off something or get something from. The person does not feel obligated or guided to come back because everything they needed they got.

We have to remember that people are emotional beings, even you. The reason people purchase and keep coming back is that they feel some kind of a connection. When was the last time you were asked, “how are you and can I help you understand how this works?” or better yet, “Hi, my name is Bob what is your name and what brings you in today?” 

These questions are very different from, “can I help you find something?” or “what are you looking to purchase today?” Both of which I have been asked on multiple occasions. They are not bad questions, but they keep the salesperson disconnected. Incapable of connecting with the person on the other end.

Neither is wrong, but one mental frame will get you further in sales than the other. We as humans need some kind of connection.

What Should We Do?

There are multiple things we can do to make the experience better for your customers. We need to start at the top, go in and then come out.

1. Mental Frame

In any marketing program worth its salt, the first step is always, “Who.” Who are you trying to talk to? These sheets usually take you through this person’s everyday life and what they love the most. From here you figure out what problem they have and solve that problem.

Makes sense right and it is a foundational step for any business. The problem is what happens when we are so focused on the sales process and not the client relationship process? What comes with a relationship? Trust, care, loyalty to name a few. If we have little to no relationship, we get a lower Lifetime Value(LTV) because the customer has no relationship.

Having relationships are much more important and long-lasting. Every single business should realize that how you treat or interact with people is how they will interact back to you. If you are a discount store, your customer will demand discounts and drop you like a bad habit if anything changes. The same goes for Premium and middle of the road businesses.

Now think about these businesses but cultivating a relationship with your customers.

Develop A Relationship

Developing a relationship has everything to do with knowing your market. The problem is when we get caught up in our own business process. If business is good, why change it? I couldn’t agree more. However, if during this time you are not developing relationships. Once you are in a slump, your customers and sales will start to dwindle.

I am not talking about developing a relationship by sending an email for their birthday and all major holidays. Developing a relationship goes beyond these cool marketing automations. If you have a small number of customers, it is just as easy as making a phone call. Telling the customer thank you and offering help with any questions.

That will go a long way between you and your customer. The next time your customer thinks about buying widget ABC, they will think of you. I am sure some of you are wondering what if I have thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of customers?

The personal call will have to be graduated to something more able to bridge the customer business personal gap. Personal postcard perhaps, an email letting your valued customer know a number to express any concerns. Or even a personal sales associate dedicated to a group of customers.

These small things let your customer know you are paying attention, and they have a higher likelihood of coming back.

3. Continous Cultivation

Now we can have some real fun. You will start to figure out how to connect with people and give them the best experience. It will be like you are starting a huge family instead of a huge business. If you don’t like the word family think of it like you are developing a huge pool of cool friends. Or better yet you are creating a community.

How would you treat your friends? How do you treat your family? What kind of community do you want to create?

Think about that for a second, you are the master of your own business. You can guide it the way you want. Your ability to strengthen or weaken your customer loyalty is up to you. As a business leader, it is important to lead the charge. Coming up with ways to really stand out and enhance the experience.

Remember continuous cultivation of your customers and the techniques you apply go directly into their experience. Everything could go sideways you decide to handle everything professionally. In turn, the customer’s experience was terrific. They will in most cases always come to you. On the same note, everything could go right, and you handle the experience poorly. That customer may never return.

Some of the best businesses I deal with have a low amount of technology. They are forced to interact to make the experience the best for its customers. We as a tech-savvy culture can still achieve the same result you just have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.  How would it feel if I did this? How does it look when I do this?

Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate


Once you get out of the numbers and refocus on how appreciative you are of your customers, you can really make a difference. The rewards will be exponential both mentally, and physically. I got a degree in data science, and I can tell you that some companies know so much about us they forgot who we are. It is a dangerous place as we race to the unanswerable. More and more technology takes us away from what matters and tells us money is most important. However, remember to make money you have to have a healthy continuous stream of customers. The people that keep you in business should be treated with respect handled appropriately. Let’s take back control of our customers experience and connect beyond digital means. Put a little personality into what you have to offer and develop a relationship.

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