With limited hours in a day, it can be challenging to determine how to best focus your marketing efforts. As a business there may be a thousand questions floating around your head: what message am I trying to get across, who are my customers, what sort of content should I be creating, what are my competitors doing, am I posting content often enough, what content should I even be posting in the first place, why is my competition getting more engagement than me, and so many more questions.
Let me help you sort through these questions and give some insight into how you should think about your marketing efforts. There are two primary perspectives you can have: a customer perspective and a competitor perspective. It’s that simple.
In traditional marketing models, the marketer spends a decent amount of effort analyzing their competitors. They may draw up competitor maps, market share reports, SWOT analyses, and audience engagement metrics; however, how useful is this information to growing your business? The reality is that this information is only useful for ideation, or generating marketing ideas. Thinking about your business in terms of your competition does nothing to help you develop your own unique brand and carve out a space for your business in the industry.
That is where having a customer perspective comes in to play. You can only float your business for so long by copying what other businesses are doing. At some point, you will have to develop a brand that stands out amongst the competition. This means identifying your ideal customer and developing a brand that revolves around them.
So, what does it look like to have a customer perspective? There are a number of trendy marketing concepts going around that focus on having a customer perspective: customer-centricity, design thinking, storytelling, customer obsession, and so on and so forth. All of these concepts keep at their core the idea that effective and powerful marketing thinks about the customer first. They seek to answer, “what are my customer’s problems, and how can I solve them?”
It’s about putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. What is like to be them for a day? What are their life goals and dreams? What is keeping them from reaching those goals and dreams? What do they need to overcome those obstacles? Finally, how can my business help them on their journey to those goals? These are the questions that will guide your business to developing a brand that truly speaks to your target audience.
Everything that your business puts out should be tailored to that target audience: social posts, promotions, packaging design, ads, purchasing funnels, everything. With a customer perspective, you won’t have to worry as much about attracting people to your brand because your brand will already be what your customers are looking for. In the long run, this saves time, money, and frustration.
If you find that you spend a large portion of time paying attention to what your competitors are doing, take a break. Go back to the basics, and focus on building a brand that is obsessed with making your customers happy.