Expanding your customer base is an important part of business development. It not only challenges you to keep innovating, but it also increases profit.
New customers come with a fresh perspective, helping you to improve your products and service delivery.
Of course there are those that prefer to utilise their existing client base instead of attracting new ones.
They do this by increasing their customers’ wallet share – creating more value then commanding a higher price.
This strategy may lock out the customers who chose your business based on a low price point and instead, drive them into the hands of your competitors.
The share of wallet metric is dependent upon a short time window, during which a customer’s spending habits and preferences may change.
This makes it challenging to find accurate data about your customers and increases the cost of marketing altogether.
Those who keep clinging to the share of wallet raft discover that they can’t fully rely on current customers for sustained profits. Especially when these customers reduce their spend after falling on hard times.
Acquiring new customers remains a viable option for maximising profit. Here are some tips you could use to attract new customers.
Define Your Buyer Persona
Marketing is only effective when a business clearly understands its target customer.
Who does your business help the most?
Let’s assume you run a restaurant in the middle of Auckland.
Would you like to target busy professionals as Best Ugly does? They claim to be able to cure your Monday malaise with their signature bagels.
Or do you want to target tourists like Orbit 360°, who offer a breathtaking dining experience to tourists who visit the Sky Tower for an adrenaline fix, giving them panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf?
These two restaurants would approach their marketing strategy differently.
Orbit 360° prides itself in being the most unique restaurant in Auckland. Their strategy would probably involve hosting functions and intimate parties at its facility.
In contrast, Best Ugly would take advantage of rush hour, give 2 for 1 discounts and partner with other organisations in the area like they did with Bike Auckland.
Everyone who spent on breakfast at the Bike Auckland event got a free cup of coffee to start the day.
Both restaurants not only understand their buyer persona, but they also use their customers’ interests to inform their marketing efforts.
Ask yourself the following questions when you’re crafting your buyer persona:
- What are their demographics?
Find their income level, age, gender and where they live.
- What is their background?
Find out what they do for a living and their family life.
- What are their identifiers?
Explore their communication preferences – Do they predominantly use email over text message? Social media over traditional forms of media?
How do they talk with their connections?
Do they use formal or slang language?
What is their demeanor?
Are they assertive, open, cautious, altruistic or ambitious?
- What are their primary and secondary goals?
Find out what their dreams are and what they strive to achieve.
Customer choices are driven by underlying goals and they tend to buy what they want, not what they think they need.
Understanding their wishes and aspirations will enable you to package your product or service as something they ought to have ASAP.
- What are their pain points?
Find out what keeps them up at night.
In pursuit of their dreams, customers face challenges that your business can help solve.
- Which of their challenges does your business solve?
Discover ways to help your customer to realise their dreams and overcome their challenges.
- What common objections have they given you in the past?
Note down the reasons and excuses that your prospective customers have given for not purchasing your product or service.
Quote it verbatim if you can. For example “I am happy with my current provider” or “I can’t afford this right now, I’m on a budget”
You can then create a solution to counter their objections.
- How should I package my offer to prospective clients?
Based on the information you have gathered so far and the common objections are given by prospective clients, you can tailor your messaging differently.
Once you know who you want as a customer, define who you don’t want. A negative buyer persona represents people who don’t qualify as your customer.
For instance, if you have a restaurant that sells liquor and only targets mature clients, your negative buyer persona would be anyone below 21 years old.
Your negative persona may also be people who find your products or services too expensive and may only buy once or not at all.
Efforts to acquire such customers would only increase your marketing budget and lower your ROI.
Explore Their Buyer Journey
So you’ve created the right marketing strategy to attract new clients but have no leads to show for it.
The problem might be your buying process.
Make sure that you’re not discouraging prospective clients with long forms, hard to navigate landing pages, complicated messaging or a lengthy check out process.
If a new customer lands on your website or social media pages and finds obstacles in their buying process, they will give up and go to your competitors’ pages.
Do customers find your website through social media referrals or through other platforms?
How much time do they spend on your website? Do they check out other offers and pages on your website? At what point do they drop off the buying process?
These questions may help you to know how you can create more compelling content for your social media pages and converting landing pages on your website.
The buyer journey may also be affected by your own team, especially if it takes a lot of time for an opportunity to pass through the sales pipeline.
This may be caused by a lack of urgency or failure of your sales team to give a lead the information they need to move forward in the pipeline and eventually downplays your marketing efforts to new customers.
Extend Your Brand Experience
Post relevant content and run contests on your social media pages so that customers can engage with your brand before, during and after purchase.
Reward customers who share photos and videos of themselves using your product or service. The more they share their experience with your brand, the more their followers will know about you.
Ensure that your social media profiles are optimised so that new customers can find you. You can accomplish this by adding your business’s contact information, location and a convincing call to action. If you own a restaurant, for instance, add opening hours, location, menu and contacts.
Always Use a Compelling Call to Action
In all your marketing efforts, ask your customers to engage in a call to action such as ‘learn more’ or ‘sign up’.
You could then give freebies or discounts to incentivise them to engage.
This allows you to take contact information from prospective clients and nurture them with newsletters, branded content and event updates to keep your business on top of their minds.
If lead nurturing is done right, a large fraction of them will convert and spread the word of your amazing products and services.
Give Back to the Community
Invest in the people who support your business by sponsoring a local event or partnering with a charity organisation.
When new customers are comparing your business and your competitors with similar offers, they will look at other factors to make purchasing decisions.
Charity will give you good exposure and prospective customers will find the experience mentally rewarding.
It will also communicate to them that you’re not all about the bottom line and that your business has a positive impact in your community.
Here are a few ways you could support your community through positive branding:
- Donate your delivery vehicle to be used at a local function
- Place coin donation boxes at your business
- Sell tickets for a charity event at your establishment
- Donate a percentage of your sales on a particular day to a charity
- Sponsor a local team
- Offer to host a meet-up group or book club at your facility
Make new friends but keep the old.
These words ring true in marketing, too, so make sure to dedicate a part of your strategy of retaining old customers. Give them members-only pricing or highlight them on social media. Send an e-card on their birthday and offer them a discount for two.
It’ll remind them that you exist, that you care and they won’t resist telling their friends and loved ones about you.
Oh, and make sure everything in your restaurant is spotlessly clean and hygienic. A dirty washroom or stained tablecloth can ruin a guest’s experience as quickly as a beautifully cooked dish can make it a great one.