Finding Your Best Customers

You’re a business owner. You got into business because you had a passion for what you do and a desire to use your product or service to solve the needs of others. All others. You believe each and every one of your customers is important to your business and that it is your job to serve them.

Turns out, that’s not as true as the “Everyone Is Equal” fairies would have you believe.

The truth is — not all customers are created equal, especially not in the eyes of your bottom line. There are customers sitting in your database right now who generate a higher return on investment (ROI), who buy more products and make purchases more frequently, and who convert better and at less cost than others. These are your best customers. You want more of these customers.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could identify your best customers and market to them more often?

Wouldn’t you love to present them with more targeted messaging or special offers to encourage their next purchase?

You can.

You can generate more business from the customers most significant to your ROI, but first you need to identify who they are. Below we’ll walk you through how to do it.

Mine Your Customer Data for Gold

You want to identify your “best customers,” but what does that mean to you? It could mean considering factors like:

  • Lifetime value: The total dollar amount a customer will spend with you over the years.
  • Longevity: How long a customer maintains a relationship with your brand.
  • Purchase value: Customers who purchase your highest-value or highest-dollar items.
  • Social value: Customers who increase your social footprint by talking about you, sharing your brand with their friends, generating referrals or leaving positive online reviews.
  • Goal value: Customers who perform a desired action, whether it be purchasing a product or signing up for an email newsletter.

To identify these customers, start by mining your customer database to get a sense of what these customers look like and the features, demographics and interests they have in common.

Look at customer records, sales receipts, service requests or any market research you’ve already done to identify patterns.

If you have salespeople, talk to them. Ask what they’re seeing, the questions they answer most and which types of products customers are most interested in. If, like many small business owners, you are your sales team, you won’t have to look far to get your answers.

Use the Web to conduct social research to see who is interacting with your site and increasing your amplification.

Check your website analytics to learn who your audience members are, how they reach your site and what their engagement is with your site and your content.

Survey your existing customers and do interviews with key consumers to develop a better understanding of who they are and what they respond to.

Once you have all of your information, you can begin to create a loose customer portrait of who your best customer is and the type of customer you want to attract.

Use SL360™ As Your Best Mining Tool

Once you’ve created your initial customer portrait, you can take it one step further to let SL360™ do the heavy lifting of persona creation and build your target audience.

The SL360™ application helps small business owners quickly obtain complete knowledge about their best customers. For example, the Portrait Reports within the SL360™ application are designed to analyze hundreds of different variables and elements about your audience to give you the demographics and psychographics of your best customers without overwhelming you with paperwork. You’re a SMB. You want the data. Not the headache. Simply upload your most recent customer file to SL360™, and the service will mine it for you, present the results and build on it by appending new data to give you a complete picture of your best customer.

You’ve probably heard about the power of personas for marketing. This is what SL360™ can provide.

Below are some of the reports SMBs have found most useful:

Look-Alike Report:
The Look-Alike Report applies important demographic elements including age, gender, race, education, income, marital status, family size, children and home ownership to help you understand your success in reaching these people. Once you upload your current customer list, the Look-Alike Report will present you with a demographic portrait of your audience to help you understand who these look-alike customers are, and what they look like, noting the markets where you are likely to be most successful. The turnaround for this report is just one business day, allowing you to get it and get moving (let’s face it, as SMBs, we’re always in a rush).

Enhanced Look-Alike Report:
As the name suggests, this report builds upon the traditional Look-Alike report by showing the sectors in which you have a strong or weak market presence. It identifies who your best customers are and how they are different from other customers. The report will also provide additional information as to how you can market to your best customers more effectively to generate more revenue. The Enhanced Look-Alike report includes more than 170 demographic and interest elements, including special interests, social media models and buying behaviors. Imagine if you had to go through all of that yourself? SL360™ can have this report back to you in one business day.

Personicx Portrait Report:
This report is unique to SL360™. It uses our 21 Personicx groups and 70 Personicx clusters to break your audience into identifiable segments, again honing in on who your best customers are. We’ve found SMBs strongly respond to this report because it allows them to put names to behavior. For example, this report may identify your biggest customer segments as Rural Parents, Persistent & Productive and Thrifty & Active. This type of naming convention immediately helps you to picture who these people are when trying to market to them. It’s like putting a face to a name. The turnaround time for this report is 2-3 business days.

Data Portrait Analysis: The Data Portrait Analysis workbook provides a detailed view to help you learn about the demographic and lifestyle elements that best contrast, define and describe your customers. It can also compare and contrast your customer characteristics to national averages, helping you to understand how they differ from others and where they stand out. Once you know the traits that make up your prospective customers, you can find more like them. The turnaround time for this report is 3-5 business days.

As you can see, the reports above offer small business owners unparalleled level of insight into just who their business’ customers are, and how to identify their best customers. Normally, this information was reserved for the Fortune 500s of the world. Now, it is at your fingertips, and it puts you in a better position to market to the customers most important to your ROI, ultimately resulting in increased revenue.

Ready to find more of your best customers? Get started with SL360™!

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