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Top 5 Customer Types and How to Market to Them

November 16, 2011 By Kim Perila

Today’s customer has a lot of control and influence over a business’ success. But when you say “customer,” who comes to mind? Maybe you're thinking about the person researching products and services via your company website. Or the loyal repeat buyer. Or the person who gave you a try for the first time last week. Or maybe you’re thinking about the person that used to buy quite often but hasn’t been back in over six months.

There are a lot of marketers who, instead of focusing on specific customer profiles, are focusing on features and benefits and the key attributes of their products or services that might resonate to gain mind-share. But to achieve true customer engagement—the type of engagement that companies will care about in the long-run—there is more discipline and analysis to it than that. It starts by defining and understanding which “customer” you are really talking about and the opportunity that lies ahead to create true value exchange—the value proposition for the customer and value for your company.

Here are five top-line customer types and the opportunities that exist to truly engage them and move them through their lifecycles:

Suspects: You might think of these individuals as the customers who aren’t even aware yet how much they need your product or service. Even before someone becomes a prospect, there are individuals that can be identified to have a need (or are about to have a need if you are talking in terms of life events), but might not be aware of your brand or product. Or, they are aware, but haven’t been in contact yet.
• Opportunity: Be clear about your value proposition so the right audiences can easily find out about you and understand how your solutions fit into their life.

Prospects: The No. 1 target of our acquisition efforts, prospects are known and by this point are typically either in contact with a sales representative of the company or in some other way have reached out to learn more about your brand and products. 

 

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