Understanding the customer ...
Not understanding the customer...
In reality, all business owners (most of the people that Minh has come into contact with) when starting up, never really care about this issue. At best, they only have a superficial understanding of it.
For example, if you sell fashion clothes, then customers like beautiful, unique, and stylish clothes, that's all you need to know. You will order some trendy items to sell and then just stock up on inventory.
Many people fall into this trap, so if you are new to this and see yourself in this article, then sit down and have a piece of cake and a cup of tea.
Seeing something hot and thinking that many customers will like it --> buy it
Seeing someone else selling well and thinking that you can sell it too --> buy it
Seeing the whole community going crazy for it (like masks recently) --> buy it
Having too much money and not knowing what to do with it, so buying things to sell for fun --> buy it
Hearing friends say that a product is good, so buying it together to sell --> buy it
Buying until dead...
And certainly, you cannot succeed because you simply do not understand why you are doing this, just for money...
First, understand yourself
This is an important issue that Minh wants to emphasize because if you start a business blindly, the failure rate is very high. Before starting a business, you need to determine the following factors:
Do you like this job: Do you do this job for the money, or do you still enjoy it when you are struggling with it?
For example, if someone asks Minh to sell things, Minh can do it well, but Minh does it for the money. On the other hand, when Minh writes articles, Minh really enjoys it and can forget about exhaustion (but still needs money).
Is this job suitable for you: Some people sacrifice their careers for a job they love and it takes them 10 years to succeed with it... that's okay.
But there are jobs that are "really suitable for you" and you can succeed in just 2-3 years.
Entrepreneurship can inherit everything we have prepared in the past: This is more about "working with depth". Minh will probably have a separate talk about it. But in short, starting a business must inherit:
Your previous skills and knowledge
The platforms you have built (including relationships)
For example, a man works in accounting and has a strong passion for sneakers. He buys sneakers all day, talks about sneakers with his colleagues, advises friends on how to wash their sneakers... -> He opens a sneaker store:
He loves sneakers, he buys a lot of sneakers, and he has a source to get sneakers.
His colleagues, friends, family, and relationships will be his first customers.
The community he shares and interacts with will be the next customers.
All knowledge about sneakers helps him with inbound marketing.
He does what he likes -> he can work hard day and night.
It's not certain that he will succeed, but at least his success rate is much higher than that of an accountant who knows nothing about sneakers and sells sneakers. Understand yourself, whether you like it or not, whether you can withstand hunger, and then start.
Understanding the product is the fastest way to sell
Taking the example of the shoe sales mentioned above, once you have the passion, interest, and sufficient supply source, what do we need to prepare next? That is to have a deep understanding of the product. Understanding the product deeply does not mean going into too much detail about the materials, fabrics, etc. (although it's good to know this).
Rather, we need to have knowledge revolving around what we sell. For example, if we sell sneakers, we need to know:
Different types of shoes
Different types of shoe fabrics
Ways to wash shoes
Accessories for shoes (clothing to match the shoes, brushes for shoes, etc.)
Shoe trends in different countries
Common shoe colors
Different types of shoe heights, auctions, etc.
To be more accurate, we must have enough knowledge to SATISFY CUSTOMER CURIOSITY. Humans have two characteristics that if marketers know how to exploit them, they will achieve great results: "New wind" (which I will analyze later) and the second is "curiosity about information."
People are always curious about information related to something they are about to buy, intend to buy, like to buy, want to own, etc.
If you have bought a pair of high heels, surely you cannot resist information such as how to prevent the heels from breaking, tips to keep high heels from wearing out, how to make high heels look more fashionable, what outfit matches high heels, and so on.
People always want to know more information to look intelligent, knowledgeable, or better than others.... That's why inbound marketing can develop, and information is something that is easy to share.
Have you ever known a secret that you can keep for a lifetime? The information you share will have people tag their friends, share on their wall, or talk about you to someone else—-> SUCCESS.
BOTTOM LINE: you must deeply understand the information related to the product and be CREATIVE to make effective inbound marketing.
Finally, we must understand customer behavior. This is crucial because customer behavior is a multivariable function, and these variables change based on time, weather, timing, etc. So we must be flexible and keep up with the times. The things we need to pay attention to are:
The general market situation - this is the most important because on the market, there are hundreds of people selling the same thing as us, and each one has reached tens of thousands of people, and they are the ones educating our customers for us. If we go against them, we are going down a separate path, and that path will be extremely costly. So instead of doing A, we will do A++ and surpass them - customers will come to us (a blitz strategy).
Customer trends - sometimes, our competitors may not be doing things well, and our customers may not necessarily like A++. So we need to know our customers better by looking at as many related posts as possible to find out: what types of posts customers will like, what types of posts they will comment on, what types of content will make users take action.
Trends in seasonal shopping
This is also important because we will choose the wrong time to start up if we're not careful.
For example, if we open a café or restaurant right before the rainy season, we're likely to fail. We need to know which season is the best for sales, and why.
Which month or week will sell the most, and why? What time of day should we post to get the best interaction, and why?
The final important thing is customer segmentation, based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs (for those who haven't seen it, you can look it up). We must determine if our product segment is suitable for our customer segment.
From the customer segment, we can analyze the factors that segment of customers need.
For example, if the segment is middle-class, they need things that are convenient, reasonably priced, discounts, and more support. Each segment is further divided into:
Segment by price: upper-middle, high-end...
Segment by style: classic, vintage, trendy...
Segment by demographics: male, female, old, young...
Once you understand the customer, the next step is to "CREATE VALUE FOR THE CUSTOMER."
This step is extremely important, without it there are no customers, and it is the topic of Minh's previous article on Inbound Marketing.
The next step is to deliver value, find a way to deliver value, reach customers... and then customers themselves will come to us.
The understanding of customers above is just a summary that Minh has learned in the process, it goes deeper but if it is all written in one article, perhaps people will not read it all or find it boring.
The segmentation of customer segments also depends on the product pushing strategy. I hope each article in the series will provide some knowledge for everyone to learn.