Monthly Archives :

February 2018

Marketing is Good…Educating Your Customers is Better!

Marketing is Good…Educating Your Customers is Better! 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Everyone knows that marketing is an important part of any business model. If customers don’t know about your business, there will be no business. The challenging part about that is figuring out new and exciting content and promotions to keep your customers engaged. An effective communication tool is education. Launching a customer education program opens the door to an entire world of content, and cleverly gets potential customers to choose you.

Won’t they just do it themselves?
You might be worried that customer education is going to turn them into diy’ers when it comes to what you’re an expert at, therefore causing you to lose business. However, it’s more likely that just the opposite will happen. Think about a salon that educates their clients on hair color you buy in a box vs. salon quality color. That salon just saved their potential client a ton of time in research and kept them from severely damaging their hair. In that example, the salon owner has positioned their staff as experts in hair care with compelling reasons to spend more on quality.

How do I educate?
First, look at your customer base. Are they loyal? Do they already know what you do? If you’re just starting out, focus on educating your followers on what you offer and how it can make life easier.

Keep your messaging informative and formulate it to answer burning questions. Remember the salon we were talking about? Imagine if they launched a campaign on different techniques for cutting hair and how their stylists need to know how to cut thin, straight, thick, or curly hair. The salon is essentially telling potential customers that their salon’s stylists are artists with the education and experience necessary to make each one of their clients feel great!

If you’re established and you have a solid customer base, it’s likely they know what you do and why they should use you. In that case, offer information or tips that reminds your customers why they need you. If our salon educated their followers on the latest style trends, it would get clients in the door to get a fresh new hairstyle with their new wardrobe. The point is, keep your customer education centric to your business’s goal, which is likely to get customers and keep them coming back.

Adding in a customer education component to your marketing strategy has many benefits:

  • You establish yourself as the expert
  • Your customers know you care that they are informed
  • You create a subtle way to engage with your audience

If you’re ready to learn more about the how’s and why’s as to educating your potential and existing customers, Wild Fig Marketing is here to help! Schedule a free consultation call here and you will walk away with ideas on how to start an education campaign.

The Secret to Gaining Customer Trust

The Secret to Gaining Customer Trust 900 598 WildFigAdmin

The secret to gaining your customer’s trust is simple: there isn’t one—you need to earn it. There’s nothing you can do to instantly gain the trust of your customers, but you can fast-track the process. Here’s how.

1. Be authentic.
Seriously, customers can spot BS a mile away. Embrace what makes you and your company different from your competition, not the same. Tell your story, perhaps. 😀 And in business as in life, always walk your talk.

2. Ask for reviews.
Customer reviews, referrals, and testimonials—called social proof in the marketing biz—is incredibly valuable marketing content. Potential customers increasingly rely on reviews when making purchasing decisions. Asking customers to review you online not only show that you trust them, but you have confidence in your sales process and customer experience.

3. And respond to them all—even the bad ones.
None of us are perfect. Eventually, even a company that offers a phenomenal customer experience will be left a bad review. Responding to every review you receive—good or bad—increases trust. It shows that you have gratitude for all customers and the integrity to make things right when something doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations.

4. Quality counts.
You can eliminate most bad reviews by delivering an excellent customer experience and product or service. Be honest with yourself about what you’re realistically able to promise customers, and never claim to be able to deliver more than that.

5. Wow ‘em at every step in your sales process.
Remember our post on creating your customer’s story? There are emotional ups and downs in every sales process; the key to consistently wowing your customers is to anticipate the downs and make them go as smoothly as possible. If you take the time to define your customer story, it’ll be easier to deliver a consistent, quality customer experience.

Ready to earn your customers’ trust but not sure where to start? Wild Fig Marketing can help. Give us a call today or click here to set up your 15 minute exploratory consultation.

The Importance of the Customer Avatar

The Importance of the Customer Avatar 900 600 WildFigAdmin

There’s nothing new about the idea that we have to know our audience–our potential customers–in order to achieve success with our branding and marketing efforts.

Avatars: Beyond Demographics

However, the idea has evolved in recent years, and now we’re getting much more specific when envisioning our prospects. Current wisdom says we take it beyond simple demographics, envisioning customer avatars.

While old-school marketing was content to describe customers as Birkenstock-wearing or Volvo-driving or Duck-Dynasty-watching, today’s concept of the customer avatar or customer persona hones into much greater detail, envisioning a fictional person who represents a profile of your typical customer.

Detailed Questions, Detailed Answers

When building your avatar(s), ask plenty of questions beyond their relationship to your product or service. You want to know where they spend time online, what problems they need solved, what resources they trust. Where do they get their news? Where do they shop? What are their hobbies? What magazines do they read? What advertising do they respond to? What kind of car do they drive?

Thoughtfully evaluate your customer base on many spectrums: CNN, NPR or Fox? Manolo Blahniks or LL Bean? Whole Foods or Grocery Outlet? Sierra Club or NRA? Cash or Credit? Facebook or Instagram? Crossfit or Pilates? Green tea or espresso? Craigslist or EBay?

The Benefits of Avatars

  • This may seem like an elaborate exercise, but it really pays off. How?
  • You begin to view your prospects as real people, not faceless demographic compilations.
  • You narrow down your target market, which allows you to target them much more effectively than trying to be all things to all people
  • You narrow down their pain points, enabling you to address them much more specifically
  • You have a consistent perspective from which to build your brand and make important decisions
  • You’ll have the tools to identify when you’re at risk of jeopardizing one avatar in favor of another, and to make a conscious choice in the matter

How Do You Craft Your Avatars?

Glean any information you can about your existing audience. Consider setting up online surveys–you can offer something valuable in return, such as access to special content or a discount. Interview a select group of customers, offering an incentive to them as well. You can mine your CRM for data on your existing customers and prospects.

Casually talk to customers whenever possible. Ask your sales people for their impressions on the matter.

Imagine, for example, a survey cars in two distinct drive-throughs, Starbucks and Taco Bell. You could ask what kinds of cars, how well they’re maintained, and the number of people in them. Don’t you expect there would be a difference? Wouldn’t that generate useful information for building avatars?

Ask Your Avatars

Once you’ve crafted a few vivid, three-dimensional avatars, test your marketing and product ideas against everything you know about them. Taglines, color schemes, advertising channels–they can all be evaluated in the context of your customer personas.

Avatars Help Laser-Focus Marketing Efforts

Once you confine your marketing efforts to a highly defined, but more limited market, you’re able to engage those individuals on a much deeper level, and make better decisions with them in mind.

If you could use some help creating your customer avatars, or with other areas of your marketing strategy, contact us today!

3 Tips to Identifying Your Target Market

3 Tips to Identifying Your Target Market 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Do you feel like your business’s marketing efforts are a bit scattered and that your business could benefit from a more focused approach? Identifying your target market and subsequently directing your marketing strategy towards this focused group of consumers is the equivalent to citing in your rifle and putting the bull’s-eye in your crosshairs – a surefire hit with an optimal ROI. In other words, instead of aiming in an arbitrary direction and hoping to connect with an on-point consumer you can do some research and “hit” your target with one magic bullet. Sound too good to be true? Let’s start by defining what a target market is and take a look at how this works.

WHAT IS A TARGET MARKET?

A target market is a focused group of consumers whose needs most closely align with the solution your product or service provides. Identifying your target market is a deliberate process that takes time and effort.

Here are some things you can take a look at as you get started…

Demographic filters
Imagine a child at the beach pouring water from one bucket into another, then from that bucket into another and so on. Each time the water is poured into a subsequent bucket a smaller amount of water remains. As a business, you can implement a similar process when assessing your product using various demographic filters. Perhaps you begin by asking yourself if your product is age-specific. That means that age is your first filter. Filter out the people who are not in the optimal age range for your product and “pour” the remaining people through your next filter – let’s say that’s location. If your product is ideal for people who live in a certain geographical region pour them through this filter while filtering out the people who live outside of this geographical region. Enact this filtering process over and over using numerous demographics until you arrive at what appears to be a focused target market for your product. You can also rearrange your filters and try introducing others to see if you generate a different end result.

Data, data and more data
Collect as much data as possible. A great place to start is within your sphere of influence. Evaluate what products your family and friends use. Ask your mentors or colleagues if they have a use for your product or know of anyone who does. If it’s possible let them try it out for awhile and then follow up: Did the product serve them well? Who do they think could benefit from it? It’s also a good idea to consider observing people interacting with a product or service similar to yours “in the wild”. For example, if you’re thinking about launching a food truck startup spend every lunch hour for a week or two observing people who are ordering from various food trucks in various locations. Who are the trucks’ primary patrons? Men? Women? Business people? College students? Talk to the patrons and get to know them a bit. What part of town do they live in? What is their ethnicity? What kind of food do they prefer? Would they frequent a food truck if it was in their neighborhood? Then take a week or two to consistently observe the dinnertime crowd at these locations and ask yourself (and the patrons) the same questions.

Your competition…what are they up to?
One of the best places to gather information as you define your target market is from your competition. Spend time on their websites and take notice of who they are marketing their product towards. Read through their social media feeds and the interactions on their blogs. What are they saying? Do your competitors’ target markets seem to fit for your business’s product or service? Or maybe a better question is…how does your product differ from your competitors’ products? In doing so perhaps you will discover an unreached demographic that you can focus in on as your target market.

Ultimately, no business wants to waste time on inefficient marketing or miss out on potential opportunities to connect with on-point customers and make a sale. Investing time into identifying your target market and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly will yield vast returns on your worthwhile investment. If you or your team could use some help with this or other marketing strategies, schedule a no-obligation 15 minute consultation to see how we can help you pinpoint your perfect target market!

Want to Stand Out? Tell Your Story!

Want to Stand Out? Tell Your Story! 900 600 WildFigAdmin

This morning, I was taking a shower and thinking about a recent conversation I had with a new client. Let’s call her Sally. During our discussion about her overall marketing strategy, she stated that she was going to be a $20 million dollar company someday. She wanted to mimic what the big dogs in her industry did. Naturally, this is a pretty typical thought process business owners have when they are trying to appear larger than they are and want to compete and play on the same level as their larger competitors.

“So you want to compete with your largest competitors on price then?” I asked. Obviously, this was not the response she was expecting for me.

I went on to explain that if you want to mimic your competitors and do what they do in terms of your marketing, how will consumers tell you apart? The answer is they won’t.

Instead, they will think you offer the same products and level of service, so the only factor left to look at is price. Do you want to really compete on price? Usually those who win on price lose on margins.

So how do you stand out from your competitors?

The answer: stand out by telling your customers your story and the WHY behind why you do what you do!

Story + Mission = Amazing
Think about the last time you went to Target to buy a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. As you walk down the aisle, you see hundreds of choices. There are different shapes of bottles, dozens of fragrant scents, and an array of vivid images plastered on the front of every bottle. How do you choose which one is right for you with so many choices?

This recently happened to me. As I stared at all of the options, my eye was drawn to Shea Moisture. The first thing I noticed besides the intriguing ingredients was the little heart with the phrase, “Community Commerce Fights Poverty.” I wondered what it meant, so I flipped the bottle over and read the story about Sofi Tucker, a widowed mother of 4 who lived in Sierra Leone in 1912. She started off selling shea nuts to support herself and her children and went on to develop shampoos and soaps and finally SheaMoisture. She is the grandmother of the two current owners who have carried on her legacy and are now helping empower disadvantaged women to realize a brighter, healthier future through Community Commerce.

Not only does SheaMoisture have a heartfelt story behind their brand, they’re living their story everyday through their actions. According to their packaging, for every purchase made, 10% of the profits go to support women empowerment in three key areas: Entrepreneurship, Education and Equity. They invest in communities, by funding training, infrastructure and safety programs to sustainably source indigenous ingredients, grow local manufacturing of high quality goods in their villages and provide fair prices for their labor.

Create lifelong, emotionally-connected customers

Did you know…

I can personally attest to these facts, as I’m now an emotionally connected SheaMoisture customer and fan who will continue to purchase their products versus going back to my previous high-end, salon products.

Have you shared your story with your customers and staff? There is no time like the present. After all, if you want to stand-out and avoid competing on price…tell your story! Wild Fig Marketing can help.

PS: Want to learn more about SheaMoisture? Check-out their site: https://www.sheamoisture.com/

Made in Minnesota – ChopRoom

Made in Minnesota – ChopRoom 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Welcome to our new blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we will explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format will be a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Winnie!

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Winnie, co-founder of ChopRoom, located on Hennepin Ave South in Uptown.

Q. We would love to hear a little bit about how ChopRoom got started!
A.
Sure! I grew up in the food industry. My dad had a successful business in the industry and I learned a tremendous amount from him. I went on to spend 10 years as an event producer and 10 years in the Air Force. My business partner, Jay Schultz, has been in corporate for over 15 years. At one point, he was attending a leadership conference for his company, and they were given access to the kitchen of a restaurant. Their challenge was to make anything – work with their teams and create a dish with any ingredients in that kitchen. The event was a huge success and everyone loved it. Between our love of cooking and the growing need for team building activities, we knew we could make a go at this. We have been in business since April of 2017. We had our soft opening in July and our grand opening in August.

Q. So when a group comes to ChopRoom what can they expect?
A. Round 1 is the appetizer round. Round 2 is the entrée round. At the start of each round each team is given a basket with three mystery ingredients and access to a pantry full of fresh food. The teams have 30 minutes to create an appetizer that is judged on presentation, complexity, flavor and creativity. Then they get a new basket of mystery ingredients and another 30 minutes to create an entrée judged on the same criteria. An event at ChopRoom typically takes 2-3 hours from start to finish. Our clients range from corporate employees to birthday parties to guys/girls night out groups.

Q. As you reflect, do you think you were destined to start ChopRoom?
A. Absolutely. It combines the team building experience I gained in the Air Force and corporate world, my childhood cooking industry exposure and my event planning experience.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?
A. Doing things on a non-existent budget! But I do feel like I’m exactly where I need to be.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business and what did you learn from it?
A. Boy, I have to wear a lot of hats at the same time –sales, human resources, accounting…But it is through this process I’ve really learned the importance of asking for help. My dad often helps me out and I know I can lean on him when I need advice. He really seems to enjoy being involved with ChopRoom.

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?
A. I would be more proactive with my marketing efforts. The way it is, we didn’t really start marketing until the soft opening in July. I would go back in time and get the word out earlier – that way there is a crescendo of awareness, excitement and anticipation leading up to the grand opening.

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling. How do you stay focused or re-focus when necessary?
A. I rely on my business partner, family, and a close circle of friends to keep me focused. They’re good at helping me separate what’s truly important from the small stuff that’s easy to get too wrapped up in.

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on your growing business where would you spend your money?
A. I would absolutely spend it on marketing. I would call a marketing expert and ask them what to do with the money to make the biggest impact.

Q. Technology is revolutionizing how we do business. What’s your favorite app or software tool that you use at ChopRoom?
A. Honestly I’m kind of a grandma when it comes to technology! I like Yelp for Business and all my mobile apps.

Q. Here’s a fun question for you…if you could start any business today what business would you open?
A. Can I say that I would open ChopRoom all over again?! It’s so fun, new and fresh and it’s so rewarding to watch my clients have fun!

Q. What’s the best advice you would give a new business owner?
A. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, whatever it is. Surround yourself with people who believe in YOU even if they don’t necessarily believe in your business venture.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Winnie, and for a behind-the-scenes peek into all the good stuff you’re cooking up at ChopRoom!

If you‘d like to learn more about ChopRoom you can visit them online at www.ChopRoom.com.