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Understand what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling it. Stock photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Know what makes your customer tick

The smartest marketers I’ve met can describe their perfect customer’s age, geography, income and hobbies. 

This knowledge enables them to understand what they’re selling and to whom they’re selling it. With this information at their fingertips, they easily envision additional products and services to hustle while recognizing which tools are most appropriate for spreading the word. 

From there, crafting a good message is much easier, as is drafting a budget and marketing plan.

Furthermore, if you understand your customers’ needs, interests and overall profile, it can help you uncover new markets. 

Consider the Idaho real estate agents who have spent several years wooing conservative Californians to relocate to the Gem State. They’ve touted lower costs of living and an escape from liberal politics and have done quite well with this strategy. 

Then there are Southern California real estate agents who troll for business in the Snow Belt during January. They emphasize our weather and lure quite a few Bostonians, Philadelphians and Minnesotans exhausted by cold.

When wandering around Suffern, New York, on a recent trip, I saw another twist on this idea. Suffern is just five miles from Monsey, which has a large, growing community of Orthodox Jews. By all indications, that community is spilling over into Suffern.

Which explains the sign I spotted outside a Jewish community center reading, “Buy your next apartment in Israel” with a local phone number.

This real estate agent apparently found a niche he felt was worthy of attention. I didn’t see anyone else competing for that piece of business. 

It’s not unusual for agents to focus on particular geographic areas within the state in which they’re licensed. Some specialize in corporate relocations, others first-time homebuyers or particular ethnic groups. 

It’s also worth noting that California real estate agents can make well into six figures, with the state’s top earners ranking fourth in the nation. They may belong to a brokerage or network, but the key to their success appears to be knowing whom they’re selling to. 

It’s a lesson you can learn from, regardless of what you sell.  Know your customer and what makes them tick. And always keep your eyes open, because you never know what opportunities may present themselves if you’re paying attention. 

Finally, remember the lesson of the shark: If you’re not always swimming forward, you will die.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

We’ll help profile your customers.

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