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Business lessons from the road – how do you communicate with your customers?

Business lessons from the road – how do you communicate with your customers?

By on Nov 24, 2014 in Marketing Lessons, Online Business | 0 comments


We’ve just moved from Cambodia/Vietnam to Bangkok and theres one thing missing … that lack of this thing (so far) has reminded me that I wanted to write about the importance of knowing who your market is.

What is the thing thats missing here?  Hawkers…  There may be heaps of them in other places around Bangkok, but so far we’ve not encountered any.  I understand that they are just doing their job, finding a way to make some money – however on a number of occasions I’ve felt like pulling them aside and teaching them about targeting the right people/tourists.

For example, we have been approached by hundreds if not thousands of hawkers in the last 3 months selling sunglasses.  I’m pretty much always wearing mine, so I am NOT their target market at all, and although I may be on the look out for a new pair, they would be much better off pursuing those squinting in the sun without sun glasses.  This is a very simple example and I assume they are just working through the numbers – ask as many tourists as possible and eventually someone will say yes.

hawker selling glasses

The other thing I noticed in markets in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia is the question “want to buy anything ma’am?”  Often by a bored looking girl doing her nails.  Or the other extreme of thrusting things into your hands as you walk through – almost saying, if you touched it last you have to buy it 😉  

Don’t get me wrong, its one of the things I love about Asia, the hustle and the bustle, keeping your wits about you so that you don’t buy that thing you didn’t need for 10 times as much as a local (nod to Simon here ;-))!  And I’m looking forward to find these interactions in some of the bigger markets in Bangkok, but I’m just sick of being ‘sold too’ all the time.  Something about being a westerner in tourist areas in Asia appears to mean you have pockets deeper than Donald Trump and you want to buy things all the time!  So far Bangkok’s not been like that at all – but we’ve not ventured too far yet.

With all that said I can’t help but think about marketing and what lessons we as business owners can take from that and I’m lead back to the old chest nut – “know your market” and market to them appropriately – and no everyone can not be your market.  When you do this your marketing will be targeted, you’ll spend less on advertising and you’ll make more money!

How do you talk directly to your market?  The best exercise I can suggest is one you may feel a little silly doing but I promise it is a very valuable exercise!  Grab a magazine and flick through until you find a picture that represents your perfect customer in your mind.  Now cut them out.

With this image in front of you spend at least 30 minutes writing up the typical day of your perfect client/customer.  What time did she/he get up?  what did they eat for breakfast? how did they get to work (if they work)? etc.  Also make note of things like: how much money they make, how many children (if any), even their favourite shampoo brand..  The more detailed you can be for this fictitious character the better picture you get in your head and the better your marketing will be to your perfect client/customer.  This doesn’t mean you won’t sell to people outside this mould, but you will be right on target for your ideal client/customer.

Now stick the image of this person on the wall near your computer or where you make marketing and advertising decisions, you can also add a number of bullet points from your description.  This will help you talk to this person every time you post on Facebook, put an ad in the paper or send an email!

Hope that helps – let me know what you do to reach out to your perfect client/customer?


P.S. We’ve been helping a bunch of clever business owners to grow their business online by answering their questions every fortnight over at the Michon Business Coaching Club – if you’re struggling at the moment this might be the place for you 🙂

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Mum, wife, online geek girl, distance runner, adventurer etc. all rolled into one! My job is to make sure we all have clean clothes, food to eat and most importantly that we have a heap of awesome experiences to fill our memory banks!

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