Know thy costumer and you’ll stuck

29 06 2009
Know thy costumer and you’ll stuck
Sound like I went insane? Hell yes I am! I am tired of trying to bite my own tail every once in a while. We have heard the imperious call to know our costumer, the need of understanding the why and then when they use our products, the continuous quests to define what are their needs, their goals and how we can acknowledge and cover them.
All of the above is good if you want your preach to captivate your audience; you better understand them as well as you know thyself if you want to cross the chasm.  Without doubt, creating persona profiles or needs and goal maps will help you up this road; yet, in the end you’ll end up staring at your own navel –or your competition’s for that matter-. Your whole strategy will be aimed at keeping an intact user base (i.e. minimizing churn rate) and capturing as much audience as you could form your competition (i.e. maximizing competition migration).
Let’s read that again: you’ll MINIMIZE churn rate and MAXIMZE turn around. Hmmm, it sounds like you’ll sooner or later end up with an audience ceiling, a point by which you will not grow –or as aggressively as in the past- since you’ll have eaten up the whole cake and there is nothing left. I am not against using costumer identification techniques to adapt your product and your message to a loyal base, but what about those who are not yet users of your products, your industry? What if you want to keep your base growing?*
Lessons from the past: What were the things you did before launching your product?
Chances are some of you might have just dipped into the water without understanding the whole context, but that will be another post: when to dip your body or your pinky-, but if it was an opportunity with a bit of risk involved, you will have understood what you were jumping into: who were the current costumers of the product and who might be the future ones, and correctly aimed your message toward them.
By knowing your prospects as well as your rapt regulars you are buying tickets for growth, your strategy will be laddered instead of chain based:
Bring new people into the wagon: those who are users but not costumers as well as those who are neither users nor costumers but whom our proposal will help. Understand how to bridge the gap between “we are not interested” and “I’ll give you a chance”.
Keep your costumers spellbound:  don’t let your audience down; their needs change over time, competitors quickly match up your so called differentiators. Continuously understand what needs to be changed to accommodate their goals and desires.
* Arguably you could also keep your base growing if your adoption rate is greater than your churn rate and some lines of business might need just this, it all depends.

Sound like I went insane? Hell yes I am! I am tired of trying to bite my own tail every once in a while. We have heard the imperious call to know our costumer, the need of understanding the why and then when they use our products, the continuous quests to define what are their needs, their goals and how we can acknowledge and cover them.

All of the above is good if you want your preach to captivate your audience; you better understand them as well as you know thyself if you want to cross the chasm.  Without doubt, creating persona profiles or needs and goal maps will help you up this road; yet, in the end you’ll end up staring at your own navel –or your competition’s for that matter-. Your whole strategy will be aimed at keeping an intact user base (i.e. minimizing churn rate) and capturing as much audience as you could form your competition (i.e. maximizing competition migration).

Let’s read that again: you’ll MINIMIZE churn rate and MAXIMZE turn around. Hmmm, it sounds like you’ll sooner or later end up with an audience ceiling, a point by which you will not grow –or as aggressively as in the past- since you’ll have eaten up the whole cake and there is nothing left. I am not against using costumer identification techniques to adapt your product and your message to a loyal base, but what about those who are not yet users of your products, your industry? What if you want to keep your base growing?*

Lessons from the past
What were the things you did before launching your product?

Chances are some of you might have just dipped into the water without understanding the whole context, but that will be another post: when to dip your body or your pinky-, but if it was an opportunity with a bit of risk involved, you will have understood what you were jumping into: who were the current costumers of the product and who might be the future ones, and correctly aimed your message toward them.

By knowing your prospects as well as your rapt regulars you are buying tickets for growth, your strategy will be laddered instead of chain based:

Bring new people into the wagon: those who are users but not costumers as well as those who are neither users nor costumers but whom our proposal will help. Understand how to bridge the gap between “we are not interested” and “I’ll give you a chance”.

Keep your costumers spellbound:  don’t let your audience down; their needs change over time, competitors quickly match up your so called differentiators. Continuously understand what needs to be changed to accommodate their goals and desires.

* Arguably you could also keep your base growing if your adoption rate is greater than your churn rate and some lines of business might need just this, it all depends, but it will be an expensive venue.

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