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Let’s Get Back to Business Part 1: Customer Identification

Business owners saw the most chaotic year of late with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Owning a retail business always comes with its risks and seasonality, but the pandemic threw a wrench in even veteran owner’s plans for the year. Midway through 2021 now, the landscape is starting to shift back to a sense of normalcy and “Back to Business” has become a welcomed sight for business owners across the country.

With the concept of Back to Business comes the idea that business owners must also get back to basics to ensure the success of their ecommerce business moving forward in 2021. With an overwhelming number of consumers shifting to online shopping, now is the time to ramp up brand awareness and a holistic marketing approach.

At the top of the list when it comes to the basics of successful business operations is customer identification. The needs of customers have changed over the last year and whether you were closed in 2020, had to shift to online-only sales, or are beginning a new ecommerce venture in the wake of the pandemic, the first step is knowing who your audience is and where to find them.

Who Is Your Audience?

As you draw the blueprint for your Back to Business plan, you will need to determine who your audience is. Some questions to ask yourself about your ideal customers include:

● Where do they live?
● Where do they work?
● Where do they go for fun?
● What is the age range your product is intended for?
● How does my product offer more value to them than the competition?

Once you have a targeted demographic in mind, you can begin to identify how your product meets their needs.

Why Customers Make Purchases: Fulfilling Emotional and Functional Needs

Regardless of industry, all ecommerce businesses sell products that must accommodate a customer’s emotional and functional needs. For customers to find a product valuable and make a decision to purchase, the product must address both kinds of needs.

Emotional Needs: The type of emotion that a product evokes in a customer is known as an emotional need. How does this product make them feel? Does the product give them a sense of joy? Are they able to pursue a hobby or passion by making this purchase? Take for example, someone looking to purchase skincare products that are environmentally friendly. By positioning themselves as a cruelty-free, vegan brand, a skincare company can appeal to the customer’s passion for reducing their impact on the environment.

Functional Needs: While they go hand-in-hand, functional needs are much more practical than emotional needs. Customers’ functional needs are about solving a problem in their daily lives and providing something they need for survival. Using the skincare example from above, a customer may need a particular type of skincare product due to medical concerns. In this light, the skincare company can identify how their cruelty-free, vegan products are specifically designed for those with sensitive or problematic skin.

Multi-Channel Marketing and Credibility

Establishing who your audience is and what their needs are lays the foundation for creating a multi-channel marketing approach. Word of mouth no longer suffices in the fiercely competitive world of ecommerce, so it is vital to interact with customers through a variety of channels* such as:

● Email/Newsletter
● Social Media Networks
● Blog
● Google Ads
● Paid Social Media Ads
● Press Release
● Print
● TV/Radio

*Part 2 of our Back to Business Series will cover these channels in more detail.

By engaging in a multi-channel approach, you are able to stay in regular communication with your targeted audience and provide them with engaging content that is both relevant and informational. Producing this type of content not only adds value to the customer’s experience, but increases your credibility.

Are you ready to get back to business? Mar Dat is here to provide you with the guidance and tools you need to rebound from 2020 or start fresh in 2021. Reach out to our team today to schedule a free consultation.

In October, Mar Dat was recognized as a recipient of the inaugural Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. When you #FundBlackFounders, you’re funding new perspectives, solving important challenges, and changing the course of history. During the past year Mar Dat secured multiple long term business partnerships, added 8 members to our team and are excited that Google is continuing this commitment and investment.

In addition, Google not only has funded, but also provided us with expertise on leading edge campaign optimization. However, The best parts of being part of the Google Startups Black Founders Fund have been business connections and Google’s support of brand recognition. It is wonderful to be part of this community of very smart people with great ideas. Our advice to other small businesses based on what we’ve learned during the process is to spend your money smart, make strategic decisions, and have a fine-tuned plan.

Learn more about what’s to come:

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