Do you really know your clients?

“You don’’t stand a tinker’s chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework.”

David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising

With B2B marketing budgets being stretched as far as possible today, and then pulled a little more, this quote from Mr. Ogilvy has never been more important. Knowing where your client lives doesn’’t cost you much, –just your time and enthusiasm.

When was the last time you did a deep dive on your clients’ needs, wants and expectations? Are they receiving your messaging and coming away with the correct impression? Are you making assumptions in your creative direction based on out-of-date research? If any of these questions strike a chord, here are some simple steps you can take to “true up” your knowledge base:

Do you really know your clients?Focus on your client – the amount of relevant client information available is incredible if you explore all the avenues available within social media, conduct smart internet searches, join industry associations and read relevant blogs and forums.

Get a dialogue started – get the opinion that matters most: your client’s. Do some quick in-person or phone interviews with a handful of customers. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn. If you have an updated e-mail list, use some of this newfound information to develop an opt-in survey for some quick broad-brush results.

Jump the wall – don’’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing and, even better, what your customers think about what they’re doing. You are being compared to them every day, and need to be an expert on them as well as your brand.

Investigate the sales cycle – do a quick interview with some of your best sales people and hear what they witness every day talking with potential and existing customers. Define the hot spots within these interviews, and develop a plan to emphasize them within your marketing programs. Your sales team is the final link in the sales cycle; make them an ally and you’ll see your marketing strategies soar.

Develop customer profiles – look over your research and find all the similarities within your various customer groups. Use this information to develop typical prospect profiles. These will make targeting your next promotion even more effective.

Quickly building an in-depth knowledge base – for our clients and their customers –is an area of expertise for MLT Creative. As an award-winning B2B marketing firm, we get in the mind of these target groups and use that knowledge to develop innovative B2B communication strategies, on-target visuals and engaging copy that focuses your marketing efforts.