November 3, 2006

The constant question facing every business is how do I get more people to buy my product?  I believe that is the wrong question.   Let’s examine the facts.  In most businesses, as I have stated on many previous occasions, 80% of a typical business comes from 20% of customers.  So where is new business most likely to come from?  Brand new customers who have never tried your product?  Light users who only occasionally use your product?  Or, current heavy users who seem committed to your product? 

There are two old sayings which may help… “swim downstream with the fish” and “sail with the wind.”  In other words, it is always easier to get more business from existing customers then to get new customers to try your product.  In addition, it is always easier to get heavy users to increase their usage then to get light users to become heavy users. 

So, what does this mean?  The issue becomes how do you hold on to your current heavy users and increase their usage?  Beyond the obvious of ensuring that you deliver the best product possible with the most competitively advantaged position in the marketplace,  the ideal would be to be able to identify who your current heavy users are and then spend your marketing dollars disproportionately against those customers.   In addition, creating a “relationship” with those heavy users will help insulate your product from competition. 

How to reach your heavy users includes targeting your media to common demographics, developing a database of heavy users, and using other available marketing tools including the packaging.  In addition, experiments aimed at competitive heavy users given your product will better serve their needs would be worthwhile.

So, focus on your heavy users… they represent your current core and are invaluable both short and long term as you try to build your business.


Bizvice:  Strategy, Marketing & Entrepreneurship


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