Data Sources to Know (if You Need More Customers)

Posted on Dec 13, 2012

Data Sources to Know (if You Need More Customers)

Zero in on Customer Location ImageWant to find more customers and clients in the New Year? Most companies do. Last week we wrote about, “Customer Feedback Survey – The Art of Asking.” As you work on your business or marketing plan for 2013, a complementary project to asking customers for feedback is using readily available data sources to identify where to find those customers.

Knowing how to find customers with the attributes of your ideal target customer saves time and money as you put your marketing plan into action. The following sources allow you to market where the customers are:

  1. Your Own Customer Records. Start with your own customer records. If they are not organized in a way that’s easy to get information, the New Year is a great time to put a fresh plan into action. Look to see what ZIP Codes brought you the most business, and put special emphasis on marketing in those areas. Notice what other attributes your best customers have in common, such as age, household composition (e.g. single, married with young children, or empty nesters), their household income or net worth, their values (such as sustainability), their lifestyle, or any other attribute that’s important to your business. If your clients are other businesses, you can similarly note how they came to you and what attributers they have in common. Your own customer records are the best place to start.
  2. Understand Location. Valuable information lives online, both for free access (e.g. census.gov), or through subscription service. One of my favorite tools is ESRI’s Business Analyst Online that offers free 14-day trials, affordable “Day Passes” to run you reports all at once, or through monthly subscription. If location and mapping is important to your business in finding new customers, I recommend this tool.
  3. Targeted Direct Mail Lists. A wealth of data is gathered by direct marketing companies, allowing you to purchase highly targeted direct mail lists. Think of the attributes of the target customer you are seeking, buy an unlimited use license for the list and include that information in your marketing plans for the New Year. We never recommend buying an email address list (that would be spamming). Try this instead: send a written invitation to follow your firm online, or make a compelling offer to get these potential new customers introduced to your company.

However you use data to find customers in the coming year, we wish you a successful and rewarding New Year.

Are you using customer data in your marketing planning? Let me know what you use, or if you are struggling and need help. I would love to hear from you. ~ Maureen

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