Things have changed this last year for many of your customers. How and where people work, how they shop and learn, and what they do for fun and recreation. It’s important to have a grasp on how those changes will impact your client base and how you effectively communicate with them. Consider more than the structural changes that appear on the surface, and include those that may re-calibrate their go-to market strategy.
We tend to objectively group our customers either by industry vertical, types of products they use to drive their business or annual revenue. There may be a few additional subjective classifications you should consider as well.
The Diffusion of Innovations Theory, developed by Everett M. Rogers in 1962 talks about how ideas, products or behavior are adapted by different groups of people. Through his research he categorized the general population into five groups: innovators, early adaptors, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Simon Sinek makes reference to this in his book, Start With Why, and Malcolm Gladwell talks about these groups in The Tipping Point.
Take the groups that Rogers has created and apply them to your customer list. Segment your customers into the groups you think best fit their pre-pandemic behavior. How has the economic downturn and COVID-19 affected their business, and more importantly, their outlook for the business going forward. How has it affected your business? What has changed?
You may find you have a new group of innovators. Customers that are thriving during these times. Perhaps they are flush with additional government stimulus money, and are open to trying new ideas. These may be the same companies that were more reserved before the pandemic.
On the other side of the spectrum you may have customers that were your innovators in the past, and now they have hunkered down and are risk averse. These two examples are not necessarily good or bad, they just are.
The key point here is you need to recognize that some of your existing customers behavior may be different going forward. And if it is, you should revisit how you communicate ideas to them in order to be remain meaningful and relevant. Please share any ideas you have about this in the comments below or feel free to reach out to me as well.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.