If you’re thinking about growing your business (or increasing your revenue), start by focusing on your business structure. I’m not talking about your internal business organization (e.g., marketing, sales, management, development, customer service, etc.) – I’m talking about your external business conversations.
The business talks to (up to) five different target groups, each with different needs:
- customer (someone who gives you money in exchange for your devotion)
- investor (someone who gives you money in exchange for ownership)
- public (Tell people about your product – but not with the primary goal of turning them into customers – perhaps to share information to make their lives better)
- advocate (Attempts to influence society’s rules and regulations)
- future employees (are those who want to give you their time and knowledge in exchange for a salary)
You need to market your company differently to each group because each group has different needs/concerns.
- customer Want to know why they should buy from you. What specific problems do they have that you can solve?
- investor (or donors, for nonprofit businesses) want to know how their money will help your business and how they will benefit.
- public Wonder why they should trust your information and how it will make their lives better.
- advocate Wondering what should change in society, why, and who will benefit (and who won’t).
- future employeesWant to know that your business is healthy, that their contributions are valued, and that your company values align with their personal values.
Before you try to grow your business, make sure you’re sending the right message to the right people at the right time.