Understanding Your Customers

The Art of Marketing conference came to Vancouver, BC on June 9th bringing five of the most forefront experts in marketing to share their ideas and theory around marketing in 2011. This article is part of a series summarising the topics discussed on the day. is the greatest listening device of our generation according to Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media icon who has amassed a cult following from his books the Thank You Economy and Crush It!  During his presentation, Vaynerchuk used his family business, The Wine Library, to highlight the importance of connecting and retaining customers.

Saying Thank You

Sharing a story of how he wanted to say thank you to a customer who purchased over $10,000 of wine. Vaynerchuk described how, rather than sending the customer a free case of wine, or a decanter, he did some research on Twitter and discovered that the customer was a diehard football fan.  Armed with this information, he decided to send a signed football jersey of his favourite player as a thank you.  A few weeks later Vaynerchuk received an e-mail from the client saying that he had purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wine locally and had never received a gift from them. This was his first purchase from the Wine Library and he would now buy all his wine there…but how did Vaynerchuk know he loved football?

Engage with your Customers

Vaynerchuk explained that once a business has mapped and understood their customers’ acquisition process – what creates a need  for your product or service, how customers look to fulfil that need, and what causes them to commit to a purchase – the differentiator between competitors becomes how you engage with your customer.  Finding out more about your customers by using tools like Twitter allows you to not only understand the emotional context of the acquisition process, but to  also build an actual relationship with them.  It’s easy to make multiple connections and broadcast your information through these tools, but where the real return on investment occurs is when the customer believes you care about them and their needs.

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No matter what stage of business, or what problem you face, Small Business BC offers a range of seminars and one-on-one advisory sessions to suit any business.

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