Where to Find Your Most Profitable Customers

To determine your Optimal Selling Strategy (as you’ll recall, this is Mark Ford’s landmark term, borrowed from his book Ready, Fire, Aim), your first task is to find where your most profitable customers spend their time … and their money.

In our world today, I believe that online customers are primarily found in one of two places: Google or Facebook.

And, these two sites attract a fundamentally and philosophically different type of buyer.

Many marketers and online entrepreneurs lose a great deal of money because they fail to see these differences. They believe that you can use the same ideas, techniques, and strategies getting people to buy from you using Google or Facebook.

This is not true. And, making this assumption can be very costly and dangerous.

In my experience working with clients and developing my own businesses, I have found that virtually all products and services can be labeled as “Facebook Ready” or “Google Ready.”

By labeling your company, products, and services as such, it helps you determine how to talk to your potential buyers.

The simplest test I know of is to search for your type of product or service on Google and then on Facebook.

Both are advertising sites. Both make money using enticing free content to lure you in … and then ads to sell you things. Both have billions of people using them every day.

But fundamentally, they couldn’t be any more different.

People use Google when they have an “Itch.” In other words, they have an immediate, pressing problem and want to find a solution NOW.

People use Facebook to define, validate, or expand their “Identity” as a human being. In other words, they want to share with others who they are and they want others to validate them as part of a “group” or valued as a “friend.”

Let me show you how this difference shows up when in terms of buying or selling things …

If you need a new cell phone and want to find the best price, carrier, and latest features, what do you do? You Google it, of course.

You have a specific desire for something better in your life — an itch that you would like to have scratched — and you go to Google to get rid of that maddening itch sensation.

Would you go to Facebook and look up groups that sell and market cell phones? Nope, not likely.

Why?

Because you know that on Facebook you’re not going to get pricing details, phone specs, and carrier comparisons.

Now, once you have that cool new cell phone in hand, what do you do?

You go to Facebook to tell your friends about your cool new phone, post pictures, share videos, etc. … You are sharing because having a cool phone makes you feel part of a unique group. It makes you feel special.

But even then, you’re not really talking about your phone, you are talking about your life, experiences, and identity as it relates to your phone. In fact, the new phone is just an excuse to use Facebook to further define, validate, or expand your identity.

This morning, I looked and found two fairly popular cell phone groups on Facebook. Were they talking about specs and data and pricing? No. They were talking about experiences they had had with their phone or that they had captured on their phone.

When you are looking for profitable customers, you need to ask yourself, “Am I selling something to scratch an itch?” Or … “Am I helping people define and validate their identity?”

If you are not sure, search on both Google and Facebook. See what kinds of results you get.

Inside of Google, you are looking for advertisers on the right side of the screen. (NOTE: I’m not concerned with how many organic search results there are … the stuff down the middle … I’m just looking at ads.) More ads are a good thing. And, if the ads are backed by nice-looking sites that appear to be making money by selling stuff, then all the better.

Inside of Facebook, you are looking for groups or pages that have a high following and lots of chatter. When you go into those groups, are they selling anything? Are there congruent ads on the page? More Likes, the more chatter, the more ads, the better.

Let me give you another example that is near and dear to my heart …

Go to Google and Facebook and type in the term “parenting.”

On Google, depending on the day, you will find a couple of government ads, a handful of nonprofits ads, one or two sites actually trying to sell something (usually poorly), and a couple of ads leading you back to social-media type sites, typically targeting moms.

On Facebook, you will find dozens of groups, topics, and interests, with Likes ranging from 600 to 51,000+. If you put anything relating to parenting in your Facebook profile, you will start seeing dozens of ads selling stuff to parents following you around from page to page, hoping to attract your attention.

Why? Because, with the exception of trying to drastically correct wild teenager behavior, everyday parenting does not represent a major “itch” that people need scratched immediately.

But, parenting is a part of who we are. All of us either are parents or have parents. We easily connect with other parents. Moms especially want to connect with each other to validate and enhance their identity.

Once you have identified if your product or service is best for Google or Facebook, you will know where your profitable customers are spending their time. With this information in mind, you can begin to define specific plans for grabbing their attention and selling to them.

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Published: February 24, 2012

2 Responses to “Where to Find Your Most Profitable Customers”

  1. Thanks for a great comparison with practical examples! Scratch an itch or validate your identity...Love it!

    BrendaFebruary 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

  2. Very interesting. I'm starting a site for the resale and swap of merchandise so this article was informative.

    WandaFebruary 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm


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