At some point in their growth cycle, most companies learn through trial and error that not every paying customer will generate a positive impact on their business. Growth in the wrong direction can cause any business to stall or even regress. Smart, sustainable business development requires targeted marketing aimed at your most profitable customers in order to attract more of them. This is called finding and marketing to your “A List”, which involves strategically crafting services and messaging around the specific needs of your most ideal clients.
How to Identify Your A List
Start by mining your existing customer list for the types of businesses that make the most profitable purchases or have the potential to make them. For a manufacturer, that could be a repeat customer that puts in the most lucrative product orders with the most reasonable turnaround demands. For a B2B service-oriented business, that would likely be the type of customer that signs up for a continuous program or contract. While we hope your most profitable clients are the ones spending the most with you, that may not always be the case. There are instances where your biggest customer may strain your resources, leaving you with a razor thin profit margin, in which case you don’t actually want more customers with similar orders. Even if you you consider yourself a “one-stop-shop” for a variety of industries and applications, identify customers who purchase the products and services with the highest profit margins.
Those customers are your A List. The rest of your customer list may still provide some business, and there’s nothing wrong with continuing to serve their needs when those less ideal customers find you, but your marketing resources should be primarily devoted to campaigns aimed at the top tier. The idea of targeted marketing isn’t to shrink business, it’s to grow in the most profitable areas with the most cost-effective strategy.
Use Targeted Marketing to Grow Your A List
When we retool messaging, recalibrate your Adwords strategy, or venture into new digital spaces in ways designed to reach your most profitable customers, not only do you keep those existing high-value customers engaged, more of the same tier will start to find you. By contrast, a business that directs resources towards less desirable customers will become swamped by their least-profitable customers and stunted in their ability to provide exceptional services to the customers they want the most of. That strategy not only drains business resources, it can damage your brand in the eyes of your A List.
A successful A List marketing strategy focuses on connecting and reconnecting with those specific businesses. Potential tactics could be as simple as sending your A List a targeted email campaign pertaining to the specific products or services they want, or offering them a referral discount. This is the easiest, least exclusionary way to market to your A List. Other tactics may involve retooling the aesthetics of your website and social media presence to reach your ideal customer. If your A List is a bulk-buying budget conscious customer, a minimalist, no-nonsense website makeover could be more appealing to them. When your A List is comprised of individuals with advanced degrees, taking an elevated tone to your messaging will likely give you more credibility in their eyes. These types of tweaks may not be appealing to D and C List customers, but it’s ok to allow your targeted marketing to filter out those who won’t benefit the long-term growth and viability of your business. As a matter of fact, that’s the point.
For more information on how to reach your A List and letting go of the customers you don’t need, connect with our team of marketing experts via the Contact page.