Customer Analysis For Artists and Creatives (Part I) – Focus On Your Customers!

When developing your business and marketing plan you need to look at and analyze several area such as your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, competition and your products and services. None of these areas is more important than taking a hard look at your customers and prospects.

Today’s top companies are more customer focused and less focused on their products and competition. There is no shortage of products or services and competitors – attracting and retaining customers seems to be the problem (or opportunity if you approach it right).

One of the best customer centric companies is Amazon. You only need to look at their mission statement to see how this drives their strategies and day to day activities – “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Amazon leader Jeff Bezos was a recent guest on the Charlie Rose Show where the topic was the new Kindle book reader. When asked about the competition for Kindle such as the iPad and readers from Sony, Barnes & Noble and others, he responded with something like “We have excessive focus on customers versus excessive focus on competitors”. You should develop your own excessive focus on your customers and prospects. I highly encourage you to take a look at the Charlie Rose Interview with Jeff Bezos.

Getting Started on Your Customer Analysis

Get a piece of paper and write down the names of your customers or broad groups they belong to.

Some examples of customer groups are:

  • Art collectors
  • Art buyers
  • Galleries
  • Retail stores
  • Wholesalers
  • On-line buyers
  • Groups that make sense to you

Once you have your customers or customer groups listed you are ready to start to analyze them. In the next article we will investigate why our customers buy from us, what attributes they have, and how we can find more. Remember it is easier to find something(customers) if you know what you are looking for. If you want to jump ahead check out this recent article Five Simple Steps To Grow Your Creative Business.

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto