5 ways to stay ahead of your customers’ needs

Stay ahead of your customers’ needs ?

You might wonder, “how can it be possible to stay ahead of your customers’ needs?”

As marketers it is necessary for us to predict the future. Consequently, we can stay ahead of our customers’ needs

In this article   find some tips on how you can plan to stay ahead of your customers’ needs by listening to them.

But you will need to be ready to respond quickly to their needs. Which means that most of these tips will affect your Marketing tactics rather than your long-term strategy.

Learn to plan like a raven

I chose a raven to illustrate this topic because research has shown that ravens can develop intelligence. They can use it to anticipate the result of their actions.

Likewise you can use your ability to plan to help your business to grow. You can get ideas for what to offer your clients by carefully listening to them.

5 tips on how to stay ahead of your customers’ needs in your Marketing tactics:


1. Use hashtags to take advantage of awareness days

There are many awareness days (or weeks or months) for different subjects and causes. It can be helpful for you to know which awareness days are relevant for you. At those times a topic will get extra attention in all types of media which in turn might trigger conversations in your target market.

Awareness events are good for you to spread your message beyond your own following. When you include the topic’s hashtag your posts will be found by anyone who is researching that topic. And you can easily find out what your potential customers are saying by using the hashtag to search online platforms. Tell people about your service before they have an immediate need for it.

For example, in May, I will use #StrokeAwareness month to promote my charity details, available at westkent@different strokes. No-one expects to have a stroke. Nevertheless, it is good for them to know where to turn for help in case they do. So I’ll take advantage of this annual marketing event to raise the profile of the support services which my charity gives working-age stroke survivors. You can share a difficult message in context by tying it into an awareness event online. You can stay ahead of your customers’ needs by highlighting  your solution to a difficult topic  by linking it to a relevant awareness event online.

2. You can stay ahead of your customers’ needs when you Understand the cycle of your market


Secondly, many markets follow a cyclical pattern which are linked to seasons. You can find out more about how to plan ahead for growth all year by revisiting my 2021 bulletin here . You can plan the year ahead to stay ahead of your customers’ needs which are predictable.

3. Stay alert for signs of anxiety in your market


Sometimes, customers might look for reassurance from you before they are ready to buy your service in full. You might be able to offer them free information which allays their fears until they need you. For example, purchasing insurance gives the buyer a psychological benefit before they need to make a claim. Therefore, you can stay ahead of your customers’ needs by offering them reassurance when they show signs of anxiety.

4. Stay alert for opportunities in your market

You might hear reports in local or national news programmes which could alert you to your customers’ needs ahead of time. For example, recently  I alerted my homeopathy client when I heard reports about the shortage of hay-fever remedies in pharmacies in summer 2022. It could be a short-term opportunity for her this year. Sensibly she had already planned to promote her hay- fever remedies in early summer, so she was ready to go. You can stay ahead of your customers’ needs by tracking the news in your market. I monitor topics in the national and local media on behalf of my clients who subscribe to my active social listening service.

5. You can stay ahead of your customers  when you Monitor news about your competitors


When you hear negative comments about your competitors’ performance it might be a chance for their customers to try your service instead. You can be ready to step in with your alternative solution so that you anticipate their need for a replacement service. For example, consider the rivalry between Netflix and Disney+ in UK – you can catch up on that contest and disruption in the broadcast-streaming market here . It is helpful for you to hear what is being said about all players in your market to help you to stay ahead of your customers’ needs.

With these five tips in mind you can behave like a clever raven and plan ahead to stay ahead of your customers’ your customers’ needs, so helping your business grow all year long.

** Lisa Beaumont’s Thrifty Marketing Tip of the Week
Keep a bank of information about changes in your marketplace. It will be a useful source of insight and inspiration when you revisit your Marketing Audit quarterly, to coincide with the change of seasons. It will help you to stay ahead of your customers’ needs with confidence.