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Customer Analysis for Internet Marketing

“Why a good Customer Analysis can be the Key to improving Website effectiveness and Internet Marketing performance!”

By David Bokash, Business Advisor, East Bay SBDC

During my first few days in the MBA program at Harvard, our first-year Marketing Professor, John Quelch, made a statement that transformed my understanding of marketing: “In a hotly contested industry, the company with the best understanding of the customer (i.e. the needs of their customers) almost always wins!”  This focus on understanding and fulfilling the needs of the customer also profoundly influences my priorities in related fields like company strategy, product development and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

In looking at the history of business in America, there have been many customer focused leaders like Steve Jobs, Fred Smith (FedEx) and Henry Ford who transformed not only their company, but also their industry, and in some cases our society.  Customer focused companies like Southwest Airlines, FedEx, Apple and Disney not only outperform their rivals, they can sometimes maintain a price premium within their industry.

Surprisingly, the evolution of the internet, followed by the emergence of email, online marketing and social media has only increased the importance of customer focus.  Some of the most common questions I receive from small business owners regarding websites and internet marketing include: 

  • “How do you develop good website content?”
  • “How can we do a better job of converting website visitors into customers?”
  • “How can we improve the performance of our internet marketing campaigns?”

The best place to look for answers for all of these questions is with the Customer Analysis for your business.  A Customer Analysis (sometimes called a customer profile or target market analysis) is an integral component of a company’s Business Plan or Marketing Plan.

A Customer Analysis is composed of a Behavioral Analysis (which explores Customer Buying Criteria and the Purchase Process and Patterns) and a Customer Demographics analysis (which identifies the demographic profile of your Target Market).  The Customer Buying Criteria and Behavior Analysis can be used to formulate the language (i.e. “The Sales Pitch”) appropriate for your website content.  Customer Demographics information can be used to identify superior marketing channels for your internet marketing campaigns.


This content originally appeared in the September 2014 Issue of the Oakland Business Review published by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.