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How to find your most valuable customers

How to find your most valuable customers

Finding your most valuable customers

This world of ours is a very busy and noisy place, making a real difference is harder than ever, but it remains a world that is full of hidden opportunities.

The world contains everyone but its full of someone’s. So who are your someone’s?

If you don’t appeal to someone you appeal to no-one.

In appealing to a certain ‘someone’ to need to be able to generate an emotion response to get that connection.

It’s one of the reasons why a lot of new business structures will include a community manager and if you are in the tech community an ‘evangelist’.

Lessons from musical Ninja’s – Ninja Tune records.

Nothing creates an emotive response better than music.

Hearing a certain tune can elicit euphoria in some but disgust in others. Yet it’s the same tune, but heard by different someone’s.

Music can also unlock other emotions, which brings me to Coldcut and their fantastic ‘beats/jazz/trip-hop/bass’ record label Ninjatune. Ninjatune has now been going for over 25 years, and hearing a recent essential mix celebrating this fact transported me back to my time at University.

Spending way too much time and money in Massive Records in Oxford, buying early Ninja tune records from DJ Food, Mr Scruff and The Herbaliser and running club nights with my old friend Ric. But that’s another story (or twelve)

How have Ninja Tune survived 25 years in the Music business?

Simply put – Ninja Tune have found their “someone’s”.  They appeal to a very specific audience which have clearly bought into the Ninja tune mantra.  

Being in this position gives them a ‘safe’ position to innovate, for example Coldcut were one of the first to release ‘mixtape’ albums, and other innovations (such as AV and even gaming).  Given that majority of the top 20 ‘albums’ are now in this format it shows how important the small niche innovators are within certain industries, music being a prime example. 

They do occasionally crossover but in the most part they remain a niche of offering, on the cutting edge of the ‘trip-hop/jazz/bass/electronica movement’ and constantly evolving.  

Coldcut say ‘cool dj’s don’t die they just fade away’, which is funny, but they’ve lasted quite a while and are still very active, so they plan to stay cool for some time yet.

How do you find your ‘someone’

Customers need to make decisions based on what they like, dislike, need or don’t need.  These are people based decisions, so let’s continue the musical theme as an example; as everyone has an opinion on it.  

If you asked 100 people to list their favourite artist or what they are listening to at the moment – odds are you’d get a list of at least 50 different artists. 

Based on that you could break the ‘someone’s’ into the following personas…

  • Music type – which genre rocks their world
  • Recency – do they like older or newer music
  • or if we want to get really focused group them by Artist. 

Based on those personas you’ll have a much better idea of which people would be better suited to your offering.  

Is it the soul/funk hipsters, those that prefer some slipknot based chaos, or the Taylor Swift loving pop kids.

Follow the Money

The above example was more of a market research example – I’m more a fan of spend based research, as what people say they do and what people actually do is often two totally different things.  

I love the quote “Customers tell you more about themselves everyday by giving you money”.  

Based on what people bought and when they bought it is a great way of identifying the identity of the ’someone’s’ that your business really appeals to. 

Mixing your marketing data and your spend data through tools such as Websand gives you the platform to help you find your special “someone’s” by segmenting your data based on your customer value (see screenshot below)


Who spends the most money with you?  

Look at the profile and information that you have about those customers (the someone’s) who have the highest lifetime value.  Can you spot any similarities?

Who spends the least money with you?  

Spotting those ‘someone’s’ you should avoid is just as important as spotting those people that you should look to build relationships with.  Look at the profile and information that you have about those that only ever spent with you once.  Can you spot any similarities?


Look at the personas of the customers that purchase from you regularly and those who have bought once, and those who haven’t bought from you in a long time.

Apply the same rules as explained in ‘Spend’ to those ‘someones’ who are the frequent purchasers and those who are infrequent purchasers.


Who am I currently appealing to?  Is it the same profile of people of that I currently regard as my ‘most valuable customers’.  

If it is significantly different, perhaps your audience is changing – if that is the case look at the acquisition data and see if you can find out why.  It might be good, it might be bad.  Either way, you need to know and this knowledge is power!

What if I’m just starting out?

If you are a start up or trying a new idea then you will probably be trying to get to grips with the lean start up philosophy to find out if your idea meets with the audience you have in mind.  

Keep looking for ‘proof’ that ‘someone’ will sign up or give you money for your idea / offer

You might find that you appeal to a completely different group of people than you originally thought.  And that’s OK!  Looking for the audience for your product is the driver of most start-up pivots, and often by accident ideas are formed that fit an audience – that happened to these folks.

Shopify (originally an online snowboard shop),

Youtube (an video dating app),

Flickr (originally part of an online game),

Hassle (originally a market place, and but the cleaner bit really worked),

and our Ignite teammates at Jinn (originally an Uber type clone, then a delivery service).

If you are trying something new and have no data to base your decisions on, then you need to set out your strategy and your assumptions.  This is your benchmark for progress, and as data begins to be created you can use this to develop your strategies and your progress further by appealing to specific groups of ‘someone’s’ – those people that are your most valuable customers.

Need any help?

We’ve got the tools to help you find and retain those special ‘someone’s’ that are your most valuable customers, and that unlocks all kinds of opportunities fast. Sign up below and we’ll get you started.

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