I wonder how I should refer to my clients. Maybe you can help?

I don’t work with corporates, mainly because they have their own marketing departments, fully staffed with everything from a marketing assistant to a Chief Marketing Officer. They are also way too bureaucratic for how I work: fast!

But what does one call the rest that are not corporates? Are they really “small and medium sized”? Can one even group a small company with a medium sized one? Then there are the one-person entrepreneurs, like the 74-year-old farmer in KZN who is finding new life as a product inventor or the guy in a local township who can barely speak English but has a 2-year-old welding business. I guess these fallĀ  under “micro enterprises”?

But how should I refer to my clients, especially on the front page of my website? Maybe you sit with a similar problem? Do you know how to collectively refer to your customers? How to categorise them? Can you fit them into a box?

For a long time I refrained from using the term “small and medium sized” preferring to rather use the term “entrepreneurs”. But do executives at midsized companies, or owners of established businesses relate to the term “entrepreneur”?

Clearly, I feel a little stuck here!

Maybe I am falling into an age-old trap of over complicating things! Maybe the answer is much simpler. Maybe it is not about who your customer is but what they want? Put differently, maybe we should not categorise our customers by who they are (size, age, income, geography), but what they want (their needs and wants).

Thinking about it like this, there is one thing all my customers need: impartial, no-nonsense, high-quality, yet casual marketing advice that is affordable. Whomever falls into this category, is my customer.

Maybe we should stop looking at our customers through our own classifications and start putting ourselves in their shoes. Why are they phoning us? It is this need that we should use to categorise them!

For now, my website still talks about “small and medium sized” – but I may change it soon, depending on the feedback from this blog.