We’ve talked so far about picking an ideal segment of the market and how that affects the rest of your marketing.
In this article, we’ll get even more specific about understanding and communicating to the needs of the individuals who are deciding on, paying for, and using your workspace.
If you offer private offices, this will be of particular interest to you.
The difference between consumers and customers
To make sure your marketing is most effective, we’ll need to first understand the difference between “consumers” and “customers” and how they are involved in the decision to choose your coworking space.
Here’s my definition:
Customers are the individuals who decide on and pay for your services every month.
Consumers are the people who use your space, but they aren’t always involved in the decision-making process, nor do they necessarily pay the bills.
An example using diapers
An easy way to explain the difference between customers and consumers is to use the example of a parent buying diapers for their baby.
The parent is the customer, and they care about things like price, quality, durability etc. But they don’t wear the diapers, so they are not the consumer.
In this example, the baby is the consumer. If they had a voice, they would care mostly about comfort while wearing them. Good to know.
Using a different example, when adults buy a pair of shoes for themselves, the shoes are consumed (used) by the customer. Therefore, they are the consumer and customer, so they care about things like quality, price, appearance, and comfort (among other things).
Back to a coworking example
As we just learned, sometimes the consumer is also the customer.
A freelancer or start-up founder is an example of this dual persona. They decide on the space, pay the bills, and then also use the space.
However, there are times when the customers are not the consumers. I’ll give you another relevant example.
Let’s say you cater to large corporations who are opening up a satellite office in your market. They put someone in charge of touring the locations and selecting the top one or two options.
They go back to HQ and propose the preferred location(s) and make a case for why they should choose it.
In this case, the people at HQ are the customer. They are considering the space from a different perspective than they would as a consumer.
As a customer, they might be focused on:
- Price: Is this space within my budget?
- Flexibility: Are the lease terms flexible for when we grow, shrink, or need to leave?
- Facilities Management: Is the facility fully-managed or do we have added responsibilities?
- Variable Costs: Should I expect fluctuating costs each month or is everything included?
- Image: Does the workplace experience reflect well on our brand or company culture?
- Security: Is the space and internet connection secure enough to protect our company’s sensitive data and belongings?
- Amenities: Will our employees have everything they need to do their jobs properly?
- Employee Satisfaction: Will our employees be happy in this environment and will it help to attract top talent?
As a consumer of the space, an individual might be more focused on:
- Experience: Do I feel inspired working here?
- Commute: Is it close to where I live?
- Culture: Do I like the environment and culture of the space?
- Atmosphere: Is the space noisy or will I be able to focus?
- Opportunities: Will there be business networking opportunities if I need them?
- Features: Does it have all the features I need to do my job properly on a daily basis?
- Ergonomics: Are the chairs and desks comfortable?
- Extras: Is the coffee fresh and are the snacks healthy?
Once you are clear on your target market, you’ll know better what the needs are from a consumer and customer perspective.
From there, it’s a matter of checking the boxes to ensure the consumer AND customer needs are met in all of your marketing copy.
Tic, tac, toe.