The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.
It’s surprising that whenever we start working with a new customer on a digital marketing campaign, whether it be Search Engine Optimisation or even a new software development project, and we ask the question “Who is your target customer ?”
We always get the standard answer “Pretty much everybody.”
Everybody is not your customer
Everybody is not your customer and that you will never be able to sell to everybody! Regardless how great you think your product is.
Even the worlds biggest brands like Coca Cola, Pepsi & Starbucks realize that it is impossible to sell their products to everybody. However, what they do really well is create and market specific products to very niche target markets.
If you conduct a snap poll amongst your friends, family and acquaintances to establish which one likes Coke. It may not be unusual to discover that some of them don’t actually like or regularly drink Coke. However, it may be possible that they will like at least one refreshment from the Coca Cola company including Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke , Minute Maid, Powerade , glacéau vitaminwater and many more.
The Coca Cola company creates marketing campaigns to specifically target consumers in niche market sectors.
They do this by careful and thorough analysis of potential customer base taking into characteristics of customers such as:
- Behavioral Profiles
All this information is collated to help understand who the typical customer is and what the ideal customer profile looks like.
This helps to really understand customers’ needs and behaviors better.
Typical questions answered by analysing customers
- What is our target market?
- What could be our target market?
- Who is our current customer?
- Who could be our ideal customer?
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Existing Customers, Best customers and Ideal customers
“To define your customer, you need to answer the question “Who must be satisfied for your company to achieve results?” as one who values your service, who wants what you offer, who feels it’s important to them. So the customer is someone you must satisfy. If you don’t, you have no results. And pretty soon you have no business.”
Not all Customers are your best customers. To define your best customer you need to analyse criteria such as:
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Yearly purchases
- Profit margin
- How long they are buying from our company
- Number of referrals given
- Repeat business attained: month after month, year after year
- High profile customer with an excellent reputation who can act as a brand ambassador for our company
- Hassle free customer who loves our products, services with almost zero maintenance
In a perfect world, the best customer would be those that provide the most revenue
Ideal customers are those customers who could be your best customers!
It is quite possible that you don’t have enough customers at present but you will still need to visualize who can be your ideal customer.
Ideal customers are those customers who are perfect in every sense. e.g. You are in the best possible position to solve, dreams/goals and desires of the customer.
They are more than happy to work as brand ambassador and promote you!.
They know you, like you and trust you.
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Once you have identified your Customer you will need to identify their Personal Qualities, traits and characteristics. This is typically called the Buyer Persona
Buyer personas are a detailed generalized representation of the best buyers or the ideal buyers so you know exactly who they are so their demographic, psychographic, geographic, behavioral characteristics, but most importantly their buying behavior regarding what they buy, when they buy, where they buy, how they buy and most importantly why they buy.
Benefits of buyer personas
Buyer personas provide real powerful insights and clarity regarding your customer base, with a shared understanding of buyer signals. This makes your sales and marketing strategies much more effective.
- Articulate the value proposition clearly
- Identify ideal or best customers and target similar customers
- Generation of more quality leads
- Better conversion of those leads into customers.
- Shorter sales cycle
- Effective use of marketing budget.
All marketing effort such as Email Marketing & Content Marketing can be much more effective as it’s targeted and personalized not generalized because we truly understand the needs and wants of customers, providing consistency and relevancy across all sales and marketing material such as website, email, social media, brochure.
Buyer Persona for Digital Marketing
It is vitally important in Digital Marketing to have a buyer persona created, because it will help you to design your Web & Mobile applications. Personas are a well-established marketing technique to help produce more customer-focused communications.
In fact, before embarking on any digital marketing strategy, you need to refer to your buyer persona for input into the choice of colours, messaging , design elements, branding almost every aspect of digital marketing has a reliance on buyer persona’s.
The benefits of buyer persona’s for content marketing
- Strategic approach to creating content by identifying the different types of content that fits the concerns and interests of your audience, so making it more relevant and sharable
- Link content to products and services by mapping content against buying stages
- Create engaging content assets such as white-papers, blog posts and infographics by setting the right tone and style to appeal to different types of purchaser
- integration of digital marketing with other channels, particularly if cross-channel persona’s are developed which map multichannel customer journeys
- Objectively decide on content priorities since customer needs can researched
buyer persona in SEO
If you’re starting out with a new product or service or planning a digital marketing campaign it useful to make use of known keywords and phrases that your target market will associate with your product.
Buyer Persona’s are useful in the Brainstorming phase of keyword research, and even to devise your sites page hierarchy. You can use terms to use as seed terms, when making use of the various keyword research terms to generate further search terms.
User persona’s can also be a useful tool when creating and implementing a link building strategy. In order for your website to rank well for keywords and phrases that your target market will use. You will also need to know what sites your target market may visit, in order to build links with relevant websites your users are likely to frequent.
How do buyer personas help with Digital Marketing
We all know that SEO should complement your Content Marketing and Content Marketing does not replace SEO.
We have also learned that Buyer Persona’s are also one of the initial inputs to SEO campaign, however there reach goes further into your Digital Marketing campaign.
Buyer Persona’s will help you to clearly define your Niche Market and enable you to create and define your digital marketing strategy.
Define your Niche
The right niche can make a big difference in how easy it is to grow your customer base.
The Ideal Niche
The ideal niche is one with enough consumer interest to ensure enough customers exists. Choosing a niche based purely on potential for growth won’t work. You need to be targeted and focused on particular customers in that niche.
Narrowing Your Focus
Whether you’ve already started or you’re gearing up for launch, narrowing your niche is advisable.
A very specific focus makes it easier to become an authoritative voice in that niche and in turn, be trusted customers.
It’s the “jack of all trades, master of none” concept at work. While there’s certainly a place for people with a wide range of skills, those who excel at one particular skill are the people recognized as experts.
It is a fine balancing act, narrow your niche too much and not only are you limiting the size of your potential audience, but you might struggle for growth.
Define Your Target Audience
This is a key step in helping you create the right content – content that resonates with the type of people you want to target and expect to consume your content and ultimately buy your products.
You can begin this process by asking questions:
- What level of expertise is this blog aimed at? Beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
- What’s your target audience’s profession and role?
- Which influencer’s are they likely to follow?
- What sub-topics within your niche do you see yourself covering?
- What can you teach your audience?
- Which blogs do you see as being similar to your own? Who’s following them?
Your end goal should be to pull this all together into a series of persona’s – detailed descriptions of the person or people your content will be aimed at – that you can use as points of reference when researching and choosing content ideas.
Your Buyer Persona, don’t need to be a War & Peace effort, they should rather be short and to the point . The goal is to pull this together into a series of personas – detailed descriptions of the person or people your content will be aimed at – that you can use as points of reference when researching and choosing content ideas.
The Customer Growth Workbook consists of 15 different workshops to help you get to know your customers, their expectations, their needs and in doing so, grow your sales in an effective and continuous manner.
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Single Customer View
Customers have dramatically changed over the past decade. Fitbit trackers, Smart Phones, Tablets, IoT and streaming media have all emerged to dramatically alter every interaction with every brand.
Customers expect consistent and high-value in-person and digital experiences.
Availability of information: armed with more information than any other time in history, connected customers get smarter every day. They know the price for any item and the experience of other customers before ever coming into contact with you.
Growing gap between customers’ expectations and marketers’ ability to respond appropriately : To remain relevant, marketers must connect with customers across all their experiences – in store, on website, in app or at the point- of-sale – and deliver content to them that is both relevant and consistent. That is the essence of treating each customer as an audience of one.
The conclusion you can draw from this, is that learning and understanding your customer is vitally important when it comes to defining a Digital Marketing Strategy. Identifying which channels to target and when is crucial to success.
If you need assistance with the analysis and technical aspects of customer data, give us a call and we’ll get the heavy data squad ready to work for you!
A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.