Know Your Customer, Eat Ice Cream–Right?
The cliché goes, ‘You’re a unique and special individual. Just like everyone else.’ This essentially means that as much as we like to see ourselves as different, are we? More to the point, if you’re marketing the same features and benefits as everyone else in your industry, how can you be unique and desirable? Naturally, you work on your brand story, letting customers in on the secrets that make you so special– sidestepping getting to know your customer.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this was all it took to get loyal customers?
As we all know, engagement is the beginning of buy-in, lead generation, and sales. But just hearing your story does not guarantee engagement.
So what gives?
Let’s pretend you’re an ice-cream company. You decide that you will increase sales by going to your customers; you know, the old school way. This means sending out mobile ice cream carts and ice cream vans, complete with the music that can be heard from streets away. You love the idea that your customers will see your company as authentic, and that they’ll get the change to engage with you as they buy your product. You’ll also create an opportunity for repeat purchases because you’ll be back tomorrow and the day after.
But sales aren’t as great as you thought they would be. Why?
Apart from the fact that your product could be rubbish, it could be that you are marketing to the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What are they like?
Before embarking on any marketing activity, it is worth taking a moment to explore your target market. By taking a moment, we mean spend some real effort, because knowing your audience could make or break your sales success. In the olden days, a company would define their target market in terms of demographics. Nowadays the savvy marketer defines their ideal customer by building a full character sketch. When creating a persona, you want to go beyond their age, location, interests, income bracket, etc.
You want uncover their pain points (their needs). What is causing them real pain, and how can your product alleviate it?
It isn’t enough to say that All kids love ice-cream. Nor can you rest on your laurels thinking, This neighbourhood is perfect because these kids get pocket money. You’ll do better if you dig deeper. Here’s a simplified example.
Of the kids who love ice-cream:
- What are their ages?
If you know their ages, you can determine:
- When will they be home?
- Are they likely to come out to the street?
With these answers, you can adjust your marketing. You’ll know what time to be on the streets, if at all. But say you have a competitor ice-cream vendor in this suburb, what then? Why should they choose your ice-cream?
Imagine you discover that these children are deeply concerned about the future of the planet. They always choose an environmentally-friendly product over one covered in plastic or made from unsustainable resources. How can you help them to feel good about buying your ice-cream?
A solution could lie in your packaging. Would it make a difference if you insisted that anyone buying ice-cream in a tub brought their own container?
As with anything in marketing, you’ll have to test, test, test.
Ice-cream aside, to know your customer, you need to start with a full character sketch. Zero in on their values, their consumer persona, which influences their buying habits. Then follow up with a look at their consumer identity, which focuses on their purchase habits. Once you understand your customer, you’ll have a better idea of what messaging or content to create and test. And from there, it’s go, go, go!
If you need any help writing the right story for your customer, reach out to the trusted Two Red Crows writers. We can help you find the right mask for your audience.
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