Starting from scratch we have built up the largest WordPress site in South Africa with over 14 million annual page views, 260K articles covering more than 55K keywords and more than 3000 paying customers and I firmly believe that knowing your customer inside out is essential for any business.
Why do I regret not knowing about this skill? Because the truth is, that if you do not understand your customer in-depth, everything else you do will either be a waste of money or a lucky unsustainable hit. Our marketing messages mainly fell on deaf ears. I could not understand why the response was so poor. I thought my marketing messages were pretty good.
I began to subscribe to companies that specialised in marketing advice. One day, I read on Neil Patel’s blog that you must know your customer – of course I knew my customers! They are all those small to medium size businesses who need to get online. They are all the same. WRONG!!!
After reading the article I realised that I had many different types of customers. In today’s world, due to the explosion of online advertising, customers expect you to see them as unique, with their own needs, fears, desires and frustrations. They only want information that is relevant to THEM! They want to feel that you understand their situation, their pains and problems and that you will be the knight in shining armour to help them fix it.
WOW – did you realise this was going on? That each one of these demands means that you, as a business, must take certain actions to address them. Not only online, but ESPECIALLY online as your website is not a face to face.
To help you get into the swing of customer analysis here is an example that we are all familiar with – a car company. The development cycle to make a new model is years in the making. They need to know their target customer for each model.
You could think that anyone who wants to buy a car is their customer. Who do you think their customers could be? Firstly, no one company can service all the customers in their industry. A company that makes buses and heavy-duty trucks will have different manufacturing technology from one making saloon cars and small commercial vehicles.
In our example, we have chosen a company that makes saloon, sports, SUV, 4×4 and light commercial vehicles. They do not want to attract people looking for buses or trucks.
You can see that each of these customer groups has different needs, desires, fears, and frustrations.
An in-depth analysis of each group is used to understand them, find the right solution for them and make sure they understand it is the right solution.
This understanding allows you to tap into their emotions and be the company they choose.
She needs you to understand her current unhappiness. These are some of her frustrations and fears, and they must be resolved! What does Mom want to hear? That you will make her current frustrations go away. How can you convince her that your company has the answers? Here are some examples of what you could do.
Now you know what she needs you can craft your conversation with her to address all these issues. You can use text, video, images. You can show a before (cramped, no space, kids miserable) and after (plenty space, kids happy, shopping and pet onboard) scenario. You can show the car ready for a holiday trip with kids happy, not fighting, using onboard entertainment, Dad happy in drivers’ seat. You get the idea.
As you can see this will not work for the tradesman or farmer – the workhorse guy. Do you think he is interested in this stuff the mom wants? You could insult his manhood!
He is interested in the durability of the vehicle; the payload; the running costs; the monthly payment; handling poor roads and payload security.
Think about YOUR customers. Why are they buying from you? What different problems are they trying to fix? Each different problem could be a different type of customer. Try and find NEW customer types too. You may be missing out on some excellent opportunities.
Create a list of each customer type with everything you know about them. Then do your research:
To sum up, in order to have effective marketing, on any media channel, you must put your customers into identifiable groups. You must fully understand the needs, desires, fears and frustrations of each group. Only then will you be able to speak to them in a way that will engage them. This is called Customer Segmentation.
What we have discussed here is the first level of Customer Segmentation. Other important levels of further segmentation include age, income level, and education. Generational marketing based on customer age group is the next level of segmentation you should get a handle on.
If you have any questions on this topic, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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