Understanding your customer persona is the first step
“Know your target audience”
It’s one of those overused phrases that makes us cringe a little, like “think outside the box” or “go the extra mile”. It’s a catchy saying we’ve all heard from marketing gurus and self-help books.
The thing about cliches is that they’re overused for a reason. Cliches are true. Knowing your audience will always be fundamental to a successful and efficient business.
In order to maximise results, you have to hone in on exactly who your customers are. What are they like? How do they behave? What don’t they like?
Less is more
You can’t be a one-stop shop. While we’d love to cover all bases and cater to all customer’s needs, this isn’t effective because everyone’s tastes and priorities are different. Don’t waste your resources. Refining your delivery to suit a specific customer will always achieve more results than throwing generalised stuff at everyone.
A successful business aligns marketing strategies with a clear customer persona. This could vary depending on your range of services and products. The most important thing is: don’t focus on pleasing everyone.
By defining and refining your target audience, you can:
- Assess customers’ needs and values at a deeper level
- Build a stronger, more direct marketing strategy
- Provide services and/or products that are more relevant to your customers
So when it comes to knowing your audience, how do you find the one customer persona you’re looking for?
5 things to consider when thinking about your target audience
1. Who are you?
Know yourself. Again with the cliches, but bear with us on this one. To better understand your customer’s needs, it’s good to have a strong identity as a business. We’re not suggesting a yoga retreat or a team-building exercise, but getting your team together and articulating your story is going to help you reach your audience.
Go deeper than just the products and services you offer. What’s the core thing you do? What’s your vision? What makes you unique?
2. What’s your target audience like?
Think about the customer who’s about to call or email you. Look them in the eye. What do they look like? Why are they calling you?
Jot down some finer details, this could include:
Talk their talk. Imagine you’re selling compostable packaging and your customers are mostly graduates in their twenties. They’d probably respond better to informal, free-spirited language than financial advisors in their fifties – right.
3. How does your target audience behave online?
Don’t be a stranger. Consider what kind of approach works best to communicate with your audience.
A younger customer might prefer an Instagram update, and an older audience feels more comfortable with regular phone calls. Customers want to feel special, so personalise your communication to show you understand and appreciate their online preferences.
Getting a sense of your target audience’s online behaviour is a great way to understand them and deliver a better service. Gather more clues about your ideal customer online:
- Are they social butterflies online? If so, what’s their preferred platform?
- What kind of things/groups/organisations do they like?
- What do they post about?
- What kind of information do they forward to friends, family members and colleagues?
Knowing your demographic is crucial in order to choose your words wisely.
Essentially, you’re finding common ground to branch off with. Something to break the ice in case you need it.
4. What does your customer care about?
This is where surveys come in. But try to sound authentic and tailor your questions to your customer. There’s nothing more cliche than a standardised, robotic questionnaire.
What sparks their interest? Savings? Quality? Attention? Freebies? You can use this as an incentive when asking for customer feedback.
When you understand what your ideal customer cares about, you can improve your own services based on the customer’s needs. This kind of process allows you a free research group to boost your strengths and remedy your weaknesses.
You could use user-friendly survey tools such as Typeform. Or just keep it simple with social media.
You don’t ask, you don’t get.
5. This is an ongoing exercise, not a one-hit wonder
Consistency is key. As you dig deeper, you might discover your audience has evolved since the business first began. Perhaps the older generation is catching up and seeking modern web design so you have to be more conscious of your mobile functionality and keeping on top of the latest trends.
Your target audience is constantly changing and understanding your customer’s needs means maintaining that personalised relationship.
What are you waiting for?
An ordinary method can generate game-changing insight. Get to know your audience, make authentic interactions, achieve extraordinary results – all from a cliche phrase!