The First Commandment of Marketing: Know Thy Customer
Who Are You Selling To?
The days of “spray and pray” marketing are over. Recent research shows that buyers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the relevance of the content they’re receiving. If you think having a friend “unfollow” you on Facebook is a bummer, imagine the pain of having a customer or prospect decide to opt-out of your communications.
“High Volume-Sensitive Consumers” across all age groups will only engage with content that is tailored to them. Send them the wrong message, or flood them with communications and they’ll quickly block your calls (80%), unsubscribe from your emails (82%), and unfollow you on social media (86%). Ouch.
Buyer personas (fictional representations of the ideal customers for your niche) can help you better personalize and target your marketing efforts.
Why You Need Buyer Personas
Buyer personas can help you:
– Understand customer wants and needs — assisting you in developing targeting offers, messaging, and marketing communications.
– Learn about customer research and buying behavior — providing you with guidance on where you should place and promote your products.
– Gather insight to inform your go-to-market strategy — allowing you to better customize your products and services to meet your buyers’ needs.
– Focus your efforts on the right customers — helping you sell more products to more people at a much faster rate.
How To Research Your Buyers
We recommend starting with a subsection of your current customer base that best represents the segment you want to grow. Conduct some interviews, send out some surveys and combine what you learn with some secondary research. There are some great, free tools you can use to survey customers, including Google Forms (linked to your Google profile) and SurveyMonkey. Then, gather all the information available to you and document what you’ve learned. Hubspot, a marketing automation platform provider, has some great templates you can download for this purpose.
What You Need to Know About Your Buyers
Depending on if you’re B2C (selling direct to consumers) or B2B (selling to other businesses), here are a few questions you should consider addressing as you develop your buyer personas.
– What are the demographics of your buyer?
– What kind of company does your buyer work for?
– What does their job consist of?
– What is your buyer trying to achieve?
– What are they looking for in a product?
– What is preventing them from achieving their goals?
– What is lacking in the products they’ve evaluated?
– Where does your buyer gather information?
– How do they like to engage with vendors?
– Where, and how do they like to buy?
– How can you help your buyer meet their goals/overcome their challenges?
– What can you give them that no-one else can?
– What should you tell your customer about your business and your products/services?
Remember that your buyer personas should be living documents. Once you’ve done the initial pass, you should plan to update them at regular intervals as you get a better sense of who your customers are.
Hungry for more information? Check out Part 2 of our new educational series, “Building Your Own Screen Printing Business, Part 2 :: Developing Your Customer”
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