Do you know who your ideal customer is? In order to attract the right audience to your brand, you need to know exactly who to target from the start. So what will you need to find out about your customers, and how can you learn this information?
Taking time to get to know your customers, and create a set of well thought out and detailed brand cameos will help your team to better understand your target audience.
If you have a clear picture of who your different audience groups are, what they value and relate to, and what really hits home with them the most, your marketing activity will be far more valuable. Knowing who you’re talking to will give you a starting point so you can produce relevant content that will speak to your customers and make an impact.
Not taking the time to identify your key target customers, what they look for in a brand, or what they need in a solution will result in marketing messages that are broad and lacking in direction and purpose - and more than likely they won’t reach the customers you value the most.
From the age of your ideal customer, and what their needs and interests are, to their socioeconomic status and how much disposable income they have, identifying as much information about your audience as you can will ensure that you can cater to each of these aspects effectively.
However, before collecting information about your customers, you will need to think about what you really need to know about them. Whilst knowing the age and gender of your customers can sometimes be beneficial, having insight into what interests and motivates them is often much more relevant and useful.
Knowing what your customers’ ‘pain points’ are, and what motivates them, can be powerful when it comes to marketing towards them - often much more powerful than age and gender. Being able to hone in on what really influences them will make your messages much more appealing to your audience, and help to attract more of your ideal customers.
Learning about your target customers can seem difficult at first, but there are a number of ways you can obtain valuable information about your target audience.
If you are looking for more general characteristics of particular groups, tools such as YouGov Profiles allow you to search by ‘brand, person or thing’ and provide a list of characteristics that are most common amongst its followers.
If you want to obtain information more specific to your customers, one way could be to follow in the footsteps of Topshop’s ‘ My Topshop Wardrobe', which asks customers about themselves and provides a ‘wardrobe’ of personalised product recommendations depending on which style you are assigned. Quizzes like this can be effective tools in obtaining information about your customer base, while simultaneously prompting orders.
Alternatively, if you have an existing list of email subscribers, this can be a great opportunity to learn about them. Sending out an email asking recipients to complete a short survey about themselves will help you obtain information about what your subscribers are most interested in, as well as what they look for in a product or service. What you ask in your survey is completely up to you, but if you need a little inspiration, here’s an example from luxury cosmetics brand, Charlotte Tilbury.
Once you have new information about your customers, you can put it to good use - from the products you sell, to the way you market your brand.
Learning about your existing customers, and what their likes and dislikes are, can help you in determining how to expand (or reduce) product ranges in the future. For example, if you are a retailer of speciality coffee and you find out that a large majority of your customers prefer medium strength coffee, then focusing on your medium strength blends in the future could be more beneficial than expanding other ranges.
Knowing what your most popular ranges are and what your customers are looking forcan also provide insight into which products should hold pride of place on your website. Whether you create a ‘featured products’ section on your home page, or create landing pages for different key ranges, using the information your customers give you to make their shopping experience quicker and easier can be very beneficial for your business.
Learning about your email subscribers (as mentioned above), can also give valuable insight into how to segment your email list and improve your campaigns by using the information you have to deliver relevant emails to each of your subscribers.
Knowing the location of your email subscribers can also be beneficial when promoting company news or events. For example, if you were to open a new store and were planning an in-store event to celebrate, knowing which of your customers live in the area can prove useful when promoting it as you could send out a separate email to your local customers inviting them to the event. Location is also good to know to understand your customer’s culture, dialect and traditions - but it’s important not to generalise as in today’s society, culture can easily change every few streets.
In regards to how you market your products, knowing who you are targeting will mean that you can better focus your strategy and talk about the topics that matter to your different customer groups. Addressing the problems that each group has individually, and offering a clear solution will be more effective than posting generic messages that don’t quite resonate with anyone.
Identifying who your target audience is, and how best to approach them online, is vital in retaining your existing customers and attracting a new audience at the same time. Having insight into how your customers think is the first step to growing your business and attracting more of your most profitable customers.
Start your planning now with our free, comprehensive 2019 eCommerce Calendar.