No matter how innovative and exciting your marketing strategy is, it is not going to deliver you the desired success unless and until you have a definite idea of the kind of customers you want to target. Misdirected marketing policies can end up focussing on the wrong kind of customers and resulted in flawed and disappointing sales. So how can you identify and target the right one? Read one to know more.
To get great and consistent sales for that new product of yours, you need to sell your story and pitch them to the right audience. Just like how teachers need to find the best ways to engage their students keeping their interests in mind, marketers need to question themselves: “How do you find that audience who suits your product and your story?”
Identify the needs
Before you identify your customer, you need to visualise on what customer need you are aiming to fulfill. You need to identify the needs you are going to fulfil. You also got to do a customer profiling to make a list of characteristics of the customer who will have or express those needs. The demographic profiling needs to be exhaustive, and should contain as much details as possible to get a precise description.
The details may include gender, age, race, income, occupation, interests, personal habit and lifestyle related questions, aspirations, views on related products produced by competitors. There are different sources for obtaining demographic information. Data produced by research companies such as AC Nielsen are very useful and in depth sources of consumer behaviour.
You can also use online surveys such as survey monkeys. You can even make use of existing customer database and your own employee database to get the preliminary information related to your marketing plans. The key is to always focus on the customer first. The customer needs are most important. As a go-getter and a business interested in making your name, you should not wait for the customer to approach you with their needs, you need to be aware of changing trends and demands and watch out for opportunities as and when they come up. Pro-activeness and foresightedness can serve every marketing wing very well.
Fine tune your audience and customer base to as narrow a margin as possible. This is because with a narrow and specific audience, you can focus on people whom you are more or less sure is interested in the products and services you are offering. You will be able to create effective marketing strategies and you will be able to implement it better. Too broad a range of audience increases the chances of your strategies being ineffective. By narrowing the audience range, you can save up on your time, energy, resources and use only sources and materials required for this.
Understand the psychology of the customer
To generate effective marketing strategies which would bring in successful sales, a successful marketer needs to identify the psychology of the audience. Unless you understand the kind of people you want to purchase your products, you won’t get going on this. To understand the persona of the audience: try to determine the following:
- Age of audience- determine the kind of people whom you would want to see using your products. Is the product youthful and trendy? Are they targeted to the elderly? Is it for the very young, kids and infant? Different age groups behave in different ways with respect to advertisements and promotional material. You may need to use different approaches and different language towards them. Based on the age group you want to target, you will need to decide your marketing strategy
- Gender- you need to determine whether your product or service is going to target both genders or specifically one. Advertisement campaigns will target the two genders differently as they both are constructed differently and react in different ways to different stimuli. They also perform tasks in different ways. Hence, the campaigns may have to be designed accordingly- the way their message is structured, keeping in mind the male and female psychology.
- Race and Culture- It is the time when advertisers and marketers have to be sensitive to racial and cultural contexts and sensitivities. This, however, does not imply that one cannot target specific racial or ethnic identities. If the service or product is specifically beneficial to certain communities, you can create your campaigns keeping this in mind. The message can be something which appeals to the values and ideas which are cherished by this community; at the same time, it should not flout existing global values too. This can help your company in getting a very dedicated following, if the product matches up to the campaign.
- Income status- Intelligent and sensitive marketing need to be attuned to the fact that not everyone would be of the same income levels or financial abilities. Hence, if the product or service you are designing is for the upper end of the society, you need to ensure that your marketing strategy targets such customers. If you want to market something low budget or affordable and suited for the middle class, you would need to tailor your message in that direction. If you target the wrong product for the wrong category of clients or customers, you are liable to end with a disastrous and failed marketing campaign. So, the marketing must understand the social and economic status of the client profile.
When you are starting out, start small. Identify the smallest possible market. And select a niche audience in that market. Establish a presence and get support. Then try and expand the market once you have succeeded in establishing base. This will also save you from unnecessary costs which can happen by starting out big without thinking. As you expand your base, you can promote your service with bonuses and benefits which would strengthen the faith of existing customers and bring in new customers.
Tell your audience why they should try you!
When you are creating your message for the specific target audience, be convincing about why you think you are the best to fulfil that particular service. Your ideal customer should be able gauge you and respond to you. Of course, this is not as easy as it sound. It may need a certain amount of iterations to get it working and creating that perfect message, aimed at that specific audience. You can test out your messages using social media and other platforms as well as through surveying strategies to see how it pulls in the desired audience. If it works, then you can use it for a full fledged campaign. This ensures efficiency, keeps costs low and keeps the team focussed.
During communications, you need to reinforce clearly the benefits which you are going to provide to your customers. If it is a health care product you are marketing, you need to communicate authentic, verifiable results and research which will bolster your claim. Trust and honesty matters a lot in genuine advertising and marketing. A sense of humour, provided it fits in with what you want to say, always helps.
Identify the customers who LOVE to do business with you
For companies and organisations, whose customers are other companies or corporate, this would be one way of coming up with trustable client list. This can be done by analysing your client and customer records. There would be certain indicators which show up in your records which indicate this such as revenues paid by customers/sales derived from these customers to your company; regularity of purchases; long standing customer (indicates loyalty and trust); ready to support and recommend you at all times and willing to provide testimony to your good business practice. These criteria can be used to evaluate existing and future customers with whom you intend to conduct business.
You can create an ideal customer list, using professionals for this. This list can be based on criteria such as annual earnings, number of employees (preferably in hundreds), kind of business (B2B or B2 C transactions); positions they hold.
Determine the location of potential clients/customers
Sometimes, the kind of customers you need for your product or strategy may not be found around you. They may be located in other places, may be even in other regions or countries. You need to target their locations and identify them. So your strategy may have to focus on these customers and identify markets, where others have not seen opportunities; it may even be far flung areas.
Even within a city area, some customers are constantly on the move and you can identify such customers for marketing campaigns which are tailored for them. Some may be more home bound and may be interested in products which help their lifestyle. As such, these customers may be more influenced by advertisements on the traditional media such as newspapers or television. Everyone may not be digitally comfortable.
Every effort counts to get that interested customer and if it means that you have to even use different media for this purpose, you may have to do so.