Do You Really Know Your Audience?
There are so many articles available on understanding your audience, audience segmentation, and buyer personas. In fact, back when I wrote for The Marketing Gig, I penned a blog, The Risk of Flawed Market Segmentation, that focused on using segments for email marketing campaigns. Knowing your audience is a huge topic; one that’s worthy of a few articles. This one will take a step back from segmentation for outbound marketing campaigns. It will focus on developing your precise target persona(s) and the importance of speaking to each with words that specifically address their needs.
We already wrote about developing your mission statement and value proposition. Once you have a clear understanding of what your business offers, you can develop fictitious customers with distinct personalities that are known as personas.
Often you or your sales team speak to multiple personas in a day, for example at a trade show or following up with leads. Consider the real estate agent who speaks with home buyers and sellers with various demographics, purchase motivators, and certainly individualized budgets.
Depending on your business, you may have different personas to deal with within one sales lead. This is usually the case with high-involvement sales or corporate (B2B) sales. For example, if you sell technology to school districts, you might have to convince a variety of end users why they should select your product. You’ll need unique messaging for the superintendent, IT director, guidance counselors, principals, and assistant superintendent, perhaps even parents, students, the school nurse, and attendance personnel.
Do you know who shops for your goods and/or services?
It’s important and worthwhile to invest time on this exercise. Humanizing a profile that fits your customers will drastically improve communications. When you interact with a prospect, having an image of the prospect's personality will enable you to speak in a voice that fits their personality.
To get started, break your target market into general groups. Perhaps you’re selling a biodegradable or eco-friendly product.
Your primary target may be broken out by generation, such as millennials who feel the burden of a destroyed planet.
Income is often an important factor in consumer sales, as higher-income shoppers spend more on items such as organic foods and naturally dyed clothing.
If you sell to an international market, you may want to look at your consumers by geography. Look at the National Geographic Greendex, which ranks countries by a sustainable consumption index, and you’ll see that India ranks highest.
Does this spark ideas for identifying your own personas? There are a few ways to gather information on your segments:
Survey or speak with your current customers to learn more about their demographics, purchase motivators and psychographics.
Use market research. There is so much data available – but be sure to check your source.
Ask your sales team and other client-facing staff for client insights.
Gather your information into a grid or document that can be shared with you team. Hubspot (we love Hubspot) Persona Templates is a great PowerPoint-based tool you can download for free. Once it’s done, you’ll have an invaluable tool for all your client-facing communications.
Good luck as you take on this important marketing task.
We encourage you to CHIME in with your questions.
Effie & Jean