As a growing business, it can be easy to focus on what you are trying to sell instead of who you are selling to and why they value what you have to offer. After all, consumers are looking to better their own lives, not yours. Your customers should be top of mind, always.
So how exactly do you get an accurate picture of your ideal customer, even when you may just be starting out? We are breaking down a few tools and frameworks that are simple to adopt, and if leveraged correctly, will help you understand your ideal customers.
Tip #1: Collect Demographic, Geographic, Psychographic, and Behavioral Information
You have probably heard of demographic and geographic customer segmentation, but did you know that psychographic and behavioral information about your target audience is much more valuable and actionable for your business? This information can be collected through questionnaires, surveys, or speaking with customers directly.
Let’s break down the four types of information and how you can utilize them.
Demographic: Examples of demographic information are race, age, gender, marital status, etc. Think of things that you would be asked on a questionnaire or form. This type of information is the easiest to collect, but if relied on too heavily, poses the greatest risk for overgeneralization.
Geographic: Examples of geographic information are country, state, county, zip code, mailing address, etc. This information is helpful for customer segmentation based on location and geo-located marketing campaigns, but also often leads to over-generalized statements about your customers.
Psychographic: Examples of psychographic information are personality, lifestyle, how time is spent, core beliefs, socioeconomics, preferences, etc. This information is extremely helpful because it helps you learn why people do what they do and what they value, thus leading to a much deeper understanding of your current and potential customers. Examples of psychographic questions are: 1. How would you describe yourself? 2. Do you prefer free standard shipping or expedited shipping for an additional fee? 3. What is your favorite hobby?
Behavioral: Examples of behavioral information are how and on what occasions customers use your product, what problem they are solving with your product, on what occasion or for what reason they make purchases, etc. This information gives great insight into what triggers or inspires the customer to go and seek out your product. Examples of behavioral questions are: 1. Tell me about the first time you bought one of our products. 2. What are you doing or what activity are you participating in when you use/wear our product? 3. Walk me through how and where you would purchase our product.
Tip #2: Create Your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ Statement
This tool is extremely beneficial for creating a guide for your business and how you can position and message your product to a certain target audience. For example, if you sell luxury men’s leather shoes, your unique selling proposition could look like:
For style-conscious men aged 25-45, [your brand name here] leather shoes are the premier genuine leather dress shoes and boots available on the luxury shoe market because of our unmatched quality, craftmanship, and customer satisfaction guarantee.
Here is the basic unique selling proposition framework for you to use:
For [target market] the [name of the product] is [most important claim] among all [competitive frame / industry] because [most important support].
Tip #3: Build a Persona / Fictitious Character
A persona is an extremely useful tool that combines demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral information to create a fictitious, but lifelike profile of your most ideal customer. Include background information, habits, demographics, challenges, goals, preferences, and even a name for this person. If your business has several targets, create several personas. Creating personas can help you create marketing material and strategy, train customer service, prepare your sales teams, and decide what products to launch next!
Of course, there are many ways to learn about your target customer and who you should be focusing on. However, the best way to get to know anyone, especially consumers, is by simply talking to them and asking them the right questions! Customers who feel seen and valued become loyal customers, and loyal customers are the foundation for your brand to grow.