Welcome to Part One of our blog series on getting your digital marketing strategy nailed on for 2018. In this series, we will show you how to identify your customers, find them online and position yourself in front of them at the point they’re ready to buy. We’ll also tell you how to measure your digital marketing campaigns.
When planning a new campaign, focusing on ideal customers is something that business owners and marketers can all too often overlook. It’s surprising given that they are the exact people the campaigns should be appealing to. However, you know the feeling, when you’re under time pressure and run before you can jump. It’s all well and good going full speed ahead with an idea that you think will work but if you haven’t identified your ideal customers, it could very well fail.
Customers are, after all, the driving force behind your business. They are the people you want to impress and build a strong loyalty with. However, if you take the scattergun approach and try to target as many people as possible, your campaign could blend in and go unnoticed.
The key to successful digital marketing is taking the time to really get to know your ideal customers. This will help to guide their buying decisions and ultimately, build that all important loyalty. To help you get started, here’s a few key steps to take.
1. Put your consumer hat on
Yes, that’s right, put your consumer hat on and step into your customer’s shoes. Have a think about businesses that have given you the best possible customer experience. Why did you choose them in the first place? What do they do that impresses you as a consumer?
For example, look at Nike. They get their ideal customers down to a tee. The sports brand understands its audience and acts accordingly. Nike knows a core part of their target market use Instagram. Therefore, by sharing valuable content they inspire and motivate followers, showing a more personal connection.
2. Segment your audience
This point is all about personas. You may already be familiar with this, if not, here’s a helpful article. By segmenting your audience and breaking it down into very clear personas, you’ll be able to get to grips much more with your ideal customers.
Once you have your detailed personas, whether you create three or seven, you can familiarise with who you are trying to appeal to. This will help ensure that your marketing efforts are targeted and focused on those key people.
3.Target with a personal touch
Using your buyer personas, start to get personal. You can really break down your campaign to target those specific people. Consumers no longer want to be faced with ads that could be targeting them or their 60 year old neighbour with whom they have nothing in common. Tailor your campaigns to really speak to the various sections of your audience.
You want your ads and content to really make people stop in their tracks and think ‘that’s me!’. Whether you’re selling cars or lipstick, your marketing needs to resonate. Otherwise it gets lost in the heap of competition out there.
US shopping store Target absolutely nailed this with a model aimed at new parents. By creating a customer ID, they were able to store data on age, demographics and employment. The store could then track purchase history to personalise its campaigns even further.
The effectiveness of this model was fully realised when an angry father complained that his daughter (still at high school) received coupons for baby goods and accused them of ‘trying to get her pregnant.’ After a full apology from Target, the father returned the following week taking back his complaint and informing them that he’d just found out his daughter was in fact pregnant. Now if that isn’t targeted, what is?!
4. Focus on the customer journey
This is where a number of brands fall short. They just focus on reeling potential customers in and then forget about them once they’ve made a purchase. This can be an expensive mistake. Think about the time and money that goes into your marketing campaigns. Do you really just want one off customers that make the odd purchase or loyal relationships with people that really see the value in your brand?
By honing in on the journey each customer takes, you’ll be able to make that process as smooth as possible so they can’t resist coming back. Map out every touchpoint that your audience comes into contact with from the very first interaction. This will help you to make the process as customer friendly as possible. Here’s a handy article to help you work out yours.
6. Be precise
Sometimes marketers feel the need to get started quickly and just ‘test’ all channels to see what works. However, now that you’re armed with this information on your ideal customers, you should be focused on being as accurate as possible.
Think about the channels your ideal customers are on. What makes them tick? What will catch their eye. Taking this focused approach will help you to reap far more benefits that just trying anything until it works.
To sum up
Identifying your ideal customers all comes down to putting yourself in their shoes. Thinking about their daily habits, problems and things that they enjoy. Treat your customer personas like you would friends so your brand voice always comes across as personal. This is how brands strike a chord with their ideal customers and build a loyal consumer base.