Know your Audience
Marketing 101 - Know your Audience.
Knowing your audience, truly understanding your customer from the inside out is key to any marketing strategy, and should be the first step you take when marketing your business. So how do you go about really knowing and understanding the emotive and rational needs of your customer? Here are some useful strategies to help you dial in on exactly who you should be targeting when you spend your time and money on marketing.
Research your Market
Go beyond the basic demographics of age, race, income, location, etc and dial in further to learn about their behaviors, interests, spending habits, beliefs that influence how they perceive your market, what kind of shopper are they, etc. Create a list of conclusive statements that you truly believe about your customer which you can use to create effective highly targeted marketing campaigns.
What are your Competitors Doing? Who are they Marketing to and is it Working?
Whether you believe in their message or strategy, it's always important to follow your competition and pay attention to what they are doing, how they are doing it and who is listening and responding. If you share the same target audience, you will want to know what is working for them and what is clearly not and then learn from it.
If you have ever written a story, you understand the importance of character development. When you tell your brand story, you need to know the characters in that story, your audience is your character. Create a fictional person that you believe checks all of the boxes of the type of person who will likely engage with your brand and become loyal to your business. Take all of the information you gathered in your research and create a fictional customer or customers, really get to know that character and make sure your team knows them too. This will set you apart and put you ahead when you plan your marketing strategies. I think this is a fun experiment and can be a highly effective way for your business and your team to be on the same page and truly understand your market.
Know your Customers Personally
This may not apply to all businesses, but if you have a business where you have repeat customers or regulars as we call them in the restaurant industry, it is imperative that you get to know them. I became good friends with many of our customers at my restaurant and even employed some of their children. I knew and cared about their lives and was genuinely excited when they walked in the door, and they knew that and therefore they became repeat customers and part of our family. Knowing your customers and caring about their lives creates a trusting relationship and loyalty that will set you apart from your competitors. It also gives you an insight into your larger audience and what appeals to them. Not all customers will have the same behaviors and interests but you will see general similarities that will help you market to new customers.
Stay Diligent and Engaged
Pay attention to how people react and engage with your creative content. Monitor the comments and posts that are shared and engage with them. And don't just pay attention to your own content and engagements, evaluate who is engaging with your competitor's content, how are they engaging and how is your competitor responding.
Poll your Audience
Ask them directly about what they like or want. Put out a survey and offer incentives if they participate. There is no better way to truly understand what your customer thinks and feels about your brand than to just straight up ask them. People want to share their opinions, and be prepared for the negative along with the positive feedback and take both as learning opportunities.
As a small business developer and owner with over fifteen years of marketing experience, I understand the invaluable importance of learning and understanding the emotive and rational needs of customers and how to respond with creative measures to continually engage them. I truly enjoy market research and revel in the creative process and challenge to continually find unique outlets to help a business grow. I'd love to help you better understand your audience and how to creatively market to them so that they are engaged and become loyal customers of your business.