You might be wondering why creating customer profiles is so important in any digital marketing strategy.
It’s quite a basic fact of marketing that without knowledge of your customer, you can’t really provide them with the best service. What’s more, you won’t be able to effectively target them with your marketing strategy.
Customer profiles make targeting strategies easier. When you know where your customers are located geographically or online, you know where to place your ads and promotion material.
You know which newspapers and magazines to target and what kind of content and language to use.
Your entire marketing strategy and planning becomes much clearer once you have a customer persona of who you are targeting.
Why Do You Need To Create Customer Profiles?
Now, you may ask:
“Why is identifying customers so important? Isn’t it enough to market my brand and customers will find me if they need my product.”
Here’s the thing:
If you don’t know where you’re going how will you ever figure out what route to take? Even Google maps can’t help you if you don’t know what your destination is. Your customer is your destination.
Knowing Your Customer Gives You Actionable Insights
If you know that your customer is a health-freak, you know you need to target gyms and health food stores.
Your customer profile will tell you that your customer reads a certain newspaper over others, so that’s where you can place your ads.
If your targeted customer persona is more likely to be on Facebook than Instagram, your marketing strategy will emphasise on the former than the latter.
If you know the religion of your customer, you know what foods they won’t eat or will eat. You know their religious holidays and the special foods they require then.
Consumer behaviour gives you actionable insights that can help you formulate your marketing plans. Understanding customer psychology for digital marketing planning makes your plans more streamlined and effective.
Knowing Your Customers Helps You Understand Their Needs
Let’s say you are a pet food manufacturer.
You could make dog food, cat food, bird feed, and reptile feed.
You’d not be wrong.
However, if you understood your customers’ behaviour and needs, you might be able to serve them better.
Owners of big dogs need different food and quantities from small dog owners.
Puppies have different nutritional needs from adult dogs.
Dogs can do with less meat in their food while cats need more or less pure meat.
A parrot’s diet is completely different from a chicken’s.
And so on…
Some pet owners prefer moderately priced pet food that has the complete nutrition profile.
Others are willing to pay more for high quality food.
Certain dogs have special dietary needs and their owners are looking for brands that cater to them.
If you know your customers and their needs, you will be able to serve them better and they’ll keep coming back
Knowing Your Customer Tells You How They Spend Their Money
Some customers need economy pricing because they have limited disposable income. Others prioritise quality and are willing to pay for it.
Some have the money, but are careful spenders.
Some don’t have the money but like to splurge on little treats.
Are you targeting impulse buyers, or people who do months of research before they spend a penny?
Are you selling expensive luxury items or budget essentials?
Your marketing strategy will need to adapt to your target audience.
Knowing Your Customer Helps You Target Your Copy to Them
What would convince your target consumer to buy your product?
The fact that it is ‘luxurious’, or ‘durable’?
Will they jump at the chance to buy something that is ‘premium’ or ‘cost-effective’?
Consumer behaviour affects the way you present your product to them. That in turn affects how you write your copy for marketing or structure your entire campaign.
Knowing Your Customer Tells You How They Will Search For Your Product
Understanding your target customer profile tells you a lot about their priorities and how they search for products.
Is your target customer more likely to search for ‘dog food’ or ‘dog nutrition’?
Will they Google ‘cheap dog food’ or ‘healthy dog food’?
All these options are viable if you think about it. A simple switch, though, will change your marketing strategy.
Knowing Your Customer Means You Understand What Kind of Content They Like
Are you targeting professionals who are comfortable with technical jargon?
Will your customer be more comfortable with easy-to-understand, basic information?
Their reading level determines whether you should create content that is highly detailed and technical, or simple and concise.
Knowing your customer helps you take advantage of implicit egotism: Implicit egotism is a theory which states that people are drawn to things that resemble them. Aligning your brand’s philosophy, appearance, and language to match your customers’ will create loyalty.
What Does A Customer Profile Include?
Given how important customer psychology is in digital marketing, it helps if you start out with an accurate customer profile. Your business is not limited to one type of customer, so obviously you’d not have just one customer persona.
You would need to have a deep understanding of your own products or services. Not only should you know what you offer, you should also know how it is used.
What would also affect the marketing strategy is the consumer behaviour for buying it. Is it bought for themselves or for someone else? For example, certain items that men use might be bought for them by their wives.
Do you need research to compare price and features before buying it?
Your product determines your customer base, and identifying your customer personas help you apply proper customer psychology in digital marketing.
What do you need to know for each persona?
Sex / Gender
Race / Ethnicity
Income / Disposable Income
Personal beliefs and ideologies
Likes and dislikes
Buying behaviour (impulse buyers, bargain hunters, trend-setters…)
… among other things.
If you are a B2B Business, you’d also need:
Size of the company
Location and Scope/reach
Decision makers (Committee, Individual, etc.)
How Do You Gather Information to Create Your Customer Profile?
At this point, you must be thinking that collecting enough information to create customer profiles just by understanding your product is a bit of a tall task.
Here’s the deal:
There are simple ways to do market research to gather the data you need. In fact, some of the data may already be available! But, what is market research?
Market research is a blanket term for a variety of data collecting methods. It can be primary research or secondary research.
What do these terms mean?
Secondary Research: Secondary research utilises the information that has already been collected. For example:
You want to know the proportion of males to females in a region. Instead of trying to find this information yourself, you could simply check the census records. These records are usually available online.
Similarly, there are several resources available, both online and offline, where you can do your secondary research.
Primary Research: Primary research is the research you conduct yourself to gather unique data. This might be information about your customers, how they use your product, how they rate your products against competitors, etc.
Primary Research Avenues
Gathering information in the form of primary research can be as detailed or as brief as you need it to be.
There are multiple ways in which you can collect information, depending on your budget, your information needs, and your customers.
Surveys can be varied in form and are great for collecting specific data. Mail surveys, phone surveys, online surveys, and mall intercepts are some of the forms of this style of low-budget research.
Surveys rely on questionnaires prepared for the purpose. The language of the questions needs to be thought out carefully as it may affect the answer.
The good news is:
With open ended questions, you can get very rich information from your target audience. Closed ended questions, on the other hand, make it easier for them to answer.
The bad news is:
It is not always possible to get people to respond to surveys. Phone surveys can’t be too long, or people will not complete them. Mall intercepts may have people reluctant to talk to someone they don’t know.
Focus groups are small groups of people who are supervised by a moderator and discuss their likes and dislikes as consumers. These work best if the group does not know the purpose of the survey.
This is a great way of finding out what consumers are looking for in your product category. It allows the moderator to ask follow-up questions for clarity, which is not possible with questionnaires.
The sample size is small in a focus group and you cannot find out specifics. If you do, you end up risking influencing the group. Individuals in focus groups may also be affected by the social pressure to conform.
Another disadvantage with focus groups is that they cannot be used to discuss anything that people might be too embarrassed to talk about.
Personal interviews, as the name suggests, involve a one-on-one discussion with the individual. This is the best way of getting very specific information directly from the person. You can question them, ask them to elaborate, and have them give in-depth information.
On the flip side:
Personal interviews are highly susceptible to signalling, where the interviewer might influence the respondent with micro-cues. A slight twitch of the lips might signal approval, or a frown that lasted a microsecond might be taken as disapproval.
While the interviewee might not consciously realise it, those signs of approval and disapproval might affect his answers.
This is a very simple yet powerful form of data collection. Simply by watching how your consumers behave in a store, how they select a product, what they look for when buying something, can tell you a lot about what they want.
Analytics are a great way to get hard numbers on your customer flow and behaviour. The area this is most effective in is digital marketing. Using customer psychology, you can plan a conversion goal.
Then, using analytics, you can see how well it performed.
Analytics can help you design two different approaches and see which one got you more conversions. It can help you refine your digital marketing efforts.
Social media allows you to build a community around your products or services. This community can then be used for information gathering. You can ask questions; have your followers share suggestions and feedback, and so much more.
As long as you manage to engage with your audience, social media interactions can provide you with unique insights into your consumers’ minds.
There are many more methods of consumer research that you can use. What you need to consider is what kind of information you need and how much money you are willing to spend. The important thing to remember is that customer profiles and personas might be the most important first step of your digital marketing strategy. It pays to spend time, money, and effort in creating the perfect profiles and personas for your business!