As technology has evolved with the times, so too has customer behavior, altering how they browse, shop, and interact with various brands. Prior to the Dot-Com boom, a shopper’s choices and access to information were fairly restricted; however, the rise of eCommerce has had a significant impact on the supply in the market, thus giving customers a plethora of options for any good or service. This increase in competition has forced businesses to employ new marketing methods for interacting with both current and prospective customers.
A New Discovery
Businesses have discovered that conducting customer insight analyses can be an incredibly effective method for gaining a better understanding of their market and their ideal customer. Nowadays, a marketing plan devoid of customer insights is obsolete and inefficient. You miss out on an opportunity to clearly identify who your exact audience is and then create a bespoke marketing strategy for each unique persona. Below, we will discuss how you can generate customer insights and then utilize them in a cross-channel marketing strategy.
Whenever a prospective customer encounters your business, you aim to shine a light on an issue and then convince them that they need your good or service to fix that. A problem that many businesses encounter, however, is that customers are not uniform; they may have diverse needs and desires or respond to different appeals or mediums.
One-dimensional universal consumer profiles do not give you actionable information or a thorough understanding of their buyer’s journey. On the other hand, detailed buyer personas unveil insights into the process, allowing you to grasp their thought process as they choose between you or a competitor. For example, consider three customers who are attempting to buy a new phone.
- Customer A is a 16-year-old male in high school – Customer A may look for a phone that has a high potential for mobile gaming, solid social media integration. They may care more about how the phone looks and its name branding than the specific details about the company.
- Customer B is A 34-year-old female photographer – Customer B may look for a phone that has a high-quality camera and video. They may care more about the technology and the company’s reputation and policy on data protection than anything else.
- Customer C is a 65-year-old retiree – Customer C may simply look for a phone that is simple and lets them text, call, or video chat with their family members. They likely care far less about the extra features than they do about pricing and ease of use.
Even if all 3 customers are looking at the same phone, they will likely care about different aspects. As a result, it would be far more effective to create marketing strategies meant to highlight the needs, concerns, and desires of their specific groups. When you understand how individual buyers evaluate this process and then speak directly to them, you will be able to build a connection and reach them on a 1 to 1 level.
Develop Buyer Personas
The best way to create strategic marketing plans is by creating buyer personas, which help you group prospective customers in order to get a better understanding of what those groups are thinking and how they are acting as they consider your business as a potential solution to their problem. These personas are semi-fictional representations of your target customer and are developed from data and market research drawn from your existing customer base.
On average, businesses develop 3 to 5 personas. The information gathering process can be split into 2 categories of insight:
- Qualitative insights – Customer testimonials, customer research.
- Quantitative insights – Google Analytics, Facebook Audience insights.
At PDM, the process of this fact-finding mission goes as follows:
- Discovery call – An introductory call is conducted in order to get to know your business and team, and to understand your mission and values.
- Internal company survey – Employees provide insight as to their thoughts on the company, its goals, and its good or service. This helps PDM obtain an insider’s view of the strengths and weaknesses of the business, its platform, and messaging.
- Customer survey – Qualitative insight research begins in stage 3. PDM conducts extensive talks from existing customers to better understand what appealed to them about your company and why they selected it over competitors. This begins to flesh out and distinguish one buyer profile from another.
- Customer data analysis – All the qualitative and quantitative insights are gathered and then thoroughly analyzed and categorized.
- Create persona templates – Once the analysis is done, the discoveries and conclusions are grouped into the archetypal buyer personas.
Craft Messaging Tailored to Each Persona
Comedians often say that a big part of their success lies in their ability to “know the room.” Likewise, once you have taken the time to develop your personas, you can now begin crafting a messaging strategy that targets each persona uniquely in order to achieve the best results. As mentioned, some messaging techniques more effective for certain personas but less effective for others. Examples of types of messaging include:
- Success Statements – These messages define what success looks like if someone uses your product/service. For example, “Stay connected to those you love with your new phone.”
- Failure Statements – These messages define the loss aversion and describe what you are helping your customers avoid. For example, “Don’t let spotty service and an unreliable carrier prevent you from connecting to those you love.”
- Empathy statements – Short phrases that help you establish an emotional connection with the person you are speaking to. They illustrate that you are focused on them and wish to create a connection based on trust and understanding. For example, “Being far from those you care about can be hard, let us make it easier for you.”
Customer insights grant you the ability to have a better sense of who a person is, what they care about, what they need, or how they want to be spoken to. Your goal is to speak to these personas in a way that is most likely to resonate with their specific wants and needs; to foster a deep connection by creating an authentic bond that transforms a sales pitch into a conversation between friends.
Deploy and Test in Cross-Channel Strategies
Now that all the legwork has been done, your business is ready to act. The most important part of customer insights is using it in your own cross-channel marketing strategy! Deploy messaging in marketing materials within that channel specific to each persona. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as:
- Blogging to different POVs – When creating editorial content for your website, it would be wise to form tailormade blog posts meant to appeal to each specific persona. When you are communicating with someone who falls into that category, you can use that particular blog post as underpinning for the sales pitch.
- Changing your elevator pitch – If your company regularly engages in sales calls, these are one of the very first avenues with which you can deploy persona-specific messaging. You should have a different call script meant to best target and address each persona’s various goals and desires. Ideally, you can start the call by speaking generally, and once you have deciphered which persona the prospective customer falls within, you can switch over to the precise script mean to present the most compelling appeal.
- Alter your sales demo scripts – Similarly, if your business makes a routine of in person or virtual sales demos, it would be wise to build demos for each persona group. For optimal success, try and figure which category they fall into before the presentation so that it runs smoothly and feels as if it was created just for them.
- Writing personalized emails – Potential consumers are far more likely to not only interact but respond positively to email campaigns that are personal and contain relevant content. Each email template you create should target and highlight how your good or service applies to that persona.
- Produce responsive website content – This is especially helpful for repeat customers or second-time visitors to your website. With this method, you can use programs to perceive the visitor’s IP address and set up the site in such a way as to reflexively change what they might see according to their persona. This can include different layouts, pitches, call-to-actions, or content.
- Social Media – These days, social media, especially Instagram, is an incredibly effective means for reaching customers. You can either create organic social marketing or paid social marketing by utilizing brand ambassadors or partnering with different channels to reach an intended buyer persona.
The proper way to roll out such processes is by conducting thorough testing in order to gauge performance. This could be conducted in the form of a month-over-month comparison or A/B testing. Doing so allows you to hone and refine your pitch.
Set Yourself Apart
Customer insights grant you the ability to make the sales process personal. By utilizing buyer personas, you can treat your prospective customers like the individuals they are and craft messages that speaks to them. Once this has been done, you can effectively utilize your customer insights and deploy them in an all-out cross channel marketing campaign. Setting yourself apart from your competition is the best recipe for future success.
- Wright, A. Social Media Today. “What is a ‘Buyer Persona’ and Why is it Important?” (2017). https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/what-is-a-buyer-persona-and-why-is-it-important/507404/
- Nealon, G. Forbes. “How to Identify And Speak To Your Customer Personas.” (2018). https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/03/21/how-to-identify-and-speak-to-your-customer-personas/#30bc51af4c4d
- Reichenbach, B. HubSpot. “The Ultimate Guide to Cross-Channel Marketing.” https://blog.hubspot.com/service/cross-channel