Do you know who your customers are?
Understanding your customer and their needs will give you a wealth of information on how to communicate value to them, as well as how to better configure your products/services to best meet their needs. We will look at the buyer's persona for marketing purposes, but there are countless resources that help you develop your business by simply understanding your customers.
There are many stories that can illustrate how organizations have failed by not investing in the basic understanding of their customer, but my favorite is the story that Steve Blank tells in the beginning of "The Four Steps to Epiphany." Steve writes about a company called Webvan who raised $800 million dollars to build an online grocery ordering service with same-day delivery business. They hit the ground running and built infrastructure, software, fleets, and processes. They grew really big really fast, with hopes that people would shift to this new way of grocery shopping. Well in 24 months, the company was bankrupt and it's investors were pissed.
Moral of the story, Get to your customers as fast as possible & learn from them how you should build and market your product or service. What happened to Webvan? They built before they understood - taking a step back and learning who your customer is and what matters to them will always produce a solid ROI.
Get to Know Your Ideal Customer
This phase is pretty straightforward. If you are currently in business you should be able to give 2-3 reasons why your customers have engaged with you.
I'll use us as an example - We typically work with marketing teams of 1-3 people who need specialized digital marketing experience to achieve the marketing goals for the quarter or year. Sometimes internal marketing teams are responsible for outbound marketing tactics and just don't have the resources to redesign a website or create an inbound marketing campaign. That's where we come in, we act as an extension of marketing teams. Knowing this, we can shift our messaging to support the problem organizations face when they don't have internal resources to execute on digital marketing. It's cheaper to hire an agency than it is to hire internally - you also get a team of specialized individuals instead 1 new marketer who ends up wearing too many sombreros.
Write down 2-3 pain points or problems your clients typically have when they engage with you.
One way we build our buyer personas is to start with our buyers. We set up a time to interview our best customers with a series of questions that gives us the information needed to create a profile. With the right data, you can find the right stories and appeal to them. When you value what your customers value, you get results.
Using Customer Pain Points to Create a Strategy
Hubspot defines pain points as customer problems that need to be solved. Once you know who your personas are, your marketing team needs to collaborate on what these buyer persona needs are and find ways to address them.
Take the 2-3 pain points from the previous exercise and write solutions your company provides to each point.
Let's continue using our example from above.
Person - Cheif Marketing Officer.
Pain - Marketing team does not have internal resources to execute on marketing strategy.
Solution - Hiring an inbound marketing agency typically costs less than hiring a new marketing employee and brings agency efficiencies, process, and expertise to your project.
You're most likely have more than one kind of target buyer. Deciding when to use each target buyer results in multiple specified campaigns. Using our example above, we would communicate what they care about, efficiencies and cost savings, to that specific buyer. If we choose another member of the marketing team, maybe our message includes taking some of the load on their plate so they can focus on what they are good at while we focus on the technical side of things.
Here is a useful illustration that will give you ideas on what types of content to produce for your buyers.
Analyze, Toss Out, or Repeat
You should always gather data and feedback about the performance of your campaigns while they're active. Based on this data, you can see what kind of content or advertisements work. We typically look at click through, bounce rates, time on site, conversions, and a few other engagement metrics to see how our campaigns are performing.
Using your buyer personas to their highest potential requires constant work, but the benefits of higher ROI and sales are definitely worth the effort.