Where who comes before what

When you are looking at advertising for your brand, there are myriads of decisions to make, like,

  • How do you want to position yourself
  • Where will you advertise
  • What will your advertisements say

This article would like to draw your attention to a particular question which should precede most of your concerns –

Who does your product help become better?

The question about understanding the voice behind the sales – the customers; is often underplayed.

Why know your customer

When you look at the question, you might have your answer already. If you are amongst the 87% business owners, then your answer is one of these:

  1. I have a generic product. It can serve multiple industries, age groups, regions and needs.

Even for a generic product like Coca cola, which anyone and everyone can buy, the only way to have people connect with it has been to define it. Consider its ‘Thanda matlab Coca cola’ campaign for India. The advertising message was based on a single most important factor – who are the people your ad should talk to? So coke said, I want to talk to people who are thirsty in the intense heat of Indian summers and want something cold.

This consumer identification is not just relevant to the messaging. It extends to ensuring that the drink is available in every place that looks like the one shown in the ads. (Small shops even in the remote are in India.)

The pricing and packaging of the product, is designed to suit the pockets of people who might be thirsty and would need something immediately from those shops.

What did the entire strategy pivot around? Knowing who the customer is.

  • How do they think?
  • What do they look like?
  • What problem will the product solve for them?
  1. I know the people that form my target audience. But they cannot be put into one segment.

The interesting thing about knowing ‘who’ you want to sell your product to, is that it is a very simple concept, once you know it.

You know who your customer is, if you can answer:

  • What does she or he look like
  • Where do they hang out
  • What do they want
  • How will your product get them what they want
  • How will the customer feel, once he gets what he wants

If your have answered all these questions, its time to move to the next step.

Ensure that your marketing attracts the person by reaching out to him where he hangs out and telling him how he will feel if he uses your product. When you address multiple customer segments, there are two ways of reaching out.

One is that you look for specific channels that reach only to one segment and try to project the advertising around that specific segment, there. This is possible only if you are using personalization on emails and digital media. It calls for segmenting your customers based on leaps of reliable data and incorporating it in your marketing.

For the second, Cadbury is the clue. You need to find a common sentiment that can weave around all of them. Cadbury built its campaign around relationships.

How to know your customer

So, how do you figure out who your customer is? Here’s what it takes:

  1. Customer interviews. Create cohorts of your paying customers and meet them. Talk to them to understand how they think. Try to figure out how your product is placed in their minds. You need to ensure that their perceptions are in line with your understanding.
  2. Customer details. If you have a large customer base, float across questionnaire and gather as much information about them, as you possibly can. The aim should be to get the factors from the customer’s background, which leads them to create a differentiated take on your product.
  3. Re-assess often. Try to see if your understanding of your customer reflects in your existing customer data. If it does not, then probably it is time to re-assess. Figure out what needs to be changed. Is your customer understanding flawed or does the marketing message promise something else?

We have been closely working with companies to help them find who their customer is. Reach out to us at thedigittale<at>gmail<dot>com, and we will be glad to assist!