knowing your customers

To drive strategy and identify opportunities for growth in a changeable market place, businesses must adopt a customer centric approach. But how well do you know your customer? When was the last time that your business took a step back to review your marketplace?

As part of the large number of marketing strategy workshops that we deliver every year, we work with businesses to review the market landscape and to understand the current and potential buyers out there. We collaboratively create customer personas and delve into different customer types in more detail. Creating personas and looking at their motivations, considerations and choices gives us a great platform to start building an authentic business proposition and detailed marketing plan structured to reach the right people.

During a persona session it is interesting to learn about the knowledge and awareness that the business has about their customers. Whilst some businesses know their audience well, many miss the opportunity to engage with their customers and acquire feedback through their sales process, thereby losing out on valuable insight generation and growth opportunities.

So what can you do today to start evolving your customer personas? It is simple, speak to your business colleagues and customers. You could start by asking:

  • What do you know about your customers already? – What data do you have access to? Do you know where your customers are based, what age they are, their profession and spend per year? Do you know who your repeat customers are? Would they recommend you?
  • For feedback from existing customer – Do you ask your customers for feedback on your product, service, price and overall experience of your brand? This could be through online surveys, incentivised email questionnaires, phone calls to key customers or social media monitoring.
  • Your salesforce – What do they know about your customers? Do they ask customers/retailers for feedback and ideas for improvement? What shifts do they see in buying behaviour and customer profiles? What opportunities are there? If you are an online business, what do your analytics tell you about the terms customers use to find you? Where are these customers based?
  • Potential customers – What are your plans for extending your customer base? What does that group think about your business?

Depending on your type of business and the channels and locations you operate in, it might be worth looking at some research to understand or expand your understanding of the opportunities for your business. We regularly conduct research for clients including telephone interviews, on street research, in-store research as well as online surveys to generate insight and help define clear customer personas.

Building insight is an ongoing process and if you can get your sales, finance and marketing teams working together you will be armed with great insight and clear personas for planning targeted and impactful campaigns that deliver results.