Who’s your target market?

When defining who our product or service is for – there are many tools and mechanisms at our disposal. A buyer persona or picture of the median or average customer you hope to reach is often one of the first steps.

Creating a ‘buyer persona’ can involve data mining, client interviews and many internal refinement sessions.

Adding psychographic segmentation can provide valuable profiling and meat to your persona. It can give you leads to their lifestyle, their habits and how they will react to your messages and brand.

Leverage your social media analytics for demographic targeting and Sociographics

Through a quick review of your Facebook fans you can establish the most dominant basic demographics for your brand. For example your median customer may be male between the age of 18 and 25 and living in London.

Examining your Facebook page analytics you can quickly confirm this through the Audience Insights area. You need a reasonable sample size to gain accuracy. Yet even a fan base of 1000 likes on Facebook can prove useful. Providing they are genuine fans and you have not been “like gating”  or buying fans.

With Audience Insights, you’ll be able to see demographic information about your target audience. Things like:

  • Demographic trends about age and gender, relationship status, and job roles.
  • Lifestyle and interest information about your target audience.
  • Purchase information about your target audience. Including which categories they’re most likely to buy in and location data that may help you identify where to run special promotions or host events.

As you can see, this could not only validate our median man is 18 to 25 and from London, but could possibly refine to neighbourhoods, typical purchase categories and what their lifestyle is like.

Examine how your target demographic may behave through psychographics

 

We can take this data a step further with psychographic segmentation to get a feel for how they may act or react to our messaging, engagement and marketing.

You may be aware of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs

maslow

Advertising company Young and Rubicam took this pyramid and extrapolated it. Their research created seven psychographic profiles using Cross Cultural Consumer Characterisation (‘4Cs’ for short). They then mapped the US population to these profiles. You can find out your Psychograpic tendencies by completing their survey.

Psychographics can help us with an understanding of our buyer persona’s:

  • activity, interest, opinion (AIOs)
  • attitudes
  • values
  • and behaviors.

Here are the seven definitions. Young and Rubicam also provided rough percentage figures for the people that below to each profile in the USA. (These numbers also translate roughly to any marketplace.)

Belongers – 40% of the population:

If we were to stereotype Belongers they’re people that live in the average town in the midwest of the USA. They love community, loves being with family and friends. They have an innate need to belong to a group, be that a church, sports group or fan club. These people frequently drive local made vehicles – trucks, sedans and station wagons. They are very nationalistic, and don’t like change. Their best time is spent with their friends, talking, having fun, hanging out. They are hard working, and are extremely conservative in their views, and most likely religious. Their typical Saturday is driving their locally made people mover to church, football practice and then home to watch the game. Think trailergaters at NASCAR or Manchester United fanatics.

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Image:Ted van Pelt

What resonates?

Make sure your messaging is family or community oriented. Emphasize  if your product or service is made LOCALLY and is the same as things have always been. Words like trusted,  reliable and made right here resonate. They believe good thing take time – even marketing and are willing to build a personal relationship with a brand. They all by Levis because they trust it and always have.  Belongers are brand loyal, get them to buy once and they tend to stay with you.

What alienates?

Belongers hate anything new, foreign and game changing. Worse still if it fragments them from their community. One-on-one Bikram hot Yoga training would be their worst nightmare.

Achiever – 5 to 7% of the population:

Achievers are the business elite. The one percenters. Constant growth focus and need for power and status are key. They work 100 hour weeks. they wear own and drive the best. Think top hedge fund managers, bankers, Fortune 500 CXOs and the elite entrepreneurs.

The opposite to belongers – Achievers will go so far as to customise their elite vehicles, just to make sure it set them apart. They buy top of the line Rolls Royce, Maybach or Bugatti and will then spend the price of an average car in upgrading and personalising.

They don’t shop – they bring the tailor in. Where the masses enter – they exit.

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image: Axlon23

What resonates?

You need an elevator pitch – don’t waste their time. Make it personal, innovative and elite. Talk about power, money, and profit.

What alienates?

Slow, stumbling presentations about old, common, conservative, non-innovative products. Talk about how your product with homogenize and make them part of a community.

Emulator / Wanna be – 15% of the population:

These guys are achiever groupies. Everything they do is to try and look like an achiever. Thier Subconscious war cry is “fake it till you make it”.  Yet their motivator is often acceptance amongst peers or from the opposite sex. Not the relentless focus on power and wealth that Achievers have.

They buy BMW 1 series – just to say they have a BMW. Wear fake Rolex or cheaper “luxury” brands. The product that is one step down from what their idol Achiever is wearing.

But its not limited to business people – this group could be emulating top musicians, sports stars or actors too. This group suffers from low self esteem and needs peer approval. They will spend whatever money they have on anything that will make them look like their ideal: “successful”.

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Image: M:93

What resonates?

Anything that can make them look like an achiever, successful and appeal to their peers or the opposite sex.

What alienates?

Telling them they’re fine the way they are, to settle and that this will make them normal.

Socially Conscious Type A – 25% of the population:

Thier main focus is the effect their actions will have on the world. They’re environmentally concerned, they recycle, have solar power and their car will be at the least economical and practical – if not solar. They feel no need to belong, but are conscious for the community as a whole and want to make a difference. Education is paramount and most are highly educated with one or two university degrees. They like to help the homeless and the poor, the socially disadvantaged.

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Image: Windel Oskay

What resonates?

This profile has seen the most growth in recent years. Your product or service must make a difference to either society or the environment. Educated and savvy Socially Concious type A will Google your product or service and do the research. They spot fake environmentalism and social conscience in a second. They will need physical proof and tar industries with the same brush – so you’ll need to be totally transparent to win them over.

What alienates?

Simply show the power and money your organisation makes – ignore Kyoto initiatives and carbon offsetting. Better yet – pollute waters around baby seal colonies.

Socially Conscious Type B – 7% of the population:

All of the Socially Conscious Type A characteristics apply here – but type B believes that there is no hope for humanity as a whole. They have rationalised that they can only change things for s small group. You’ll find them in Ecovillages, communes and on islands.

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Image: Tom Chance

What resonates?

Very little will reach this group as they are recluse and consume very little media or internet.

Anyone who is fighting against “the Man”.

What alienates?

“The Man”

Balanced / Totally integrated 1 to 2%of the population:

A mixture of the Achiever and Socially Conscious types, these few get ahead by thinking about others and the world we live in.  Their subconscious mantra might well be Harry S Trumans quote:

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”.

Their definition of good project may very well list like the successes of Truman.

Yvon Chouinard – CEO of Patagonia is the perfect example of this profile.

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Image: Sam Beebe

What resonates?

Benefitting mankind as a whole and doing it in a way that sustains momentum (a profit to keep building their business ethically).

What alienates?

Much like their Type A counterparts they will spot anything but ultra transparency and fakes with ease and hate it.

Needs driven 15% of the population:

Either on benefits or in and around the minimum wage this group are socially reliant and can’t afford to save money. They spend when they have it and beyond. Their mode is survival. Yet curiously they will buy from the local store in the moment rather than take the bus to a large retailer where they could get it cheaper.

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Image: Shawn Leishman

What resonates?

I think I have just discovered my inner Socially Conscious Type A as I find it hard to justify targeting this group. Those aiming to sell not help this market should use urgency and how your product will make them look rich and be happy now. Use fear. Impulse buying on infomercials and once in a lifetime offers are the key. Reinforce their low self esteem and how your product will change that.

What alienates?

Price. And any type of reminder that they are struggling.

What other brands do your fans follow? This will indicate their psychographic profile.

Leveraging these profiles are a great step to creating buyer personas that resonate further. Of course there will be those who fit within these groups well and many who are a mixture of two or more profiles.

Look at other brands your fans like on Facebook and you will validate your psychographic assumptions.

  • BMW, Armani,  and Mens Fitness – you have got a tribe of Emulators
  • Patagonia, Zopa, Toms Shoes and Tesla – You may well have a tribe of Socially Conscious Type A
  • NASCAR, Budweiser, and ESPN – Sounds like a Belongers tribe.

I challenge you to explore creating content that appeals to one or two of these markets. Test how your product or service would sit with each of the profiles. More and more Generation Y and Z are aligning with Socially Conscious Type A each day so pay particular attention to this crowd.

Get technical and create multiple variants. Do some A/B testing of your landing pages and switch out your imagery and creatives on social media. This might reveal the true nature of your target audience and which half of your marketing is useless.

What change will you be making to your messaging and marketing online with these in mind?

Getting personal with Buyer Personas

Big data and understanding customer sentiment has been a buzzword for the last few years. Garnering insights and adapting your proposition to suit has been taken to a new levels as we learn to crunch big data sets.

Conversely, running qualitative surveys with clients (enough to be statistically valid) can give valuable, actionable insights.

The trick is conveying these insights in a format that is accessible across the organisation.
Buyer personas are a fantastic tool for combining these qualitative insights, social data, CRM records and basic demographics, into a high level summary.

Having a clear idea of your average customer, you can then move on to the best ways to align your product or service to them.

Typically they will define

  1. Priorities
  2. Success and what it looks like to them
  3. Barriers or things stopping them going with your solution or product
  4. Buying process
  5. Decision criteria.

These personas can then be put to great use when working on marketing user stories and creating solutions to their pain points. They’re fantastic for defining content marketing themes and priorities, allocating expenditure on marketing content and the focus across paid, earned and owned media.

They can also help product owners prioritise backlogs and support their prioritisation – when confronting conflicting interests with internal stakeholders.

In fact, the Buyer Persona Institute (yes it even has it’s own movement) marks – internal preconceptions and guesstimates of what the typical client is – as the biggest hinderance to creating successful buyer personas. Basing the personas on concrete factual input from actual client surveys and interviews is key.

For those daunted by the task of creating these very user centric profiles and negotiating internal stakeholders, remember – we do it every day. I noted on Sunday that we all subconsciously create immensely detailed buyer personas. When we make new friends, go on dates or get to know new colleagues, banking what makes them tick and the best approach to resonate.

Social CRM
Moving beyond the buyer persona, I can’t help but feel that social CRM will allow us to have highly detailed buyer profiles. Not just personas, but detailed dashboards of each buyer or customers interaction with our brand, their sentiment for our industry and peripheral products on social networks and even their purchases, buying habits and triggers.

At a macro level – aggregating these could provide a realtime singular buyer persona or multiple profiles. A daily dashboard to drive strategy and the direction of the company.

At a micro level – the trick will be up-skilling as an organisation to know how best to use this data. Finding the balance with your customers between stalky big brother-ish and delighting interactions and touch points.