You’ve got a great idea, you’ve set up your business and started reaching out to your target audience. You’ve had a number of inquiries and interest and converted a couple, but its just not getting off the ground and its making slow progress.
First of all, do you really have a great product - have you researched and refined to ensure it has a place in the market and a need, is it different from anything else out there and why? Is it priced and pitched perfectly to your audience? Most businesses fail because they either haven’t done this well enough or they fall into cashflow problems, so make sure you are continuously asking these questions about your product or service.
Next up is your audience, your target audience needs to become your best friend (even better if it is your best friend!) you need to know them inside out, its no good saying its men and women aged 20-65 and living in the UK, that’s not enough to know them. You need to research them, ask these questions and start to build a persona:
You should do some field research too if you can which you could do through your own personal or professional network if you can’t employ an agency. You can use simple Survey Monkey creation tools to build your research or run focus groups. Either way put preparation time into what you want to achieve from the research and design your study questions accordingly, and remember if you are doing it yourself its impossible to get a large data set so you will have to take the results on face value not relying too heavily on the results. For instance on a basic level, if you ask 5 people if they like the colour pink and 4 say yes its a very different result to asking a 100 and 60 say yes –would you base the whole of your next marketing campaign around pink?
Knowing your target audience gets us to the point of this blog post, their journey. This quite simply is the journey or process they go on to buy from you.
The traditional consumer journey worked like a funnel, attracting from a large pool and then building a familiarity with the potential customer allowing them to choose the brand they have most affinity with and then purchase, and repeat purchase if they are satisfied.
Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company
Things changed when retail went online and now we have seen a shift in the journey as customers are more informed, researching and reviewing from one place to the next and in one place to another, checking reviews and then prices on their laptop and then on their phone. Brands need to know where their customer is and what they will look at, and be in all of these places at once – much harder to achieve!
Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company
You need to now understand that your customer wants a 2 way conversation, that you need to learn every step of the purchase process and what barriers will stop them from converting and what they are looking for, a high percentage of abandoned carts is a lot down to the fact that people get all the way to entering their card details and then, ‘oh let’s just double-check the price on google’. If you do win the sale, your process doesn’t end there it just starts a new stage, after-care and loyalty plus brand advocacy kicks in.
Profiling the identity and personalising your messaging is all about understanding where your customer is within your process and addressing their needs and barriers at this point with exactly the right answer and messaging.
So consider the emotional and rational barriers people face making the decision to hire you or buy your products then map out when they will have these questions and how they will solve them, where they will look to seek answers. Then look internally at how you can solve these with the benefits of your product and incentivise them to continue their purchase with you. Do all this planning before you do any advertising to ensure that you are creating much more effective, targeted ads and you will see a better ROI.
If you want any help mapping your consumer journey or building effective digital marketing campaigns get in touch for a free consultation here.