Everyone knows “who” their customers are. If you’re a business owner, you know a lot about the person who’s going to buy from you. Maybe they’re plant managers or maybe they’re women aged 25-39. You probably know what your ideal customer’s budget or income is, what they do for a living or how old they are.
But demographics are only one piece of the puzzle. You need to understand more about your customers to effectively sell to them, especially if you’re selling to them online (say through a website, paid search campaign, etc.) Let’s go through three other facets of your target audience that are just as important as their physical characteristics.
1. Is your customer ready to buy?
When a customer finds your website, your social media page or your online ad, they might already be looking for your services. The key here is might be. Depending on how ready to make a purchase they are when they see you determines how you should sell to them. Maybe they’re shopping, or maybe they’re just looking for information. Maybe they want to buy right now. The good news is that you have a little control over their place in this process. That’s because the process is largely determined by your industry.
Say you’re a realtor. Buying or selling a house can be overwhelming and confusing. A lot of money and the customer’s sanity are at stake. If someone wants to sell a house, they may start looking up real estate listings two years before they’re ready for your services. If you bombard this poor couple with aggressive ads and long online forms, they’re going to keep looking. And you’ve probably scared them. Good job.
So how should you sell to them online? Provide valuable information, demonstrate your expertise in the market and offer to keep in touch. Check in over email or phone once in a while with helpful information. Build a relationship, and when they’re ready, they’ll buy from you.
If you’re a realtor and you specialize in 1st time home sellers, knowing that your audience is at the beginning of the buying process when they are looking for you online can help you close sales from online leads.
2. Are they Internet Savvy?
This is an easy one to forget, so you get a pass if you haven’t taken it into account yet. Is your customer tech-savvy? Almost everyone that buys things also uses the internet, but that doesn’t mean they buy the same way. Some customers would rather look for a phone number and call than put their information in a form or read pages of information. Some want a simple point-and-click online shopping cart.
You can often get a general sense of your customers’ online proficiency off the demographics you already know. As a whole, younger people tend to be more internet-friendly than the rest of us. They search for products differently. If you’re selling stylish sunglasses to 18-24 year olds, your tweets better be funny, your website better be beautiful and you better give your customer a flawless user experience. Young, internet-friendly consumers appreciate online design, especially interactive design. But they also have short attention spans. If your site takes more than 5 seconds to load, or they click on a button and nothing happens, they will quickly move on to your competitors.
If you’re a sunglasses retailer, you know that Millennials, aged 18-24, are your target audience. With some research and analysis, you can tailor their online experience to convert your audience from visitors into buyers.
3. What’s in it for Them?
Are you telling your audience what you want to hear about your company and services, or what they want to hear? Too many businesses use their websites and online ads to brag about themselves. They spout off numbers of awards they’ve won or years they’ve been in business. But anyone can say they’re best. Does that make them the best for you, the customer? Not always.
Speak to your online audience in terms of how they will benefit. Instead of bragging about your company, brag about how your product can make their lives better and easier. This is the easiest factor to capitalize on, because regardless of demographics, we all want the same thing: To save time, money and headaches. If your services do one of those things for your customers, that’s what you should focus on. It’s great that your company won “Toughest Trampoline of 2014”, but tell your customers that if they buy your trampoline, they won’t have to worry about double bounces turning into replacement costs. You just saved them money and a hassle. That’s a lot more convincing than a shelf full of trophies.
If you’re an award-winning trampoline manufacturer, target your demographic of parents of young children by offering to make their lives less stressful, instead of applauding your own professional accomplishments.
Of course this doesn’t include every single factor that controls whether your audience will buy from you. But hopefully, this will help you understand and market to your target customers more effectively. If you want to talk about how you can apply this to your specific business, we’d love to chat. Head over here and we can set you up with a fast, free marketing consultation.
Anne LaPlante is a copywriter at Catapult Creative Media. A graduate of LSU with a degree in advertising, she spends most of her free time posting pictures of her dogs and cats to Instagram.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.