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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Know Your Customer to Bulletproof Your Marketing Strategy by Fernanda Almada * [35]


Working in today’s digital marketing landscape has become increasingly challenging. The markets are crowded, and changes are happening in an extremely fast pace. As marketers, we know that it is necessary to find a way to learn and adapt quickly. Otherwise, we will fail as professionals or as businesses. However, there is one key component of any marketing strategy that is bulletproof: your customer.

It may seem obvious, but the truth is that the current times require a much higher-level understanding of who your customers are, and what are their needs, wants, and desires. And this goes way beyond demographics. It is essential to dive deep into their biggest dreams and fears so you can develop an effective marketing strategy that speaks to these very specific pain points and transformation goals.

When you have this level of comprehension around your customers, you will be able to craft the best offers that will turn them into raving fans and will make them stick around for much longer. That is when the magic happens: highly satisfied customers who are willing to buy repeatedly from you and advocate for your brand and business. This is when you will see an increase in your customer lifetime value and will be able to accomplish continued revenue growth.

Targeting Strategy

Before you start working on the real understanding of your customers, it is essential to take a step back and define who these dream customers are, which target markets you should go after, and assess this decision before moving forward. Some of the key factors to consider are the size of the segment (is it large enough to be profitable?), the competition it faces (how strong are your competitors?), and its alignment with your business’ overall goals (is targeting this segment compatible with your long-term goals?).

When you analyze different marketing campaigns from companies such as LinkedIn, Hulu, and Clorox, it is clear that they target different market segments and may have various lines of businesses to cater to them. LinkedIn, for instance, the world’s largest professional network, runs ads directed both at job seekers and advertisers.

Hulu also targets advertisers in addition to subscribers. And if you are wondering if Clorox only targets women in their marketing campaigns, that is not the case. Headlines such as “Cleans & kills germs: Helps build business” show that their strategy and creativity go further than traditional segments and that they also cater to business owners.

Booking.com is another great example of company with unique ad campaigns running simultaneously but targeting distinct audiences. Besides travelers (“Book the perfect stay with peace of mind”), they also promote their services to hotel professionals (“Attract summer bookings”) and business professionals (“All your company’s travel in one place”).

Standing Out from Competitors

The origin of these powerful headlines is in the company’s value proposition. Many marketers underestimate the importance of crafting a well-written value proposition, skipping this important step that dictates the entire marketing strategy. The combination of what your customer wants and what you are able to offer like no other business is what will help you create outstanding marketing strategies to propel your growth.

Strong taglines such as Amazon’s “Spend less. Smile more.” or Gillette’s “The best a man can get.” translate these companies’ value proposition in an attractive way and reinforce the reason why their dream customers should buy from them, and not from the competition.  

The same happens with the creation of marketing campaigns. The high-level understanding of your customer will come into play at the execution phase as well, with the development of variations of ad creative and copy that translate both the company’s positioning and the fulfilment of the client’s desires.

By highlighting benefits (instead of features), showing the removal of problems, elevating power-status, or providing sensory gratification, marketers create opportunities to continuously drive customers that are interested in each offer.

As Philip Kotler says, “Good marketing is no accident. It is both an art and a science”. And it does take a lot of testing and optimizing to create winning strategies. And if something doesn’t seem right, it is probably time to revisit the initial definition of what your company is and who your dream clients really are before going back to the drawing board of your ad campaigns.

Sources:

- Consumer Behavior, Leon Schiffman & Joe Wisenblit, 12th edition, 2019.

- A Framework for Marketing Management, Philip Kotler & Kevin Lane Keller, 6th edition, 2016.

-  Facebook Ad Library

* Fernanda Almada is a digital marketing strategist with 15 years of professional experience. She currently works as a marketing project manager at a digital marketing agency in South Florida in addition to managing her own online business. Fernanda has an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Nova Southeastern University and can be found on Instagram @fernanda.almada.

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