Know Your Customers: Why It Is Important and How to Do This

The easiest way to fail with your product is to believe it’s so amazing most customers won’t resist getting it. But things never work like this. To amaze your customers, you need to learn the specific part of the audience that might get actually interested in your offering.

In this piece, we’ll cover why and how to do it right.

Why It Is Important to Know Your Customers

First of all, let us explain why outlining customer portraits is a crucial thing to do. So, just imagine: there is a product you are going to develop and promote, but you have no idea who your customers are. You don’t even know if there is a market need for your product!

In this case, you will have to market the product blindly, and this “strategy” will take a lot of time, efforts, and money. What is worse, it will bring you no benefits. But having portraits of your customers will give you an understanding of the market and a lot of opportunities! Here are the most important of them:

Choosing Right Media Channels

Instead of trying to cover all the existing social networks and media websites, you will be able to focus only on those ones which your customers prefer. Let’s say, you are going to develop an application which will remind its users to take their medications on time and found out that your audience mostly consists of elderly people.

To succeed, it would be great to analyze the media channels, discover which of them elderly people use the most, and concentrate exactly on them.

Apart from being an efficient marketing strategy, narrowing the list of the channels down is great for your budget. That’s simple maths — the fewer channels you cover, the less money you spend on advertising.

Creating Specific Messages

When you know who your customers are and what they need, you can create your marketing messages more precisely. The message itself will include only that information which is important to your target audience, so your marketing campaign will be more effective.

Coming back to the example with a pill reminder app, you won’t have to mention every single application feature in your message. Let’s imagine that the research showed that your product can attract several age groups. For elderly users (for instance, over 65), it will be enough to say that, for example, this app reminds to take medications and to restock them when it is necessary, has a very simple design, and, probably, offers discounts at certain drug stores.

When it comes to younger users, you can emphasize that your app is going to be compatible with smartwatches, and this fact will be important to them. The thing is that smartwatches are not very popular among people aged over 55, while the younger audience uses them a lot.

Apart from this, knowing your audience allows you to use the right language in your messages. Can you imagine marketing a pill reminder app using teenager slang? That would be a disaster, as some of your customers won’t even understand what you are talking about. They will miss the value of your product and prefer your competitor’s app.

Developing the Most Efficient Monetization Strategy

Even the most useful app can fail in case you simply put a high price without knowing your customers’ willingness to pay for it! However, creating a customer portrait can help — it usually implies identifying the employment status, level of income, and purchasing ability. In this way, after analyzing your target audience, you and your team will be able to choose the most suitable monetization strategy.

Let’s suppose that you are working on an app for tracking company expenses. You conduct a research and find out that your audience mostly consists of businessmen with an upper middle income. This means that you can consider making your product paid instead of simply displaying ads within an app. By the way, here we have a short guide on how to define the users’ willingness to pay.

Defining the Right Time to Promote Your Product

Sometimes it is not enough to know how to promote your product and what media channels to use — it is also essential to know the right time to launch the campaign. A pill reminder app is something users need all year round, but if your product is, for instance, an app for capturing lectures, it may be useful to start the marketing campaign before a student semester begins. That’s why it is crucial to know your customers — this knowledge will help you to decide when is the right time to reach your audience.

How to Create a Customer Portrait

So, you already know why identifying target audience plays such a significant role in your product strategy. Now it is time to tell you how to create a customer portrait in the right way. Take a look at our step-by-step guide:

1. Define the customers’ problem

Obviously, the first thing to do here is to define what problems your product solves. For example, you develop a food delivery app which covers the biggest cities in your country — then the “problem” it solves is helping users to get cooked food quickly and without any issues.

2. Divide the customers into groups

After you are done with finding out the problem, think what types of customers face it. For example, in the case of a food delivery app, it is possible to divide the audience (living in the covered cities) into the following groups:

  • Students and young adults — because of classes and social life, customers of this category often have no time on cooking
  • Hard workers — just like the previous category, these people are too busy to cook. But they still need to eat, and your app can help a lot
  • Parents — ordering a food via an app can be a great help for people who work and take care of their kids at the same time

3. Create a portrait of each group

Here are the things you may need to find out about each group of your potential customers:

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Location
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Religion
  • Average income
  • Spending habits
  • Political views
  • Ethnicity
  • Physical characteristics

This list is pretty long, but this doesn’t mean that you will have to discover all these details. Some of them won’t be important to you at all! Taking a food delivery application as an example, customers’ location will matter, as this app covers only certain cities in your country. In turn, hobbies won’t play a crucial role here — regardless of hobbies, any person needs to eat.

4. Find out what is the most important to each group

To understand your customer groups even better, find out what is most important to them. For example, in case of a food delivery app, students and young adults may take low delivery prices as one of the most significant factors, while parents may appreciate an app covering not only fast food restaurants, but also places which offer something healthy.

5. Discover how to reach your groups

There are more than enough media channels which you can use to reach the groups, but you have to choose carefully. Find out what channels each of your groups prefers, and focus on them. We highly recommend you to pay extra attention to this step — it helps to develop the most efficient marketing campaign and saves budget from unnecessary expenses. We talked about this at the beginning of the article, remember?

6. Define the most suitable ways of promotion

After you found out what media channels to use, think about how to attract attention of your customers. What would your audience prefer? Images? Videos? GIFs? Text messages? Blog posts? For example, students and young adults may prefer Instagram posts.

Another useful thing to do is to understand what is unacceptable to your customers. Let’s say, pop-up ads are effective in specific situations, but for elderly people they can be extremely irritating — some of them may not know how to close such an ad. Thus, pop-up ads won’t be an efficient way of promotion in this case.

Besides, think about diverse interesting things which can engage users. For instance, what’s about discounts or giveaways? Discover what types of promotion are the most suitable for each particular group and use them to make your product more popular.

Creating customer portraits is not a task you can complete within a couple of hours — there are a lot of details to discover and surveys to conduct, so this process requires some time. But the result is worth all the efforts! Apart from this, you already have our guide on identifying your target audience, so just follow it and be patient!

12 Dec 2018
Anastasia Lushyna / Business Development Expert
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