Marketing can be simply defined as the ways you influence customers to buy from you. And to influence effectively, you should understand your customers. Knowing your customers will help you communicate with them in meaningful ways and choose media channels they will actually see.
Here are checklists of the kinds of demographic and characteristic knowledge you should have about your customers.
Customer Demographic Checklist
Understanding facts and figures about your customers is the first step to designing marketing campaigns that will appeal to them. You should know:
- Size of your target market
- Your current share of this market
- Geography – where your customers live and work
- Percentage of your customers who are men vs. women
- Percentage of your customers at various ages/stages of their lives
- Which media channels they find most compelling, i.e., radio, Facebook, Yelp, magazines, etc.
Customer Characteristic Checklist
Demographics are only the start, though. They can help you choose where to place your messages, and give some guidance on where to start with message development. For instance, a Boomer woman near retirement will generally require a different marketing approach from a Millennial man who just started a business.
To truly influence and persuade customers, you need a knowledge of their personalities, preferences and characteristics. Things like:
- How do products/services like yours affect their lives?
- What do they love about your industry?
- What do they hate?
- When do they make purchasing decisions?
- How much research do customers complete before they buy?
- What makes you special to your customers and differentiates you from competition
- Who is your indirect competition? What different products/services might a customer buy instead of yours?
If you know less than half of the items on my checklists, your marketing strategy needs more research! Start talking to customers, and let them tell you how to persuade them.