Building an email list. Promoting your ecommerce store. Branding your B2B service company. Selling products on Amazon. Regardless of what you’re doing online, the foundation of your success will be in your ability to determine what your target customers want and how best to give it to them. Sound easy? From my experience, this is one of the biggest hurdles companies face, which means most are taking a stab in the dark and simply guessing about their customers. And that’s a real shame that could be costing them dearly.
Think about it this way: I walk up to you and ask you to do me a favor. I’d like you to buy a birthday gift for my dear friend, Cathy. You agree to help and start asking questions such as:
• How old is she?
• What does she like? Clothes, knickknacks, jewelry, home goods, techy gadgets?
• What size does she wear?
• What colors are in her house?
• What does she do for a living?
• What are her hobbies?
And a host of other questions, to which I respond, “She’s your average woman of average age that likes the kinds of things most women like. Thanks for your help! I can’t wait to see what you pick out for her.”
This wouldn’t necessarily be an impossible task. You could purchase rather generic gifts that would be suitable to any woman and require no knowledge of the person whatsoever, such as picture frames. And yes, that would accomplish the goal of buying a gift, but it would likely get so-so results.
When my friend opens the package and sees an ordinary brown wooden picture frame, she’ll be appreciative, but will also likely be a little disappointed. The gift, after all, wouldn’t be very personal.
This is what happens when marketing of any type (copywriting, content funnels, lead generation, conversion optimization, email campaigns, social media, etc.) is performed with little to no knowledge of your target audience. Yes, you may accomplish the task and even get somewhat decent results, but you will not hit it out of the ballpark because your marketing communication doesn’t strike a personal nerve.
Unlock Your Target Customers With Graphics
No … not those kinds of graphics 😉 I’m referring to demographics, geographics and psychographics. These make for a great first level of your target audience profile.
Demographics are the hard and cold facts of your target customers. These are things like race, sex, age, income and how many children they have. These elements of data can come into play when you’re trying to analyze the basics of who your target customers are.
The second “graphic” to keep in mind is geographics. You might be a local company and limited in your reach. Let’s say you are a local landscaper. You don’t want to attract customers from Washington State if you are located in New Jersey. There is no way you could service those customers in Washington State when you’re on the opposite side of the country.
In addition, if you’re talking about search engine optimized website copy, geographics will come into play when you select your keywords and do keyword research. It’s also relevant when writing your copy.
Most of this type of data can be found in your customer databases, sales records and Google Analytics reports.
Go Psycho About Your Customers
Once you have a basic profile, it’s time to delve deeper into the types of people you have as customers. That means using psychographics. This is the behavioral aspect of your target customers that involves searching for motivations and behavioral clues. Why do they do what they do? What are they thinking when they do what they do? What makes them want to purchase something? What triggers them to think they have a need for your product or service?
Usually, this type of information is compiled over time and is observed rather than reported. Customer service agents, salespeople, social media managers and anyone else who is on the front lines interacting with customers is a great candidate to collect these details. You don’t need the customers’ names or direct contact information, just a record of what they think, like, don’t like and want.
Other Questions to Answer
In addition to the questions we’ve addressed so far, think about the following:
• What is their most pressing problem or desire related to your products or services?
• What other choices do they have available (competitors, “homemade” alternatives, the option not to buy after all, etc.) for solving their problem or desire?
• Where do they get their information? (Magazines, online, friends, social media?)
• What causes them to trust a company?
• What brings out their suspicious side?
• Why would they want to buy from you instead of all the other choices?
• Why have customers decided not to buy from or hire you?
Flushing out your overall target audience profile is a never-ending process because customers are constantly evolving. Starting today with these basics and consistently updating the information as your company grows is a vital part of boosting your marketing results.
Want a few cleverly compiled worksheets to help you nail down who you’re communicating with so you can do it better? My Copywriting Cheat Sheets are a great place to start! Not only do they help you collect target audience data, they also give you a leg up when using that information to create content. Order by midnight on June 28, 2015, and save 34% when you use coupon code CCS34 (no spaces).
Please share this post with your friends.
I've had my fair share of conversations with ecommerce site owners. The two issues that seem to always come up during the course of our discussions are search engine optimization (SEO) and sales. Frankly, some get it and some just don't. Truthfully, most of what you read online regarding SEO and conversions is outdated misinformation that has simply been repeated (inaccurately most of the time) from someone else. There are precious few actual authorities that you should follow. This is one reason so many ecommerce sites have a hard-fought battle when it comes to getting rankings and … [Read More...]
Looks like Amazon has been tinkering with its page layout. In a few, select categories, the page design is drastically different. See what's change and where. … [Read More...]
Looking for the best articles pertaining to conversions, Amazon FBA, copywriting, SEO and more? This is what I've been reading lately. See if these articles help you as much as they've helped me. Enjoy! Selling On Amazon 6 Tips For Winning The Amazon Buy Box (Free ebook) (Channel Advisor) 7 Ways To Get Kicked Off Amazon (Webinar Replay) (Channel Advisor) Conversions 6 Actionable Ideas for High-Converting Videos (Site Tuners) The LIFT Model: Use These 6 Factors To Increase Your Conversion Rate (Wider Funnel) Ecommerce What Google’s Entrance Into M-Commerce Means For … [Read More...]
May 20, 2015 By Karon Thackston
What gets people's interest? I've been reading Sally Hogshead's book "Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation" and it has been very enlightening. What gets (and keeps) people's attention is fascination. Sally walks through 7 forms of fascination that intrigue individuals for one reason or another. One of the 7 is mystique. Typically, mystique is formed when something is withheld. It's the anticipation, the wonder or curiosity that drives humans positively nuts and gives them tunnel vision when it comes to finding the missing piece of the puzzle. Let me give you some … [Read More...]
Amazon recently announced it will be closing its ecommerce platform: Amazon Webstore. Existing users have been given until July 2016 to close up their shops and find somewhere else to go. That's sent countless Amazon sellers into a panic wondering what to do next. I had an occasion to talk with the good folks at Shopify and - during our conversation - asked if they felt their solution would be a good replacement for an Amazon Webstore. They replied with a resounding, "YES!" Welcome Gillian Massel of Shopify to the Marketing Words Blog. I'll turn it over to her to explain what Shopify has … [Read More...]
Anytime you bring something new to the marketplace, a good bit of educating is required. Whether it's a completely new development or you've built a better mousetrap, as FINsix did, clarity is the key to conversions, as you're about to see. Want one of your web pages to be reviewed? Subscribers of the Marketing Words Newsletter are eligible to enter the monthly drawing and have your page evaluated by our team of pros. Comments from Kurt Scholle of WebsiteSuccessCourse.com Wow! Pretty nice site! I love the simplicity, navigation and colors. The design supports a tech product and is … [Read More...]
Looking for the best articles pertaining to conversions, Amazon FBA, copywriting, SEO and more? This is what I've been reading lately. See if these articles help you as much as they've helped me. Enjoy! SEO Is Your WordPress Website Ready For Google’s Next Update? (Marketing Words) 3 Ninja Ways To Boost Your Category Page SEO (Get Elastic) Ecomm How to Help Your Clients Get Results with Email Marketing (Shopify) 4 Ways to Use Social Proof on an Ecommerce Site (Practical Ecommerce) Amazon Amazon Crack Down: 5 Things That Could Get Your Products De-Listed (Marketing … [Read More...]
We've talked a lot on the Marketing Words Blog about writing short copy like Facebook posts & ads, AdWords ads, tweets, etc. But, unless you know how to navigate the backend of the system you're using, it's hard to get good results. My guest today - Stacey Myers - will walk you through the basics of how to run a Facebook ad to build your list. Enjoy! Here we are at doable 23 of the 'Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables' Blog Tour. Yesterday we talked about commenting on blogs as a list building strategy. It is well worth a read if you haven't done so … [Read More...]
If you're an FBA seller, chances are good that your discussions have turned to the fee increase that Amazon announced several weeks ago. In an online document entitled U.S. Fulfillment by Amazon Fee Changes 2015, Amazon rolled out its updates for various fees for 2015. You'll see that the fees are grouped according to: • Fulfillment • Weight-based • Monthly inventory storage • Long-term storage Every category is being hit with higher rates in one form or fashion. Many people are particularly concerned about the impact on higher-priced, physically heavy products because they are … [Read More...]
Marketing Words provides copy and content designed to boost conversions, search rankings and sales. We don't handle design issues. So why do I have a guest post from a design expert on my blog? Because Google's mobile update is serious business that could potentially cause a lot of websites some very unexpected problems as of April 21st. I've asked web design pro, Cindy Bidar of Digital Business Managers, to give us a layman's explanation of the update and how it could impact WordPress websites specifically. Please keep in mind that this is not a penalty. It is an algorithm change that … [Read More...]