Define Your Customer Properly and Grow Your Business More Effectively

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It’s 2022. We are post-pandemic, enthusiastic and hopeful about the future of business, and ready for an economic boom. Customers are spending more and more time online than ever before, and we as business owners and entrepreneurs have an opportunity to define our customer profiles in incredible detail, so we can serve them better, and let’s be honest, serve ourselves better too!

As a tech startup, we at Adbot spend a lot of time trying to unpack who our users are and who our potential audience could be, so we can refine our product offering to our users and craft campaigns that are carefully targeted toward them. This year alone, we spent over 150 hours on an exercise in getting to know our customers. From surveys asking them what they liked and didn’t like about Adbot; what they thought about us as a company; to data deep-dives, demographic segmentation, and psychographics exercises. 

Knowing your target audience and how to reach them is arguably one of the most important factors when creating a small to medium business marketing strategy. While targeting is important to all marketing, when it comes to small budgets, it is imperative. Identifying a target market allows you to focus on those most likely to purchase your product or use your service. This limits the population funnels research and budgets to the customers with the highest profit potential.

Many of us who work here at Adbot come from an advertising agency background, and one of the first questions we would always ask our potential and current clients when unpacking a brief is “Who is your target audience?” More often than not (especially with smaller clients or those clients who have not had marketing departments) the answer is “everyone”. Now, I know we all like to think that our product is for everyone. I once had a client at a top healthy breakfast food company tell me that their target audience is “Everyone, because everyone eats cereal.” And it sort of felt right. Only it can’t be. And it’s sort of missing the point of the exercise if you think that. Because understanding your target audience isn’t about excluding other people, it’s about focusing on the “most right” customer, so you spend your advertising budget more effectively. And if at the end of that you can tap into the buying habits and emotional need-states of your true customers – those that champion your product, and who buy it all the time because they fully believe in the ideas you are selling – you’ve won. 

We’ve taken our knowledge of breaking down your audience profile so you can develop your own customer profiles too.  

  • Leverage your demographics. Breaking up your customer base into narrow demographic criteria can help your business understand how to generate the most applicable and meaningful content for your audience. From here you can begin to work out what message will resonate with which audience segment. Things to look at:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Location
    • Income
    • Marital status
    • Occupation
    • Ethnicity
    • Income
  • Habits. Likes. Influence. These are called psychographics. Understanding your customer pain points is important. But understanding what your customers’ likes, habits, and what or who influences them is equally important. Everyone has a hobby. Do most of your customers play golf? Are they mostly active on social media? Do they follow similar people? Drill down into their habits and try to understand if there are patterns among types of customers that you can identify. Some points to consider when building up a customer psychographic:
    • Interests
    • Interests
    • Habits
    • Hobbies
    • Source of influence (traditional media; TikTok etc)
    • Lifestyle
    • Behaviours
    • Personality 
  • Identify real pain points. Now that you have narrowed your audience, you can start to contextualize your company within your average customer’s daily life. Start by considering the different reasons they might be interested in your product or service. This is also where you should consider the needs and potential problems of your audience that may prevent them from using your product or service. For us, we needed to understand what was truly difficult for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Our insights ranged from the fact that entrepreneurs are stretched for time, and simply don’t have the capacity to become experts in Google Advertising, or go through the entire setup to run Google Ads (it can take up to 75 hours a month if you do it properly, and if you don’t do it properly, you’ll be wasting precious ad spend). So we developed a product that solved this problem for them. Now anyone who uses Adbot can get on to Google Advertising in under ten minutes, at the fraction of the cost it would be for them to hire an advertising media agency to run and optimise those ads for them, and with better performance. Because we use machine learning and bots to optimize 24/7, rather than during working hours, we are able to improve performance without the startup ever having to do anything except sign up to Adbot and write a few ads. 
  • Find out where your audience is. When it comes to customer acquisition, it helps to know where you can find your ideal customers online. There may be standard channels to use across the board, but you can personalise the experience a lot more specifically to your target audience, once you know their online habits. Knowing when the best time to post is also just as critical as the platform you choose to market on. There are myriad online listening and search tools. You can dig around using keywords to find out where they are hanging out. An example of this is using Buzz Sumo; Hootsuite; Radian 6 or a similar tool to look at listening volumes for keywords. So if your brand sells baby pacifiers, for example, you can track where most people in South Africa are talking about baby pacifiers, and aim to become part of that community or create ads on the platform. Google’s keyword tool also helps you understand the search volumes of a specific keyword, which can help you identify what to talk about.
  • Categorise. Great, you’ve got all this rich data about your clients! Holy smokes, now what? Well, we’ve found that the simplest way to break down what it all means is to funnel people into different groups. We like to give our profiles real names, so they are seen by everyone in our business for what they are – humans with real faces and voices. So because our business audience is primarily small to medium-sized business owners, we gave each of them names, businesses, and personalities, as well as gave them interests, and habits and tried to understand what or who influences them. This allowed us to focus our online media spend more effectively, and develop annual advertising campaigns to reach them more effectively. 
  • Keep listening. As with all areas of marketing, it takes some trial and error to tailor your marketing collateral and approach to ensure successful conversions. Keep testing, listening, and learning. 

You don’t need to be a marketing expert to get great results. And remember, Adbot is designed to get the most clicks to your website for the least cost. Because Google is the largest search engine globally (with over 98% market share), Google is a no-brainer. Your audience is probably going to be there (unless they live under a rock), so using a tool like Adbot to automate your ads on Google will help your business win without you having to do anything. And using your new customer profiles, you’ll be able to figure out what sort of ads you need to write to capture the exact right people. 

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