Four steps to engaging more of the right customer
In a world where we expect everything to be personalised, why do we still expect one type of message to work for all our customers? Hannah of Hoyland Marketing gives us some advice.
One message does NOT fit all
Communicating with customers on one platform, with one message, is lazy. It’s broadcasting, not conversing. It’s the equivalent of talking at someone even when it’s clear they are not interested. We all know sales people like that: we walk away, hang up or delete their emails!
How to create the right messages for the right customers
People have different views and values. Sounds obvious doesn’t it but it’s easy to forget? The differences between the X and Y generations are well documented but let’s take a very specific language example. That thing we make a call on that isn’t a landline is known as a mobile phone, or just a mobile, for some of us. For others, it’s simply a phone. In their lifetime, there will never have been one telephone in the hall that everyone uses. Everyone will have their own phones, their mobiles. Either way, if both sets of customers are valuable to your business, it’s likely you’ll need to engage them in different ways. So, how do you do it?
- Identify the different types of customers in your market
- Create characters for each one: where they are, what they do, what interests them, what they need, when they are ready to buy, etc.
- Work out which are more valuable to your business and how regularly they might buy from you.
- Focus on these and create communications based on their interests, how they like to hear about products and services, where they like to hear about them and in what style.
Minimum effort for maximum return
If you are not familiar with this exercise it may feel a bit like stereotyping. But, customer segmentation is an extremely powerful strategy that ensures you are focusing your marketing efforts in the right place. Take retail for example: a young, local customer, digital savvy customer with a low monthly income spending on regular basis is very valuable. A good digital strategy can make them an advocate of your brand. If they like you and are regularly buying from you, they will be part of a community who share similar values and interests who will also become your fans. On the other hand, customers who once purchased from you and have not engaged with any communication you have sent them do not require as much focus as they are less likely to visit the shop or website again.
Even the Government is at it!
You could even argue that the recent cabinet reshuffle is a type of customer segmentation. In order for there to be any hope of the electorate relating to the cabinet it had to be more representative of the country. The result was eight women and five members from ethnic communities. Not perfect, but more aligned to the electorate (the customer) than it was before. We can imagine that Mrs May hopes her new cabinet will speak to us in the way we understand, in the places we visit (digital or otherwise) and about the issues that we think matter.