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Its My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want to….

The second post in our series of articles to get your business back stronger. Hopefully you have read our “rocky balboa” post and that has got your juices flowing to find out more.

In this post we are going to look at your customers and more specifically thinking about your digital presence and what it does for those customer and potential customers. In our opinion , too many business don’t approach their digital marketing with their customers in mind, their focus tends to be inward looking, thinking about what content, information and products and services they have – not thinking about the customer viewpoint.

So, we are going to take you to a swanky party and get you mingling. Dragging you away from the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and finding out about the other guests.

Standard practice , when getting a website developed is to think about “pages”; how many will I need? What products and services have I got? What hard copy materials do i have that i can use to develop the website?  What you should be thinking is “who are my customers and potential customers and what problems do they have that need solving?”

This is where we start to think about your customers types or “personas” and what type of journey they are on. 

Back to our swanky party. You are in a room full of people you potentially don’t know and they potentially don’t know you – some of them might, some of them you might know well and some of them may of heard of you but not really sure if they want to chat to you or not. Some of them might be Kevin Bacon (but that’s another story).

Lets take it up a notch, the party you are at is industry based, its people connected to the sports industry. Now that’s a pretty wide sector, in there you could have sports players, journalists, equipment suppliers, medical experts, agents, coaches, managers, amateurs, professionals etc, the list goes on. Some of the guests might be new to sports, some might have been around for a while and have a lot of experience. Each one of them will have a different angle on “sports” and be looking at it from a different perspective. 

Your website sits in a melee of information trying to attract , inform and engage a range of people, all looking at it from a different perspective. 

As you meet and greet, balancing a drink in one hand and a plate in the other, making conversation as you go, you are automatically finding out about guests and adjusting your social interactions accordingly.  Your website needs to do the same.

Lets roll back to the beginning – what is your website for? Make a list, maybe 3 or 4 things your website is for, lets call these objectives. Common things to achieve on a website could be;

  • Get an enquiry.
  • Ask someone to join a mailing list.
  • Provide information.
  • Get a sale.

One marketing approach is STP. Segmentation, targeting, positioning. At the sports soiree , you could be a tennis shoe supplier, you are at the party to find tennis players, their coaches, tennis shoe resellers and tennis clubs – you want to tell them about your tennis shoes and why they are different and how much they cost – how they will improve the game and provide an advantage.

The message might be slightly different for each guest…..

This should be your approach online. 

Who are we targeting?

What do they know about us?

What language will they use?

What are we trying to solve?

What do we want them to do?

How will they find us?

How do we differentiate?

On top of these questions we also want to explore what devices they will use, what time of day will they be looking for answers?

We should be building up a picture of our typical customer types and maybe some of their common qualities customer personas. Have a go here, using this tool from Hubspot.

We find another useful exercise once we have broken an audience into “types” is to look at the language they use – it might be worlds away from we are used to. If we go back to our cocktail party – tennis players will probably use different language to tennis coaches. One might be interested in weight, colour, styles, comfort the other might be interested in performance, mechanics, durability. There might even be conversations about the materials used, the way they are made, the thinking behind them  – their availability. 

Terminology may be an issue too – a simple search for tennis shoes in Google throws up 414,000 results and a myriad of alternatives and nuances – see below;

After segmenting your market up, makes sense to look at their language too – here is a handy tool from answer the public.

This is the beginning of the journey, thinking about customer types visiting your website and how you cater for them and provide answers to their questions. Don’t be insular, think about your customer language, needs, wants and how to satisfy them. Our next post will take a look at the customer journey.