How to get to know your target customer well enough to move them to action and get results
Marketing in the digital age is about more than relaying a message. It’s about finding new ways to engage your target audience and interact with them in a meaningful way. Successful engagement leads to customers taking action — the crucial next step in converting a B2B prospect to a lead or closing a sale.
Here are three tactics to employ, which greatly improve the odds of effectively captivating your audience and moving them to action:
Know your target audience, inside and out
Creating an in-depth profile of your target customer is critically important, both to eliminate those individuals or businesses less likely to purchase your product and to enhance the cost-effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
What you need to know:
- Demographics. Who are your ideal customers? What’s their gender, age, profession, annual income, etc.?
- Psychographics. How does your target audience think? What are their core values and beliefs? What do they like and what do they dislike?
- Behavioral. How do your ideal customers act? In what ways do they consume information (online, print, etc.)? What are the websites or publications they use most often?
“When you really understand who you’re talking to, you can ensure that all your communications are on-message and sent using the right channels and media,” notes digital marketing expert Tobi Asehinde. “Using the intelligence you have gained in the right way ensures that your marketing budget has the most impact, and is much more likely to lead to high value sales, and loyal repeat customers.”
Get their attention and give them a reason “why”
Identifying and understanding your target audience is the necessary first step. Before anything else can happen, you must first get the customer’s attention. With the plethora of media assaulting the typical consumer — digital, print, video, etc. — simply getting them to hear your message is a considerable challenge.
Regardless of the type of content you offer or the venue (i.e., online or a face-to-face presentation), you need to hook the audience at the very beginning. According to former news anchor Karen Friedman, this means including at least one of the following attention-grabbing elements:
- A compelling storyline
- A typical example
- An impressive statistic
- An opening statement that makes people think, “I want to learn more”
- A thought-provoking question
- A metaphor that’s easy for people to visualize
- Getting right to the point
Remember, your goal is to engage customers, not to rattle on about the greatness of your brand. You’ll get a customer’s attention by conveying outright what’s in it for them, how your product or service can improve the quality of their lives and the “why” behind your offering. Why is your business compelled to make this product? Why should the target audience want to learn more?
By successfully framing your message around what people care about, you evoke an emotional response tied to their fundamental motivation to believe. This in turn increases their willingness to “hear you out” (as opposed to clicking on another website) and helps to cement the foundation of a long-term relationship.
Use the marketing cloud
Today’s customers rely increasingly on social media and other online resources to facilitate their decision-making process. Prior to making a purchase, they consume information about a product or service through search engines, social media platforms, blogs, digital ads, etc. This complicates the goal of reaching your target audience since there’s so much “ground” to cover.
As a result, major brands and B2B marketers are looking more closely at technology that takes some of the mystery out of the equation. The marketing cloud helps in this quest, says Omar Akhtar, senior editor for The Hub, by “automating their marketing across different channels, engaging customers on social [media], and using analytics to be more efficient in their targeting.”
Use the marketing cloud to:
- Publish and promote content across a variety of channels
- Automatically update website content (for product updates, promotions, etc.)
- Listen in on social media platforms and engage in customer conversations
- Build customer profiles and evaluate the success (or lack thereof) of your marketing campaigns
Like any other marketing initiative, cloud marketing aims to persuade people or companies to buy your product. It simply offers a more flexible, efficient and collaborative way to go about it.
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