Whenever I finish a blog and think of the next topic I always ask myself “can it be explained in one blog or will it need two”. This topic, my friends, requires two. To save confusion not to mention a lengthy blurb I will talk this week about personalisation through demographics and next week we will focus on personalisation using a customer’s profile. But just to whet your appetite in the meantime, what do I mean by customer demographics and customer profile?
Demographics are the characteristics of a group of customers that differentiates them from another, for example; age, sex, class and postcode. A customer’s profile determines what their motive for using your product might be and why, or in other words, what they want from your product e.g. the technical support aspect, the quality, the customer service, the loyalty scheme, the higher priced items or the budget end offerings. Don’t worry, that brief explanation is not meant to answer all your questions, I will come back to this next week.
Okay, back to demographics; have you ever wondered why you seemingly always get targeted with adverts online for things that interest you? Or you receive random mail at home from companies you’ve never bought from but the product is of interest? Or you visit a website and are recommended products which are right up your alley? This is all due to personalisation driven by your demographic and personal info.
But before you can embark upon the journey of discovery that is ‘personalisation’ you must first be aware of two important things otherwise a lot of your hard work is going to be guess work which may not give results!
Know the demographic information of your customer
Know the target demographic if you’re targeting new customers
These two can be linked but are not always mutually exclusive. For instance, your customer database may be older in age and you want to target a slightly younger audience as potential future customers. So for your business, what are the shared common characteristics? Firstly you need to have some data collected about your customer, name, address, gender, age etc. These stats can all be collected and collated yourself by various methods with two of the more popular being questionnaires and data capture competition entries. But if you don’t have the resources to do this yourself there are companies that can help by forming your customer database and profile for you.
Firstly I will talk about using demographics for targeting existing customers. There are simple things you can do immediately using demographic information to make your customers experience more personal.
By using the gender and name of a customer, you can address any communication using the correct prefix e.g. “Dear Mrs Smith” rather than just simply using “Dear customer”. This can be by letter, email or even over the phone and has a far greater lasting effect than asking to speak to the householder or worse, getting the name wrong.
By using a customer’s gender, geographical location or age, you can tailor your product offering and suggestions. The variance in the aforementioned demographics should lead to you being able to tailor promotions and products to the individual customer. For example on a simplistic level, don’t market women’s clothes to men and vice versa. By using data you can serve the right range to the right customer. Similarly younger and older customers buy different products too.
Geographic differences. This may sound like an obvious one but if you are a national company, or even a local company, the micro-regionality of your customer database can change customers’ demands and behaviour. Think mince and mealie and the rowie… Nobody in London knows of these?! Or the weather being a lot warmer in the south of England compared to Scotland! On a regional level there are differences in our local communities too. Using your customer data to target on a geographical level could increase engagement and response in your business.
This one is a bit more “techy” but using your customers’ demographics you can use some clever online and email marketing tools to target your customer with relevant products or online offers. There are clever software packages which can take your data and formulate algorithms to serve specific products based on predictive analytics and behaviour models . These packages are not expensive and we can point you in the right direction and help if you are interested.
So to summarise, data is king. The more you know about your customer, the more informed decisions you can make and the more applicable and targeted you can make your marketing. The customer always wants to feel like an individual and not a number. You can do this very simply or on a far more complex level and at Début Marketing we can help you no matter what your desired outcome is.
Okay, so as promised earlier, next week’s blog post will be about personalisation using customer profiles.