A deep and comprehensive understanding of the target audience makes or breaks a marketing campaign. With an intimate understanding of the target audience, you’ll know the pain point, desired solution as well as the best way to market to them.
Too many small businesses skip the need to acquire this understanding. They fall prey to ideas because they are “gimmicky” or have been proven to work for others. Unfortunately, such an approach can result in the marketing and communications strategy failing to deliver the expected results.
In this article, we share the four main pillars of a framework to help you understand your target audience. To facilitate ease of understanding, we’ll make a comparison between B2B and B2C.
1. What the customer wants
Every B2B customer is focused on return on investment, ROI. It is the quintessential goal of a business. If the product or service directly or indirectly increases shareholder value, it will receive favourable consideration. Price alone isn’t a factor.
In B2C, although the product or service must still work, there is room to be entertaining in the communications. But there’s a line between entertaining and fun versus frivolous or cheap marketing tricks.
2. Heads versus hearts and minds
In B2B, every decision is an investment. Most aren’t just for the present. The benefits must stretch over time. Hence, logic and financial motives prevail.
You can afford to be more emotional in B2C marketing. More often than not, the battle is won in their hearts and minds. The emotional value of your brand is a premium you must build and nurture.
3. The tipping point
Both B2B and B2C customers dislike being sold to. A “salesy” approach will push them away. Where is the tipping point?
In B2B, knowledge sharing plays an important part in the buyer’s journey. It is the intangible benefit they look for. Furthermore, sharing knowledge is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and experience, hence, authority.
In B2C, educating the target audience plays a less important role. Instead, it is the entire brand-customer engagement experience. Think Apple. Customers buy more than just an iPhone. From the in-store experience, packaging to the aftercare service, it is a brand-customer experience that draws customers in.
4. The principal actors in the decision-making process
In B2B marketing, you’re likely to be speaking to different personnel. They comprise the user, influencer, decision-maker and buyer. The number and roles may vary between companies. Knowing their respective needs is important. The onus is on you to ensure your solution meets them.
It is pretty straightforward in B2C marketing. The user is the decision-maker and buyer. Having said that, there are product and service categories where there could potentially be an influencer. Their opinions matter.
The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is knowing your target audience. Avoid implementing one because it has worked elsewhere. Speak to us to learn more about how to build a buyer persona of your target audience.