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Moving from Target Audience to Customer

 

Every business needs to understand its target customer. The best businesses invest time and energy into developing a deep, granular understanding of that target.

They move beyond “middle aged women” to “married women in their 50’s with no children living at home who live along the East Coast and have a strong interest in gardening, health, and leisure travel.” Etc. They get as detailed as possible.

Define the Groups Within Your Target Audience

With an understanding of the target customer in hand, it is time to start thinking about the many stages that these people can be at in their relationship with you:

  • Unaware
  • Newly aware
  • New customer
  • Seasonal customer
  • Active/engaged customer
  • Best customer
  • Inactive customer

There may be more or fewer categories that are relevant to the relationship you want to build with your target audience. The important thing is to define the various relationship stages that can exist. Then, you can develop targeted communication to engage with people at each stage.

Target Communication Based on the Current Relationship

For each stage, you will want to consider:

  • Are there any characteristics common to people at this stage?
  • What does this person want to know?
  • What motivates this person to move to a more active relationship with me?
  • What information or resources will help this person move to the next stage of a relationship with me?
  • Where does this person get information about me? (Website, social media, email, events, print material, networking, etc.)

After all this research, you are now well positioned to develop messaging for your target audience at every stage. You will know what key points to target, and where and how to share the information.

Hey, Have You Noticed Business Is Getting Informal?

In my first job writing print publications for General Motors I caused a stir by dropping the use of courtesy titles. My, how far we have come since then! If you feel like business communication is much less formal these days, you are right. The trend has only been fueled by the pandemic.

People expect businesses, government, and every organization they interact with to get real, be transparent and have a personality. Regular headlines about consumers calling on businesses to take a stand on a wide range of issues is proof enough. Millennials are famous for wanting to be able to relate to brands, but they are not alone.

Today’s Brands Need a Personality

Authenticity strengthens connections between businesses and people. This impacts everything from what we say to how and where we say it. Expectations for everything to be polished and tight are gone – a video taken with a cell phone can have as much impact as a professionally scripted and  produced commercial.

Your customer expects you to express things your way and to connect with them in a way that is relevant and unique. Being personable is the way to create relationships with your audience.

Be Real

It is time to stop wordsmithing press releases and to put aside jargon. Put away the thesaurus.

Communicate like each person who comes across your content is next to you having a conversation. Use the same words. Reflect your thinking in a way that helps them understand your perspective in big and small contexts.

It’s OK to make announcements on social media. It’s fine to show less-than-polished views inside your business. It’s great to talk about topics because you know they are important to your customer.

In fact, these things are expected. Businesses that meet people in these ways are poised to succeed.

Contact Page Best Practices

People visit websites to connect with businesses. So, a Contact Us page is an essential element of every website. The right content on this page can improve both customer satisfaction and SEO.

The best practices list starts with having a contact page. This is a basic and critical way you engage with site visitors, signaling that what they want or need is as important as what you want to share.

Make sure it’s clear how they can get in touch. Don’t get fancy with the navigation label – call it “Contact” or “Contact Us.” Add the menu item to your main and/or footer navigation.

A contact page needs to offer more than a form. There will be people that don’t understand the form, who can’t work it from a small screen like a cell phone and/or are just naturally averse to submitting any information online.

Provide more contact options, like an email address, phone number or social media. Only list options that you want people to use and that you will commit to monitoring. Don’t ask people to tweet if you never monitor your account!

Keep the page current. Like all your other web pages, your contact page needs maintenance. Make sure your information is accurate at all times. If you have a form, periodically test it to make sure it still works.