Do you really know who your customers are?
Do you know why they choose you over others—or, why they don’t?
Have you asked them?
One of the first questions we ask a new client is “who is your customer?” The answer often reveals that, yes, they know something about their customers. But the relationship isn’t strong enough to be meaningful and rewarding.
The most effective marketing strategy is built on in-depth information about potential buyers. We’re not talking about customer-relationship management, or CRM, here. We’re talking about buyer personas. They’re the link between what you are selling—be it product, service or message—and the journey your customer has to take to find it. A fully developed buyer persona will tell you everything you need to know to captivate and communicate with your customers—and how to find more of them.
Building Buyer Personas Needs Three Things:
- A profile of your customer
- The story of your customer’s journey to you
- Insights about you from your customer
Here’s What We Mean
Customer profile: What are the attributes of your ideal customer? This includes age, gender, income, interests and a host of other things. Who do you want to see walking through your shop door or clicking through your website? Once you know the answer, you can market your product more effectively. In other words, if your ideal customer is a cat, don’t advertise in the dog-centric newspaper. (Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea.)
Customer journey: What you want is a visual road map that a customer uses before and after purchase: first introduction to the product, consideration of the product, purchase of the product, repurchase. That sort of thing. When you know your customer’s journey, you’ll also know your customer’s motivations, needs and pain points.
Customer insights: Talk to your customers, be a journalist and get the story straight from the source. While your sales team may offer you intel, it may not be the straight scoop. After all, salespeople focus on filling the pipeline with qualified leads and motivating buyers to consider your solutions. These interactions don’t necessarily induce unbiased, sincere and honest responses from customers. The best customer insights are gathered by an unaffiliated researcher. And that’s where we come in.
Add these three pieces of information together and you have a buyer persona. You’ll understand who your customers really are, what they really want and how you can really help.
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