How To Nail A ‘Customer-First’ Marketing Strategy
What I’ve learned by obsessing over target audiences…
Want to create a killer marketing strategy? Then get to know your customer better than the back of your hand.
Applying a customer-first mindset means understanding how your customer thinks, acts, and feels, before shaping your sales and marketing message around how your product satisfies their specific needs.
Let’s reimagine the old phrase “the customer is always right” into “the customer is always rightfully selfish”.
You are trying to convince them to part with their hard-earned cash for your product, when there’s a never-ending list of other things they could buy. So, make them feel like they are making the right choice when purchasing from you.
And how do you do that? Well you help get them there. Take your granular customer profile and apply individual marketing to engage with them on a personal level, building a belief that your brand is the perfect choice for them.
If you haven’t read a 4 Minute Lesson In Finding Your Target Audience, spend a few minutes on that article; this will make more sense.
So let’s build a customer-first marketing strategy. Here’s a reminder of our granular customer profile example:
“Who are you selling to?”
“We sell to coffee enthusiasts who prioritise their morning coffee ritual. They see themselves as conscious consumers, and are swayed by high-quality ethical products. They currently pay for subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, so are comfortable with our pricing model. They traditionally buy their coffee from a retailer, but having recently experienced running out of coffee prior to their morning ritual – and the inconvenience of an unwanted shop visit to buy more – they want a solution so this doesn’t happen again. They value time and convenience almost as much as their coffee.”
This granular description gives us so much to work with, we just have to dissect it. First up, here’s how we can utilise statistics*:
“We sell to coffee enthusiasts”
Highest % of coffee drinkers by age:
63% of 25–39 year olds
64% of 40–59 year olds
“They currently pay for subscription services like Netflix and Spotify…”
Highest % of Netflix users:
65% of 18–29 year olds
65% of 30–44 year olds
Highest % of Spotify users:
26% of 18–24 year olds
29% of 25–34 year olds
Analysing stats like these we can deduce who our priority profile is: 25–34 year old males. So where do they hang out? Where should we be trying to reach them?
Further stats analysis shows us 24–35 year old males are the highest number of users for both Facebook (18.8%) and Instagram (16.9%), so that’s where we should prioritise reaching them.
We’ve identified who they are and where to target them, how about what to target them with?
Easy, just refer back to the customer profile:
“…having recently experienced running out of coffee prior to their morning ritual — and the inconvenience of an unwanted shop visit to buy more — they want a solution so this doesn’t happen again.”
“They value time and convenience almost as much as their coffee.”
We can use this to create sales and marketing messages detailing how we solve their problem, cementing reasons why our product is perfect for them:
“Coffee when you need it, delivered on your schedule”
“Never miss your morning ritual”
”Stay supplied with award-winning roasters”
“Fresh coffee beans delivered to your door”
Now… knowing they are coffee enthusiasts, when it comes to content and media, we can create educational videos detailing:
“How to keep your coffee beans fresh”
“Brew the perfect roast with our award-winning roasters”
“How to up your Aeropress game”
“Grinding your coffee for the perfect espresso”
This type of content is considered goodwill marketing, as you are not directly selling to your audience. You are offering them value in your introduction, giving them room to build positive perceptions of your brand. You can retarget these engagers with direct marketing later, first get them onboard with content they’ll appreciate.
Our granular customer profile continues to give, as we brainstorm what else it can influence:
“They see themselves as conscious consumers, and are swayed by high-quality ethical products.”
Would our conscious consumers like compostable coffee bags? They would, as it fits with their ethical values. How about QR codes on the packaging, linking them to content about the coffee and it’s award-winning roasting process? Most likely, as it would solidify their opinion that this is a high quality product.
Highlighting sustainability and quality care would strengthen their belief that we share the same values, persuading them that we are the right choice.
Focusing on individual marketing allows you to market smarter and sell better, and I hope I’ve given you a brief insight as to why a ‘customer-first strategy’ is a strategy worth pursuing.
Your time is precious, so I’ve moved through this quite quickly. If you have any questions, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you.
Have you utilised trends or statistics to justify your sales and marketing strategy?
Do you have a content plan for each consumer touchpoint? Have you considered how to approach audiences at different stages of the sales funnel?
Could your customer profile affect more than just your traditional sales and marketing strategy? Similar to the product packaging example above, have fun brainstorming future developments.
Our company is American, so all statistics are USA-based. In this research phase I recommend Statistica, but you can find plenty of credible sources via a quick Google Search.