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Who Are your Customers - The Marketing Leaders

Who Are Your Customers?

customers Aug 11, 2021

 By Nick Bottai - Co-Founder/Director @ The Marketing Leaders Ltd.

 

I remember when I was young going to the local store with my grandmother. At that time (I was almost 10 years old), I didn’t pay attention to what happened. Today I find the value of this memory. The owner greeted us by calling by name or surname, asking for our relatives (naming them), asking for accurate information that my gran mother shared with him the week before. And he did the same with every customer, remembering habits, tastes, names, families, hobbies…

A true customer connoisseur!

Today I realise it’s what I’m doing in my job, trying to understand the customer and deliver perfect customer service. He did top-class marketing and customer care, without being aware of them, nor the techniques, strategies, KPI and metrics.

So how is it possible that they were so good at it without any marketing knowledge?

Because of the WHY they did it. Because they really care about customers and they learnt that eventually, this practise brought financial results.

We already spoke about the funnel and how you should tailor it to acquire new customers. And we explained the job is not finished with the customer acquisition. From this stage, another one begins, even more important (in my opinion): to dialogue with customers and transform them into brand advocates.

Dialogue consists of 2 phases: listen and speak. You can’t speak with your customers if you don’t listen to them. To do so, you need to set an ecosystem of touchpoints to allow customers to connect with you. Then you need a set of metrics and tools to understand what they said, elaborate the data, and spread the word to other departments: R&D, customer care, Marketing and Sales. At this point, you are ready to speak with them properly.

 

I’m sure you already segmented your market. Now, it's the moment to know who your customers are and what they value in your brand.

There are many ways to engage with them, from surveys and focus groups, to a dedicated accountant or salesperson. The resources and methods to dedicate to this phase depend on the size of your business.

 

COLLECT DATA: WHICH ONES?

During my experience, I found that qualitative and quantitative analysis together provide the best results.

B2B

B2C

Quantitative data of your customers

  • number of employees
  • Business structure (board, C-suite, directors, managers… or flat structure)
  • revenue
  • product/service
  • market
  • Demographic (age, sex,income)
  • Geographic (where they are)
  • Family members

Qualitative data of your customers

1) Needs (what are their problems)

2) Channels (how to meet them, where do they communicate)

3) Focus (sales-led, product-led, innovation-led, customer-led)

1) Values

2) Motivations

3) Interests

4) Lifestyle

4) What they value about your product/service

5) What they value about your brand

6) What problem you solved

 

You probably noticed some of the questions are the same we try to answer whilst building the segments. However, we are speaking about customers. We have reliable data now, and therefore we can compare them with our previous assumption.

From my point of view, the last three questions are of utmost importance. The perception customers have about the brand, the product or service could be different from what we aim to communicate. The message received from customers tells you WHY they bought and why they like your brand/product

 

ANALYZE THE DATA

The data collected are reliable, are the voice of your customers.

Let’s split them into three categories or stages:

External

Customers

Internal - Actions

  • How your brand is perceived
  • How your communication is perceived
  • The issues your product/service solve
  • The most used channel
  • The added value compared to your competitors
  • What do they like about you
  • The reason why they bought from you
  • What they value about you
  • Their behaviour
  • Their buyer journey
  • Their experience interacting with you

Evaluate and assess:

  • the strategy
  • the communication
  • the touchpoints
  • the brand
  • the values
  • the budget allocation

 

It’s bottom-up analysis, from the external ring to your company core. A reverse process that starts from your customers to understand your company.

 

SPREAD THE RESULTS

Results might be destabilising. The picture that the external world, the customers give about the company could be different from what you planned. Unfortunately, you can’t argue with their perceptions (well, some MD and CEO does) because it’s not a matter of being right or wrong. It’s a matter of UNDERSTANDING.

Every department must know the results:

Sales can use these data to convert better

R&D can develop new solutions or products based on customers’ insights

Marketing can reassess the communication, the touchpoints and campaigns

Sharing data and knowledge, cooperate with other departments, bring different points of view to the table and eventually, help to make more informed decisions.

 

CONCLUSIONS

Companies often develop a product and then try to find customers. At least, this is how it worked. Thanks to the new technologies, tools and information, customers are more informed.

Therefore a strategy that begins with the customers understanding and continues by adding value to the customers is the most successful.