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Demographics suck: Understanding why customers buy

Putting your customer at the core of your marketing strategy could completely change your promotional activity and messaging. Here’s why.

Being customer-centric is all about placing your customer at the centre of your marketing and focusing on their needs rather than pushing sales.

It means your marketing activities are planned purposely with the customer in mind, ultimately making your messages more relevant to the people who buy and advocate for your brand, product or service.

Speaking at Interactive Minds in Melbourne earlier this month, Jeremiah Andrick, former Head of Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing at Logitech, said customer-centricity is more than simply knowing who your customer is.

“It’s putting the customer at the heart of everything you do,” he said.

Andrick said companies looking to shift their marketing strategy to a customer-centric model should take the bottom-up approach, where every decision is driven by the customer’s needs.

“Start with the customer and work backward,” he said.

Customers don’t wake up thinking about which product or service to buy. They think about their own lives and what matters to them. Your product or service must be able to fit into their lives and connect to their hearts and minds, Andrick said.

Why is your customer buying your product or service?

When you carefully consider why your customer buys your product or service, instead of merely who they are, you’ll be able to identify potential customers you might be failing to target.

Consumer intent is always going to be more powerful than demographics – demographics don’t always tell you the full story but knowing your customer’s intention allows you to understand what they want and where they are looking to find it.

According to a report by Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of marketing, relying on demographics is limiting.

“While demographics will always have a place in the marketing playbook, the brands that understand and respond to intent are better positioned to be there and be useful for all of their potential customers, not just those that fit an age and gender profile,” she said.

“People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” – Simon Sinek

One example is video games. You’re probably thinking of young men glued to a screen playing the latest Call Of Duty or Uncharted 4. As a marketer, demographics suggest you target your promotions at young men. But the data shows that only 31% of mobile searchers for video games are men aged 18 to 34[1]. By targeting using demographics alone, you’d be missing out on the other 69% of people who are also interested in buying games.

When it comes to home improvement and DIY, demographics would again point to a male-dominant audience. However, data shows that 45% of home improvement searchers on mobile are women[2]. Think about it – you would’ve crafted your entire marketing strategy and messages towards men when you should also be capturing the significant female market.

Another example is baby products or children’s toys. Demographics suggest mums and dads as key purchasers of these items. But think about every time a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend or co-worker has had to buy baby products. According to Google’s Mobile Purchasers & Influencers Report[3], 40% of all baby product purchasers live in households without children.

These examples illustrate the importance of framing your marketing approach by asking ‘why’ – why is my customer buying my product or service? Only then can you reveal who your true target audience is.

Have you considered why customers buy your product or service?

Man using grooming products

Meet your customers where it matters

Once you understand your customer’s intentions and why they choose to buy your product or service, it’s important to take the next step and deliver what your customer wants when they want it.

Make sure you’re on the platforms where your customers and potential customers spend their time. If your customers are avid Google searchers, engage in SEO activities so your brand comes up in their search results. If your customers spend a lot of time on Facebook, ensure you have resources to maintain, manage and support your marketing efforts on this social networking site.

Once you’re there to meet your customer, offer them something valuable. If you don’t, they’ll move on to another brand – most likely your competitor. Provide useful information on your website, share valuable insights through educational blog posts and give them an easy option to purchase your product or service via an ‘instant buy’ button or ‘service enquiry’ form.

Don’t make it hard for people to buy your product or service. Put your customer first, find out why they’re interested in your brand, offer them a solution and make it easy for them seal the deal.

 

Do you want to make your marketing more customer-centric? Contact Assemblo to find out more.


[1] Mobile search & video behavior analysis, Millward Brown Digital, U.S., January-June 2015, base = mobile video game searchers

[2] Mobile search & video behavior analysis, Millward Brown Digital, U.S., January-June 2015, base = mobile video game searchers

[3] Source: Mobile Purchasers & Influencers Report. Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Ipsos Online Omnibus, August 2015, N=5025 Online smartphone users 18+, baby product purchasers in past 6 months

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