Direct Selling: Define Your Customers
What Customers Believe
Understanding customer beliefs is critical to building a powerful brand and can pay dividends in creative presentations and communications. Psychographics, or attitudinal data, are generally established by evaluating the thoughts and feelings of various cohort groups—groups of consumers in similar age ranges or stages of life.
Psychographic overlays allow you to classify customers in one of a number of predefined segments. These segments are named and grouped based on common beliefs held among members. But psychographic data goes beyond demographics by exploring how people feel about everything from finances to shopping to technology to family and friends to religion, and more. Often, “messaging briefs” or tips for communicating with each group better and more specifically to their own beliefs also accompany these overlays.
At this point, if you conduct demographic and psychographic overlays you produce a picture of what the customer looks like and what she believes. To continue building a better picture of the customer, though, we have to know what she says.
What Customers Will Tell You
In the age of online marketing, a good survey provides actionable answers to questions that discern the respondents in one group from those in another. By building a customer survey—one that can be executed online as well as over the phone—you can get the customer’s opinions of your brand as well as your competitors’ brands. The essence of brand differentiation is defining what you stand for and knowing what you don’t stand for in the mind of the customer.
Asking customers a variety of questions about themselves, your company and the competition, you begin to develop an understanding of what’s important to them in making purchasing decisions and how you rate on those issues versus the competition. In a perfect scenario, you find that you excel in the areas that are most important to your customers and that you have a significant advantage over the competition in those same areas.