As a general rule, we all like FREE, so people give FREE content, FREE advice, FREE tips. However, today people are bombarded with hundreds of messages and so unless you are relevant people will stop opening your emais, e-news or print even when they are free. What can you do?
TO ACHIEVE HIGHER RESULTS – PROFILE
Profile before you personalize! What does this mean? It means understanding what your customers look like as aggregate demographic or psychographic groups before you send targeted mailings or personalize content to them as individuals.
As a very simplified example, each age demographic has different needs and preferences and will respond differently to different types of messaging. For example, you might want to profile your customer base by age. By running a very simple analysis, for example, you might find that your customer base looks like this:
- 18-34 years old (38%)
- 35-49 years old (24%)
- 50-64 years old (18%)
- 65+ years old (20%)
This tells you something. Your customers are heavily skewed toward the younger demographic. Was this a surprise to you? Why do you think this is? Is your product equally useful to an older audience? If so, how could you position it differently to appeal those demographics? Profiling gives you critical information about how to tweak your message.
Likewise, consumers behave differently based on where they live. Consumer attitudes on the North Shore may vary considerably to those that live in the Fraser Valley or in another province.
Look at other characteristics, as well. Where do your customers prefer to shop (brick-and-mortar store or online)? What marketing channels do they respond to (direct mail, e-mail or SMS text messaging)?
Once you understand the profile of your customer base, you can compare these profiles against well-known demographic and psychographic patterns to anticipate how they might behave and what types of messaging they are most likely to respond to. This allows you to craft your approach to be most effective for different segments of your customer base.
The take-away, before you publish free content or send out free direct mail – profile so you can personalize your message to your target audience.