Audience: consumers are people too

In this first instalment of a new series of marketing strategy, we talk about audience.

Before any creative, or any strategy there is one important aspect that all businesses need to understand. Audience.

If you ask, all brands will have a huge document ready and available to show you who they are catering their messaging to and who they are expecting to buy. This is their flaw. They have sorted the type of consumer in a document without the thought that their consumer may change over time.

You audience is as organic as, well, you. How often have you abandoned a brand because it does not fit in your lifestyle or ethics anymore. This is a typical part of the lifecycle of a consumer. Your customer will age out of your brand. Aging out is not based on physical age but the mental stage at which they no longer feel they fit with a brand. As your audience ages out of your brand, a new approach and communication is needed to grow your new consumers.

Welcome to the future of agile consumers. As consumer behaviours organically change, your voice and messaging needs to change with them. But as they grow, know for certain that in the long term they will not be there forever. Shaping your message and voice with the next generation of your consumers is key.

Consumer Phases

Determining your audience isn’t as simple as picking an age bracket or demographic. As technology ages down the mentality of the population, your breakdown will need to look at them not as a number (age demographic) but in a phase. Are they a new customer, loyal customer, or veteran customer.

New Customer

This is the beginning of the consumer lifecycle, where they, your new customer, is curious, adventurous and skeptical. Your brand messaging needs to be focussed and built to keep all those emotions in check. This is where you will win over consumers with your product by providing added value at the jump off point. Where the jump off point for consumers is varied. The one consistency is curiosity and it’s location needs to nurture the consumer’s ability to explore.

Loyal Customer

After you have won them over, they evolve to the next phase which is being a truly loyal customer. They consume, listen and purchase. They are the advocate for your brand to friends, family and even strangers. Think of them as your influencers. Maintaining the relationship is the strongest and most valuable target. They will fight for you, so brands need to equip them with the tools for that fight. Whatever value you bring to the customer through your product or service needs to be supported.

Veteran Customer

This is the inevitable truth to any person. Sooner or later they will no longer be your customer. Something will happen in their lives that will change it. But fear not. Since you have maintained and nurtured your relationship with them they are still advocates at heart. Don’t forget them, give them something useful and give them thanks for being there in the first place. They will pass down the knowledge given to them to your next customer.

The lifecycle of a consumer is like any relationship, it requires care and nurturing. If you can build a bridge into the psychology of human relationships, the emotions, needs and wants should be in line with you brand. Don’t treat your customers ‘LIKE’ people, they ARE people. Care, love and respect them, and they will do the same for you.

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