An influx of new mobile and social data points allows today’s marketers to drill down into a deeper profile of their prospective buyers. And it’s a lot more cost effective to target a specific audience than it is to blast your message to everyone and then hope your ideal consumers hear it. These “buyer personas” help reveal what it is about your buyers that drives them to make the purchasing decisions they do.
Just as important, this customer understanding helps you to tailor your advertising so that it is ideally suited to connect with your target buyers. The more you can break up potential consumers into comprehensible segments, the more effective you will be at turning marketing dollars into sales. Creating personas for your most meaningful segments can help you develop on-target blog articles, effective email marketing campaigns, and other advertising and marketing.
It’s particularly true in health and fitness, where studies have shown the customer lifetime value (CLV) is largely affected by intention to repurchase, and intention is positively impacted through consistent brand image, customer service and commitment.
While the process of developing health and fitness buyer personas can be outsourced, to really understand them, means to explore them.
Here are some tips for doing your buyer persona work in-house, to take your marketing precision to the next level.
Define your ideal customer.
Every business has star customers, the ones who individually buy more than ten other customers put together. Work to identify each of these buyer personas. With enough data, you can start to look for common bonds between these customers, and you can also calculate more precisely their value to your health or fitness company.
Who are the customers that buy only services or memberships, versus those who also buy high-margin retail items and services? Once you know who your ideal customers are, you can better target your marketing to add to their ranks. This includes nudging existing customers into joining the ranks of heavy buyers, as well as targeting leads to specifically reach people that profile as star customers.
Get as much data as possible.
It’s important to have as much data as possible on your buyer groups. This includes their location, age, gender, ethnicity, buying patterns, preferences and behavior. You want to know who these people are, and how they made their purchase from you and what they bought.
Figure out how clients are finding you, by simply asking them. Use your team members and those who operate on the frontlines, speaking to clients every day. Use web fields and surveys to gather this information digitally.
Start broad then evolve.
The number of potential segments among consumers is endless. You’re never going to perfectly break down your customer base into discrete, perfectly targeted groups. It’s better to start with very broad segmentation than it is to go down the rabbit hole of endless subdivision.
Start by targeting a few broad segments, then work from there to divide the most promising segments into smaller buckets. One helpful way to narrow your customer segments is with the use of small business automation tools. “I use marketing automation software to segment my list and trigger autoresponders and email campaigns,” explains Coach Roz Harris, owner of Fit Chicks.
Depending on the interest of her prospects and members, she is able to segment her audience and reach them with the right campaign. Once the campaign is built, it just works. “I’m starting a 12-week nurturing campaign to massage old leads and former clients and expect to see two to five new clients walk in ready to enroll,” she continues. “All because I am able to send the right message to them at the right time.”
The sooner you start segmenting, the sooner you get data back on the effectiveness of your efforts.
Make sure the fish is big enough.
Marketing to a new segment requires costs. It involves researching that segment, creating tailored content, and buying advertising space in the media that segment consumes. Most importantly, there’s the opportunity lost of not targeting another segment. Even if you discover that a certain segment will respond well to your marketing, it’s not effective to target them if they won’t generate enough profit for your company to justify the costs. In the health and fitness industry, your existing clients are almost always the biggest fish.
Execution is key.
Lots of companies adopt customer segmentation in theory, but then don’t change their practices in any meaningful way. Executing on the data you’ve collected on different customer segments is what separates the wheat from the chaff.