The Key to Successful Marketing is Understanding Your Customer
Any business owner or marketer knows that one of the most critical aspects of marketing and selling is knowing your customer. The way to understand your customers is to collect and analyse data on them.
Traditionally, businesses learn about their customers over time through direct interactions, surveys, focus groups and feedback from salespeople. This information also had to be regularly updated to maintain its relevance.
Data collected can provide detailed insights into customers’ psychographics. These are the detailed characteristics of human behaviour such as psychological tendencies, interests, hobbies and lifestyle.
Knowing the psychographics of your target customers means being able to tailor your marketing strategy & tactics, messaging, visuals and branding, product offerings, and promotions to best fit your customers.
Individuals can be targeted for marketing based on demographic, transactional, or behavioural data and allow companies to build what is known in marketing as a customer persona.
A customer persona (also known as a buyer persona) is a semi-fictional archetype that represents the key traits of a large segment of your audience, based on the data you’ve collected from user research and web analytics. It gives you insight into what your prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh potential options that address the problem they want to solve.
Picture a customer persona as an imaginary ideal customer with a personality and back story, just like a real person.
The Powerful Facebook Tool to Research Customer Insights
As mentioned, traditional data collection methods can be slow and inaccurate. However, in the digital era with “big data” capabilities, companies can use data analytics to learn more about their customers and prospects.
There is one simple but very powerful marketing Facebook tool that allows you to research customer insights to develop customer personas for FREE. This is the tool that digital marketers use all the time and want to keep a secret.
This Facebook tool allows digital marketers to conduct reasonably comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date research on prospects and customers within a short time. The tool allows marketers to build highly targeted Facebook ads.
However, the application of this research data generated from this Facebook tool is not limited to Facebook’s advertising platform. You can apply the customer insights to any other advertising platform or online/ offline marketing effort.
While not 100% accurate (what customer research is?), this data is substantial enough to make informed and calculated marketing decisions.
What is this fantastic Facebook marketing tool? It is Facebook’s Audience Insights tool.
Before You Learn More About Facebook's Audience Insights, Download an Overview of Digital Marketing
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Accessing Facebook Audience Insights
To access this tool, we first need to have a Facebook Page. A Facebook page is a Profile that you will be creating for your business. Instead of having “friends” like a personal profile, on the Facebook page, you will be interacting with your “Fans”. These would be the people who currently like your page. To set up a Facebook page, follow the instructions here.
Once we have a Facebook Page set up, we will next need to set up our Facebook Business Manager. By setting up this account, you will be able to manage your business in more detail as compared to just the Facebook Page.
On top of being able to control different marketing campaigns and payment options through the manager, it also opens up more data and statistics for you. You can find out more about how to set up a Facebook Business Manager here.
Once you have that set up, you will be able to access the Audience Insights function.
Facebook Audience Insights Tutorial
For the purposes of this article, imagine for a moment that you are trying to sell a dog toy, like a chew toy. Would you simply be trying to sell it to anyone you meet? While that might still work, a lot of time, energy and resources would be wasted on trying to market your product to people who do not even own or like dogs. If you are able to pinpoint and target your audience, your results and sales would be much better than simply shooting in the dark.
But first, we have to make educated projections about the customers who would buy our product. By doing so, we can craft a customer persona for our niche. Let us assume that we are a manufacturer of a dog toy based out of Singapore whose primary target market is Singaporeans.
Bookmark this page as we will go through a Facebook Audience Insights tutorial to show how to create a customer persona in a couple of steps.
Step 1 - Define Demographics and Location
Consider the demographics of your potential customers. Demographics are quantifiable characteristics of a given population such as:
- Marital status
- Job title
Every product/ business is unique in this sense, so while these questions might not apply to every industry/product, answer as many as you can to form the best fitting “ideal customer” for your brand.
This is because when we do so, we will be better able to pinpoint the right kinds of people to sell to.
Coming back to the dog toy example, who would be likely to buy such a toy? Age wise, probably anywhere from 18 and up as they would have disposable income to buy toys for their dog. Both genders would probably be happy to buy dog toys regardless.
Location wise, we are selling to people living in Singapore. In terms of marital status, in this case, would probably be similar to gender where it would not matter as much.
For occupation, job title and income, these parameters might be a deciding factor on how much disposable income the individual has to spend on things like dog toys.
If we summarize the information above, it would mean that our customer would fit into the following categories:
- Age – 18 and up
- Gender – All
- Location – Singapore
- Marital Status – All
- Occupation – All
- Job title – All
- Income – All
Taking these variables as a starting point, we can start to create a customer persona with Facebook Audience Insights.
Step 2 - Using Facebook Audience Insights to Determine Customer Characteristics
Fire up your Facebook Business Manager and click the dropdown Menu from the top left corner. You should see a button that leads you to “Audience Insights”
Once you click in, you will be able to view all kinds of insights about your audience/potential clients currently on Facebook. With the use of filters, you can further narrow down information to use to create your customer persona.
In the example above, we want to apply a filter to make sure that we are only targeting Singapore at the moment.
Under the Location field, Type in Singapore and click on it from the dropdown menu.
Next, you will need to input the age and gender of your potential customer persona. Edit this under the “Age and Gender” tab as shown in the image below.
After which, we have to add more filters to narrow down the audience even more. We are now going to add “Interests”. Once you start typing into the search bar, Facebook will automatically try to suggest things which you might be trying to add.
Searching through competitor’s pages is also a good way of finding out more about your potential audience demographics.
In Singapore, a large retail company for pet accessories is Pet Lovers Centre, so if we input that into our filter as well via the same process, we will be able to get more information.
(Note: An interest will only be available on Facebook Audience Insights if there are enough people interested in it. So a small business who does not have a Facebook page is unlikely to appear in Insights).
As you can see from the image below, here are the insights for both Males and Females aged 18 and up, who like “Dogs” and “Pet Lovers Centre”.
The mix seems to be pretty even, where 53% of users who like “Dogs” and “Pet Lovers Centre” are Women and 47% are Men.
If the insights showed something else like perhaps 90% being women and 10% being men, you might want to change your marketing efforts to target mainly women instead of men. In this case however, it seems alright to be targeting both Women and Men.
Looking deeper, it seems like the bulk of people in this category is within the 25-34 year old group. With that being said though, you can use split tests to ascertain which age bracket yields the best return on marketing investment (ROMI). On top of that, it seems like most of your audience will minimally have a college education.
Keep all these in mind so that you can later put it all together when creating your customer persona.
Step 3 - Getting Data to Create Two Personas Based on Gender
In the case of dog toys, both males and females seem interested in the product. So, before we create a customer persona with Facebook Audience Insights, we still have to dive in deeper and click on each gender at the 25-34 year old bracket so that we can see more information about them.
Remember, if your product is gender specific, then you only need to focus on either males or females.
Let’s start with their occupation. In this case, when we clicked on the Females in the 25-34 bracket, we can see that they are mainly in “Healthcare and Medical Services”, “Sales”, and “Administrative Services” industries. This information will come in handy later.
If you scroll back up, you will see that there are even more avenues for you to gain insights about these ladies.
Once we are within the “Page Likes” tab, you will be able to see the other pages that the ladies within this category like.
We can see that these ladies like pages like “Voices For Animals” and “The Color Run”. We will keep that in mind for now.
Finally, if we leave the “Page Likes” tab and go to the “Location” tab, we can see where these ladies are situated.
Based on the data given, we now know that the majority of Ladies in this category would be mainly situated in “Singapore, Singapore, Singapore”, “Central Region, Singapore, Singapore”, and “East Region, Singapore, Singapore” .
This may seem strange for now, especially for “Singapore, Singapore, Singapore”, but these are probably Singaporeans who simply did not indicate their exact location in Singapore on Facebook.
If you are doing a larger or an international campaign, you will notice that Facebook will break them up into states and/ or cities. I have added the United States into the parameters for “location” to show you an example below.
Now, we will do the same for Males aged 25-34, and find out the industries they are working in.
We will navigate back to the “demographics” page and select the Males in the bracket of 25-34. Once we scroll down, we will have access to their occupations.
We can see that the males in this bracket are mainly from “Healthcare and Medical Services”, “Production” and “Architecture and Engineering”. All these pieces of information will be important later on, and once they are all put together, will help you create a customer persona with Facebook Audience Insights.
Moving on, we will next take a look at their page likes.
We can see that they like pages like “Johnnie Walker” and “Marvel”. We will keep that in mind for now.
Finally, we will take a look at where these males are situated.
Based on the data given, we now know that the majority of men in this category would be mainly situated in “Singapore, Singapore, Singapore”, “Western Region, Singapore, Singapore” “North Region, Singapore, Singapore”, and “East Region, Singapore, Singapore”.
Step 4 - Crafting the Customer Persona
Lets Recap. Right now, here are the details we have that can help us create a customer persona with Facebook Audience Insights :
- Aged 25-34
- Minimally have College Education
- Works in “Healthcare and Medical Services”, “Sales”, or “Administrative Services”
- Likes pages like “Voices For Animals” and “The Color Run”
- Lives in “Singapore, Singapore, Singapore”, “Central Region, Singapore, Singapore”, and “East Region, Singapore, Singapore”
- Aged 25-34
- Minimally have College Education
- Works in “Healthcare and Medical Services”, “Production” and “Architecture and Engineering”
- Likes pages like “Johnnie Walker” and “Marvel”
- Lives in “Singapore, Singapore, Singapore”, “Western Region, Singapore, Singapore” “North Region, Singapore, Singapore”, and “East Region, Singapore, Singapore”
By putting all this information together, we can then create our customer personas.
25-34 year old Female living in Singapore with a college degree working in Healthcare and Medical Services. Volunteers at local dog shelters and likes to keep fit by going for marathons.
25-34 year old Male living in Singapore with a college degree working in Architecture and Engineering. Enjoys watching movies and going for drinks.
You can repeat the process for all the different age groups or go further into more details in each segment for a more specific customer persona.
With that being said though, as the company continues to grow and scale, you will probably have to relook at your customer personas to ensure you still have the best relevant fit and best returns on your marketing investment.
In conclusion, by making educated projections about your customers, starting off with their age, gender and interests, you will be able to harvest more information from Facebook’s extensive database, and eventually create a customer persona with Facebook Audience Insights.
Apply Research Data to Digital Marketing
Now you know the secret Facebook tool that allows you to conduct comprehensive insights into your prospects and customers.
The next step is to figure out which types of digital marketing fits your business and how you can apply the research data to these online marketing tactics.
One way to determine what types of digital marketing is needed is to take the “AI-Digital Marketing Self-Test” below.
TAKE THE ONLINE DIGITAL MARKETING ASSESSMENT
This self-test was recently featured on MoneyFM89.3, The Business Times, Market Watch and Digital Journal for helping SMEs during challenging times.
It is entirely free and only takes 2 minutes to complete but will provide you with a comprehensive assessment report instantly.