Archive for September, 2013
Turn the knowledge you already have about your best customer into an actionable web plan to target future ones like them. Focus on the decision makers and their needs.
Your future customers are the ones you love to work with and fit like a puzzle piece into your business model.
In our last blog post, we captured demographic information about our best customer– a VP of Marketing that had a problem she was trying to solve. By living vicariously through her, we formed a foundation built around solving her problem by
listing out her concerns and identifying specific project goals. It was evident that those goals were a mix of her own perceptions and C-suite objectives. This foundation barely scratched the surface but was an excellent start.
In this blog post we’ll focus on exercise 3, working through a process to illustrate the decision making path
that includes our VP of Marketing and all the folks we must consider in our web plan.
Click through exercises 1 and 2 for a refresher of our best customer model.
My Best Customer Exercises 1 - 5
- Begin with straight forward demographics
- Brainstorm problems, pain points and goals
- Ask yourself- “Are they the final decision maker?”
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do they make decisions?
- Finally, brainstorm trust builders- what does each person involved in the decision making process need to feel comfortable doing business with you?
___ Exercise 3 - Are they the final decision maker?
Why is important to know whether our best customer is a decision maker? If they are not, then digging deeper is not an option. A web plan must take into consideration each person’s or entity’s needs involved in the decision making process. By addressing those needs, it becomes more likely that your product or service will be considered as a solution to their problem.
Remember our VP of Marketing?
- Job Title - VP of Marketing
- Age - 40-55
- Gender - Female
- Education - College
- Race / Ethnicity - White / Non-Hispanic
- Income - $80-150K
- Marital Status - Single
- Technology User (type) - Mobile phone, tablet, desktop
Let’s recount her goals:
- To have a full analysis performed by 3 potential digital partners.
- Final recommendations should answer the question-”How can we make the company look more progressive?” Open to other suggestions as well.
- Need a results oriented partner to help me get the
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heavy work done but my team can implement the strategy to save money.
How did our VP of Marketing become
aware she had a problem to sovle?
Last quarter, the CEO met with the board to discuss concerns over perceived branding issues related to a recent acquisition and split of their product offering.
The Decision Making Process
This trigger set off a series of events that started with the CEO. Our VP of Marketing was tasked with finding a solution and she brought in her marketing manager and his team. The events took place as follows:
- At last month’s management meeting, the CEO brought up a new initiative to start a Twitter campaign to make the company look more progressive. Specifically the division that was affected by the acquisition.
- The CEO tasked our VP of Marketing to provide recommendations to answer the question—���How can we can make the newly acquired company look more progressive?” The budget is at $125,000 but he wants to have potential vendors provide their recommendations and estimates.
- The VP of Marketing tasked the marketing manager to research digital companies that have experience in Social with a track record in getting results for companies within their industry.
- The Marketing Manager has a small team and is concerned with handling all aspects of such a project. He will perform the research and deliver 3-5 companies that fit the requirements, share those results with the VP of Marketing and work directly with the vendors to determine if they are a good fit for the project.
- The VP of Marketing will participate in the decision making process and report the findings to the CEO.
- The CEO will report to the Board of Directors and provide his recommendation. The Board will accept or approve the strategy and budget.
Our decision making process is a combination of 4 audiences all with different goals and objectives. By
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thinking through the full path to the final decision maker, we have identified:
- The Board of Directors
- VP of Marketing
- Marketing Manager
Our next blog post will walk you through a framework that illustrates how each audience makes decisions and identify the kind of information they may need to feel comfortable doing business with a potential partner.
Each decision maker has a unique style in gathering and processing information that falls into 4 decision making mindsets. Those mindsets are illustrated by asking each audience the questions below:
- Do you need a lot of information to make a decision?
- Do you make decisions on the fly?
- Do you have a “what’s in it for me” attitude when you make a decision?
- Do you value people first in making decisions?
In our next blog post, we’ll drill deeper into our 4 audiences to understand how they make decisions. With this information, we’ll begin to put together a matrix that drives planning toward action.