As per Dawn Iacobucci, a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and editor of the Journal of Consumer Research: “Companies need to know what’s on your mind. What’s in your heart? What do you really want to do with your life?”
So, true it is! I am no professor for sure but over these years, I have gathered a few lessons which I keep close to my heart.
One of them is, sort of, rule of thumb:
“Numbers don’t mean anything. Your customers mean.”
And herein lies the problem.
Your customers won’t say a thing!
But they will ACT…once a new product arrives in the market or a competitor comes up with a better marketing strategy. And it might already be late then (or so we can assume for the moment).
I have seen many businesses fall into this trip and lose over millions in sales revenue.
Wait a second! In case, you are thinking…these companies had star marketing managers and had market research PPTs dispersed all over their desk.
So what went wrong?
They looked into the numbers, the facts, or the objective aspect of it.
They didn’t care to look into the subjective aspect of it.
Even when they were thinking that their customer is 50 years old, earns $45000 and is a family person living in an urban neighbourhood, they didn’t really figure out what motivates their customer—their desires, their fears, their aspirations. You know, like the way you know your brother or your best friend.
In my opinion—this is something I try to achieve in my marketing work too—always focus on the inner person of your customer.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER INSIDE OUT. (Reminding me of Brian Adams’ song.)
To start with, here’s an outline of the 8 types of customer psychology you will deal with everyday.
1. Actualizers: These people are sophisticated, successful and active. They come with high self-esteem and possess loads of resources. They seek enrichment, growth and self-exploration. Their need of expression is quite strong, and they manifest strength of character and independence. They do not conform to status-, principle- or action-oriented behaviour.
2. Fulfilleds: These people are mature, reflective and comfortable in nature. They value knowledge, they demand order and they manifest responsibility in their actions. They are educated professionals and are self-assured. They work on principles and prefer personal risks to societal risks. They are conservative people, content with family and careers.
3. Believers: These people are conventional and conservative. They believe in family, community, nation and the church. They favour domestic products and well-known brands. They have modest education and income but they are self-sufficient and live according to routine.
4. Achievers: They are successful in their careers and fully in control and content in their family lives. They value structure and stability above all. They are conservative and does not like change in the status quo. They normally go with the big names in the industry. They do not like to take too many risks.
5. Strivers: These people seek approval from those around them. They possess fewer economic, psychological and social resources. What they desire is out of their reach. They normally emulate higher status people and desire to be stylish. They are normally impulsive and unsure of themselves.
6. Experiencers: These are the younger generations—impulsive, enthusiastic and even rebellious. They love action and self-expression to the fullest. They seek excitement and adventure, and to some extent, to feed their ego. They enjoy fashion, music, movies, sports, social activities and fast food—uninformed and politically uncommitted.
7. Makers: These people are realists. They are practical, and value self-sufficiency and family. They enjoy working on houses, repairing furniture and raising children. They are more into equipments for practical purposes. They are conservative by nature and conform to god and government. They prefer privacy though.
8. Strugglers: They have limited financial, social or psychological resources. They manifest poor health, both mental and physical. They are negative by nature, and focus on how everything is difficult. They focus more on present rather than the future. They are cautious about new purchases and need trust.
Okay, I understand that this is too generic, especially if you are in the B2B industry.
But what I wanted this to be just a start, you know.
For you to start working on creating your own customer psyche chart.
The main thing is, do not neglect their inner psychology.
Want to know how I remind myself of this every day I start working on a marketing campaign?
I just remind myself that I am a consumer too.
I try to place myself in their shoes and see myself playing their role in my mind.
What do I feel?
What do I want?
What do I fear?
The complete life, everything…in a flash!
It’s a nice routine. Try it sometime.