Engaging your audience is, effectively, the point of marketing. Making money might be the real point of marketing, according to your sales team or CFO. Nonetheless, getting people to buy what you want them to buy (i.e., your products or services) means you need to know what they want to buy, and why they want to buy it. Furthermore, it means showing that you have what your audience wants to buy.
That’s wildly oversimplified. It’s also true. The problem is that many marketers stop at the ‘I have this thing. Will you buy it?’ phase when they need to be moving to the phase of ‘You have this problem, I can solve it. Let’s talk.’ The pivot between ‘I have this thing’ and ‘You have this problem’ might seem insubstantial, but in reality it can make a world of difference.
The blinding ‘we need to make money’ tunnel vision, though, causes many marketers to simply forget that compelling audiences and seeing results are two sides of the same coin.
Now, you’re probably thinking ‘Victoria, every marketer and their brother knows to focus on the audience’. And maybe you’re right. Are they actually acting on that knowledge, though? And, do they know that, in a world of increasing consumer control, the stakes are only getting higher?
In case you need a refresher, here are just a few of the difficult circumstances underlying modern marketing.
- Content overload is real
- Your competition has gotten much stiffer (Hello, Amazon)
- Expectations are rising every day for interesting, helpful, and personalized content
- Integrated marketing is the new black
Focusing on your audience is going to be vital to overcoming these trends. Enter: the Customer First Strategy Map.
Be Audience-First with the Customer First Strategy Map
The Customer First Strategy Map (efficiently referred to as the C1 map) is sort of a Fathom original. Its purpose is to help marketers to set goals and document their strategy specifically in terms of audience.
So, it’s not a persona document, a content strategy, or even an integrated marketing strategy. It’s a thing all its own. A foundational piece that combines elements of each while simultaneously producing something much larger. Ultimately, this monster of a document should be used to influence every single marketing decision you make and each strategy you create.
Fortunately, you can get the scoop on creating your own C1 map below.
What You Need to Know to Complete Your Own C1 Map
The C1 map asks you to look both internally and externally–and then find ways to bring these elements cohesively together. If you can answer the following 9 questions, you’ll be headed in the very best, audience-first direction.
1 Who Buys Your Products/Services? | Customer Persona
When identifying your current customer base, you’ll want to consider how you describe your customers, how you segment them, what industry your customers are in, and what their key influences are for marketing a purchase.
2. What Problems Do You Solve for Your Customers? | Products/Services
Now that you know who your audience is, identify how you solve their problems by asking yourself what your solutions solve, what your best and worst performing products are, and what the positive outcomes of your products and services are.
3. What is the Process for the Customer to Purchase? | Buying Process
Once your audience knows you can solve their problems, how do they go about buying from you? To answer this question, think about what channels your products/services are purchased on, what the buyers’ journey is for your offerings, what stage in this buyers’ journey tips your customers over to initiating contact, and how long a sale or purchase typically takes.
4. How Do Customers Compensate Your Organization? | Revenue Model
You know you need customers to survive. But, do you know how often they buy from you, how many products they typically buy, how loyal they are to your organization, and how much money you spend attracting and retaining them?
5. Why do Customers Select You? | Value Proposition
There’s a lot of competition out there. Knowing why your customers choose you–and why they don’t choose your competitors–will allow you to capitalize on your current advantages. Discover your advantages by asking yourself what your key selling points are, what you competitors’ key selling points are, and–whether you win or lose a deal–why did you win or lose it?
6. What Other Solutions Does the Customer Consider? | Competitive Landscape
The idiom ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ rings very true in marketing. Intimately knowing your competitors will keep you ahead of them. You’ll stay in tune with the competitive landscape if you’re aware of the organizations that you consider top competitors as well as the organizations that consider you a top competitor.
7. Where Does the Customer Learn About You? | Channel Strategy
Do you know where your brand’s most loyal customers find you? How about the customers that are one-and-done buyers? Flesh out your knowledge of each of the channels you use, what the goals of these channels are, how they perform in terms of leads and revenue, and which of these channels brings in your best customers.
8. What is the Customer’s Relationship After the Initial Sale? | Retention and Growth
Closing a sale or purchase is always exciting. But, what happens after that first sale? Loyal customers and clients can be incredibly valuable, so work on your relationship with them by documenting the channels you use to communicate with current customers, the individuals responsible for retaining and growing customers, and the customer service strategy of your organization.
9. What Does the Customer Hear You Saying? | Content Strategy
Important from the beginning to the end, knowing your customers and speaking to them in a consistent, compelling way is a neverending process. Ensure that you know the words you use to describe your business–as well as the words you never use–document your brand tone, and sum all of this up in a content calendar that details your content production process.
This process isn’t meant to be easy, but it will be worth it. Once you attend to the questions above, you’ll find your team with a wealth of knowledge regarding your audience, allowing you to consistently speak to their needs. More importantly, though, you’ll have the frameworks in place to ensure that you actually will consistently speak to their needs.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog Punch Above Your Weight: Why Digital Favors David, Not Goliath to discover how identifying your unfair advantage is key to operating above capacity.