A collection of notes on Customer Research:
What do these three quotes have in common?
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself” – Peter Drucker
“Copywriting is 80% research, only 20% writing the actual copy.”
“If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words – Cicero, Roman Statesman”
They represent the biggest untapped leverage point in business today.
In a word: Research.
As a sales copywriter I learned that the best source of insight I could gain about a clients product generally did not come from the client, or the product. It comes from conversation with the customer.
- Live prospect interaction, through customer service surveys, one to one interviews.
- Internal reflection – putting myself in the shoes of the prospect and reflecting on the prospects beliefs, feelings and desires as if they were the copywriters own.
- Testing response in the market and reviewing real-world feedback.
In a little more detail this includes:
Make the most of customer chatter happening online or conduct surveys via email, or best yet… shock horror… actually speak to customers by phone or in person.
Learn to think like your best custmers – by climbing inside the mind of the prospect. Create a storyline using these steps:
I’m a lot like you…
- Shared aspiration or dream
- Common frustrations (us vs them)
- How your spokesman/company found/created the solution (loss and redemption)
- And why you decided to share the solution (hometown boy makes good)
Real market testing
By ongoing tests you can gain insight into the most profitable customers for your business and become confident of the dominant emotions and desires that lead to the sale.
Your Prospects Core Complex
Your prospects Core Complex includes three components: Beliefs, Frustrations, and Desires.
What does my prospect believe (with relevance to my product/niche target)?
Knowing the prospects beliefs will help you built your aggressive marketing campaigns to lazer in on exactly the right things to say in your promotion copy.
But we don’t just want to stop at the prospects general beliefs. We want to get right under their skin and know exactly what is causing them pain, with regards to the product.
And finally of course we want to know what results or experience they would ideally like to have, as relevant to your product/niche.
Your Prospects Pain
What pain in your prospects life are we going to solve through our product?
Pain-points usually fall into one of these categories:
To properly diagnose a prospects pain, you simply need to answer 4 questions:
- What is the source of the most prominent pain?
- What is the intensity of that pain?
- What is the level of urgency requiring the pain to be solved?
- Is the prospect consciously aware of the pain and its source?
You can then build accurate customer profiles, not just models based on demographics.
- Demographics – social classifications such as age, gender, marital status, race, income, education
- Geodemographics – with a specific community
- Generational influences – geopolitical events that shape cultural views
- Category cycle – attittude towards the product category
- Market adaption cycle – innvoators, early adoptors, late adoptors, and laggards
Aims of Prospect Insight Research
In general, customer want individualised respect, service, pride in their product choices, product options, and information to make informed decisions. As such, they tend to trust the vendors that provide them with information so that they can make better decisions.
Our aim is to establish:
- product usage
- purchasing behaviour / decision process
- urgency of need
- motivational influencers
- Who is your prospect?
- What does your prospects really want?
- What are the top fears and frustrations for your prospect?
- What are their top wants and desires?
- What things does your product(s) do or give your prosepcts that he or she doesn’t know about?
- What are the primary motivators? (Status, leisure, convenience, advancement, pleasure, comfort, security, basic needs, self-reliance).
- What are the most frequently used and influential information and refernce sources among your key customer groups?