Understanding Your Customer

The #1 most important part of any marketing plan is your understanding of your customer

If you don’t understand your customer, you run the risk of:

  • Designing and building a product no one will use 
  • Spending money on ad campaigns that reach the wrong people
  • Communicating about benefits your customer doesn’t care about
  • Pricing your product too high or too low

On the other hand, if you understand your customer, your entire business reaps the benefits. When you know your customers deeply, you can:

  • Design new products and features that solve real problems
  • Price your product appropriately and maximize profits
  • Communicate your value more clearly
  • Improve your customers’ lives 
  • Create a competitive advantage 

But how do you know if you understand your customer? You might know that your target audience is millennial women, or soccer players, or small coffee shops. But your customer’s demography is only the tip of the iceberg. To best understand your customer, you need to know who they are as people – the values that drive them, their pains and frustrations, and their goals and ambitions. 

Your aim should be to understand your customer as deeply as you understand your partner or best friend. 

When you understand your customer more holistically – not just as a vague and intangible “30-50 year old suburban father” – you’re able to integrate them into the day-to-day operations of your business and make decisions that put them first. 

To test your understanding of your customer, consider creating a User Persona. You could do this on your own or with a team to ensure your entire organization is aligned about the people you serve. 

The process of creating a user persona tells you a lot – specifically, what you know about your customer, and what you don’t know. You may find through this exercise that there are gaps in your understanding that you need to fill. 

To create a User Persona fill out the following:

AGE: Be specific.

ROLE: Be specific.

COMPANY: Be specific.

LIST OF QUALITIES OF THIS PERSONA: Are they leaders? solution focused? empowering?

FRUSTRATIONS: List frustrations that cause pain points your product or service solves

PROFESSIONAL GOAL: What is this persona’s professional goal?

PERSONAL GOAL: What is this persona’s personal goal?

Your User Persona should look something like this:

Recreate this to document all your target audiences.