Understanding your ideal customer

At Pip, we come across a lot of brands that have amazing products and services aimed at helping people live more lightly on the earth and make ethical choices.

We do our best to connect ethical brands with an audience that aligns with these interests. Over the last eight years, we’ve grown a community of over 50,000 eco-conscious Australians by making a conscious effort to understand the needs of our readers and orient our content to best suit them.

But the question is: do you, as an ethical brand, understand who you’re trying to reach with your marketing? What does your ideal customer actually look like?

To help inform your marketing strategy and content, it’s important to think carefully about exactly who you want to reach and the stage they may be at in their journey to living more sustainably or purchasing ethically.

Here’s Pip’s tips on getting into the nitty, gritty of truly understanding your ideal customer for better marketing results.

shopping at the bulk foods store

Create a customer avatar or buyer persona

Take the time to think deeply about who your ideal customer is and the information they need to make a purchasing decision so that you can create marketing content that drives a higher level of engagement (and ROI) for your brand.

Be specific about your ideal customers’ interests, values, challenges, pain points, fears and where they source their information. Drill down on their age, gender, family status, location, occupation, income, level of education, and how they are likely to consume news and information.

This ideal customer profile is often called a ‘customer avatar’ or ‘buyer persona’. You may have one buyer persona that you’re trying to reach, or you may have a couple. If you have more than one, create an in-depth persona profile for each so that you can tease out how and where to communicate effectively with each.

For example, you may have separate buyer personas based on their age, living situation or location, or where they’re at in their journey to living a sustainable lifestyle or supporting ethical brands.

Trying to define your ideal customer in this way can feel overwhelming when you’re first starting out. Have a look online for buyer persona worksheets that can help organise your thoughts. We like this free buyer persona worksheet from the crew at Digital Marketer.

ethical fashion brands

Think about the different information your buyer personas need

Defining your ideal customers in this way helps you to refine the information they need to help them feel confident in making a purchasing decision.

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As an example, let’s look at how the different stages of a customers’ sustainability journey can affect how you should communicate with them.

  • Ideal customers who are aspiring to live more lightly on the earth most likely need frequent, bite-sized information that’s easy to digest and inspires them to get started. Provide clear, simple information on your sourcing practices and business ethics. Demonstrate how easy it is to use your product or service. These customers are in a research phase, developing their interest, and are likely to be found on social media, searching Google, and subscribing to relevant e-newsletters.
  • Ideal customers who are further along in their journey, regularly practicing sustainability, often want to delve a bit deeper. Provide longer-form information into your sourcing practices, and communicate more complex ideas to help them take their sustainability practices to the next level. These customers are more discerning in the brands they follow online and the information they choose to consume. Often, they choose to follow a few well-curated media sources online as well as read books and magazines on their interests.

Case study: Pip’s audience

Being a media company, we regularly survey our readers about their lifestyle, interests and pain points to make sure we’re providing them with the right information. Through our reader surveys and the way that our audience interacts with our content, we know the following information about our audience:

  • 25-55 years old, 75% female 
  • 73% have children and are genuinely concerned about the environment and providing a sustainable future for generations to come 
  • 93% have a large garden and enjoy growing their own food 
  • 71% are homeowners 
  • 71% choose to support small businesses 
  • 78% are looking for ways to improve their sustainability practices 
  • 60% are looking for sustainable businesses and products.

Because we survey our readers, we’re able to quantify our customers with statistics. Don’t worry if you’re not able to go this far – but if you’re unsure about your ideal customers’ needs, don’t be afraid to ask a small group of your existing customers.

We also find that our audience demographics differ based on how they engage with Pip. Earth-conscious Australians who are just starting their sustainability journey connect with us first via our website and e-newsletter. Those that are a little further along in their journey like to dig a bit deeper and sit back with our long-form magazine articles. The age of Pip’s website and e-newsletter subscribers skews younger than our magazine subscribers, and our online audience includes more metro-based members as opposed to our magazine subscribers who are more evenly distributed throughout regional, rural and suburban areas.

This understanding of how our audience interacts with us helps to inform the type of articles and information that we deliver to our audience in print and online.

Do you know what your customer wants?

Choose your marketing channels carefully

Once you have a good understanding of your ideal customers’ needs, craft your marketing message to speak directly to them and make sure to use it in media that your ideal customers engage with. There isn’t any point in choosing a marketing channel if your prospective customers don’t use it.

On social media platforms, this might mean focusing on a particular platform over another, or changing your marketing message to suit the demographic that you’re looking to reach on each platform.

When looking at other forms of digital and print media, choose a brand that focuses on the topic most relevant to your products and your ideal customers’ interests. The media brand that you select should be able to give you a detailed breakdown of their audience demographics and interests before you commit to your campaign with them. This is usually called a media kit – as an example, Pip’s media kit can be found here.

Pip supports environmentally friendly, ethical brands by providing opportunities to connect with its eco-conscious community across its entire media ecosystem. 

We have opportunities across all of our media platforms, including in our print magazine, website, social media and e-newsletters, reaching over 50,000 Australians. 

Find out how you can engage with an audience who are looking to live more lightly on the earth by making better choices about the products they buy and the businesses they support. View our media kit, or contact Publisher Robyn Rosenfeldt

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