Know Thy Customer!

“If I’d taken a business degree and not a Masters Degree in Fine Art and Jewellery Design, I wouldn’t be here!” A muscle in Matt’s cheek jumped as he clenched his jaw.

The business coach sighed. “But surely you must have some idea of what you want to learn?”

“Yes! I want to learn how to run a business. What I’m doing isn’t working.”

“But where do you want to start?” the coach said.

The irritation in Matt’s voice echoed across the Zoom-sphere as he said, “Look, the problem is, I don’t know what I don’t know.”

There was one thing, the coach thought, that Matt must know. He leaned forward. “Let’s start with your clients. What can you tell me about them?”

“They want to buy jewellery, obviously. But not ‘brochure’ jewellery. They want custom pieces, bespoke, as it were.”

“Good. How did they hear about you? Are they mostly male or female?” asked the coach. “What professions do they have? Do your clients mostly buy for themselves or gifts for other people? Do they buy only for special occasions?”

“I have no idea. Why does it matter?”

The coach sat back with a sigh. “I suppose we’d better start at the beginning.”



Do I need a business degree?


No, you don’t need a business degree to run a successful business. Nor do you need a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Film Studies to have a profitable video campaign for your company. Yes, you can hire a professional video company. And you should.

Here’s the thing – if the video company knows what they’re doing, they’re going to ask you the same kinds of questions as our fictional business coach.

Why do insights into your clients matter?


Knowing your product inside out is important, but knowing your clients is vital. And ‘people who want to buy my product’ isn’t good enough. The more in-depth insights you have to your clients, the more success you’ll have.


Insight Solution 1

The client’s initial concept: Brightly – as in lightbulb – coloured, animated characters bounding along to a catchy jingle to sell high-beam, wide-coverage, long-lasting, eco-friendly lightbulbs used in security lights.

The market: Warehouse owners looking to update their on-site security.

The problem: Warehouse owners don’t have time or inclination to click on animated videos. They’re not frivolous people.

The insight: They want facts. They want to know how well the lights work from other warehouse owners who have used the product.

The solution: Testimonial videos sold more product than the client anticipated.


Insight Solution 2

The usual marketing concept: Soft fruit and creamy yoghurt whirling around inside the blender and great final product shots in a beautiful kitchen. At a push, someone enjoying a smoothie.

The market: Healthy or wanna-be-healthy individuals and family heads.

The problem: Nearly every advertising campaign for blenders looks identical. And most blenders are as durable as the soft fruit they spin to mush.

The insight: A blender is a blender, is a blender, right? Wrong. Most people use their blenders to do more than make fruit mush. And Tom Dickson knew that. He also knew that people want durable, long-lasting, robust, workaholic blenders.

The solution: A series of unique videos, blending absurd items from iPhones to glowsticks, with nary a strawberry in sight. The short, entertaining, shareable, and quickly viral, ‘Will It Blend’ You Tube videos, made Blendtec the need-to-have item in every kitchen, even with people who didn’t want one.


Without insights into your client base, your video campaigns are going to be as successful as trying to hit a bull’s eye by throwing darts blindfolded, over your shoulder, with one hand tied behind your back, while standing on one leg, in the dark, being jostled by drunk punters on the night of the Rugby World Cup final.


What kind of insights do I need?


The more the merrier.

· Demographics – Age Range, Male / Female, Professions, Where They Live (Global)

· Psychographics – Interests, Motivations, Personalities, and Values

· Behavioural Characteristics – Content Consumption Habits, Online Engagement Patterns, Purchasing Decisions

· Geographics – Where they live (Regional): If they live in mountainous regions, adding mountain-related imagery will probably attract them more than cityscapes, for example. Locale can also provide information on Culture, Local Customs, and Preferences.

· Aspirations, Motivations, and Pain Points

· DISC Personality Traits – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. How your potential customers communicate, make decisions, and interact.


What do I do with the insights once I have them?


The goal of uncovering this information is the creation of customer avatars. An avatar is a single imaginary purchaser. It’s better to tailor your marketing to the segment of the buying population represented by that one person, than to try to make your voice heard above the din of a bustling crowd in a busy marketplace. Where do you think you’d sell more doughnuts in New York City – opposite a modelling agency or opposite the city’s busiest police station? Know thy customers!


Which marketing campaign do you think best personifies a company that truly knows their customer base?

‘Will It Blend’