Forget Big Data: How One Extremely Attractive Customer Can Beat the Paralysis of Data Overwhelm
Did you know there are 3,500 species of mosquito?
Only 20 to 25 species however are known to spread disease. Each species has its own unique ‘buzzing’ sound and new app ‘Abuzz’ asks people to record these sounds wherever they find a mosquito. Abuzz then identifies the species of mosquito and uses a Big Data map to plot the findings, helping to beat the spread of malaria and other diseases.
While Abuzz thrives on Big Data, too many businesses get beaten by it when communicating to customers. Lots of customer data might make us feel empowered, but it is leading many businesses to 'analysis paralysis'. There are too many customers to reach and to understand.
But what if we wiped the board clean and just wrote our marketing for one customer?
Not just any customer however. What if we wrote for one Extremely Attractive Customer?
Let me explain what an Extremely Attractive Customer is, how you can use one right now, and why marketing to just one person won’t alienate your other customers.
1. What is an Extremely Attractive Customer?
An Extremely Attractive Customer (or an EAC) is someone who buys from your business often and who is cool to you. That is, a customer who is passionate about buying your product or service and to you, they are the cool, attractive face of your business. They are your ideal customer.
Producing marketing for one EAC works well because they tend to be more extreme, more on the edge and just, well...cool. And it’s these cool customers that attract the masses. Think of Harley Davidson and its rebel bikers. Not everyone who buys from Harley Davidson is a rebel biker with a long grey beard of course, but people buy into that customer image. Harley Davidson have chosen their EAC well.
Think of the cool, edgy street teens who buy from Adidas Originals
Think of the preppy, rich-boy look of Gant clothing. These brands have a clear picture of who their EAC is.
On the other hand, if you look around, it doesn’t take long to notice who doesn’t have an EAC. It’s common for brands to try to speak to everyone through their marketing, yet in reality they speak to no-one. They build their marketing on broad target audience personas (e.g. Jim, high income, who uses Facebook twice-daily, likes running and lives in the suburbs).
It’s fine to enter these types of details when doing Facebook advertising, for example, but when it comes to creative, using these personas results in snoozy marketing communications.
Instead, we need to find our EAC. One person with a pulse (not a made-up person). Whether it’s for a sales page, newsletter or social media activity, identifying your EAC will give your marketing materials precision and clarity.
But, how you do find an Extremely Attractive Customer? What steps do you take?
2. How can you use an Extremely Attractive Customer today?
a). The first place is to start is with numbers. Look for your sweet spot of profitable customers. Which segment are your most valuable? For example, it could be men and women in small businesses, between 35-45, based in or near London.
b). The next step is to pick one customer from that segment who you think is cool and buys from you often. Contact that person and ask to meet them (ideally face-to-face). Spend at least an hour chatting with them, in a café perhaps, or even better in their home if possible, to see how they live.
Talk to them about anything to do with your business.
From a new product idea, to sales page copy, to your brand identity. Keep a ‘discussion guide’ (a list of topic areas and questions that you need to cover) up your sleeve. Above all, just have a conversation with them. Listen in detail. And, with their permission, record your conversation. Encourage them to be specific and make them comfortable enough to reveal their real business problems.
Often, the greatest benefit is not just the interview results.
It’s getting out there and meeting a customer in the flesh (not something that many of us do). It will give you a precise picture of who your ideal customer is, and it will be an experience that you will carry with you.
c). Go home, and write up exactly what they have said. Build your ideas, products and marketing around their words. Their most emotive thoughts and words will be attractive not just to you, but to other customers too.
But isn’t relying on one customer risky? Won’t the needs of one customer be different from another?
This leads to my final point.
3. How to ensure that you won’t alienate your other customers
Using an EAC, is not as risky as you think. In fact, it’s not risky at all.
The reason that you are choosing an Extremely Attractive Customer (and not just any customer) is that not only are they profitable to you, but their tastes, views and outlooks will attract a mass of other profitable, like-minded customers. The average becomes attracted to the extremes. Not the other way around.
Once you’ve drafted your marketing materials, you can shape them further by talking to your EAC again. And then talk to other customers too (at least three). Get their feedback, make sure that they understand your marketing and that it works for them.
I worked in Market Research for a few years and I can’t express enough the importance of asking your customers to review your marketing creative. They will sharpen your messaging, your copy, your images, so that it will appeal to a wider range of like-minded customers.
There are many ways to create ‘effective marketing’ in a world of excessive customer data. But unlike collecting the sounds of mosquitoes, using the power of one Extremely Attractive Customer is an extremely sharp marketing tool. It helps you connect better with your customers and gives your brand an edge.
Vive La Revolution.
Simon | The Chief Brain