Who Is the Customer?
What are the personal characteristics of customers to whom the advertising is targeted? Knowing current and potential customers and what product or service benefits appeal to each customer segment is the first step in developing a successful advertising program. The media chosen should be directed to target customer groups.
For example, if the majority of customers of a particular business do not read the local newspaper, a local newspaper ad will be ineffective. One of the best methods for determining the customer base is to develop a customer profile. Customer profiles ensure effective advertising by targeting a specific customer audience. Customer audiences may be determined by age, gender, income, marital status, occupation or other characteristics relevant to the nature of the business.
Consider why a group of customers would want to buy the product or service. Then ask, "Why should customers buy from me instead of the competition?" This process helps to determine the competitive advantage of the business's product or service in relation to projected target markets. Competitive advantages become the basis of a customer benefit package. Once the customer benefit package is determined, select the most unique customer benefit to highlight in advertising.
An ad should depict the one benefit perceived by the customer to be the most important. Benefits include price, convenience, service, atmosphere, quality, value or reputation. In advertising, as in all marketing efforts, the customer is the central focus. Advertise the benefits that the targeted customer perceives to be important. Advertising based on business owner opinions rather than perceived customer benefits is wasted effort.