25Mar

Has your ideal customer changed during the covid-19 pandemic?

It’s hard to see if there’s a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic, but look closely the pandemic changed the structure of everything we experience from how we shop and socialize to how we work. How might your ideal client avatars be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?  Avatars or your ideal customer or clients are the type of customers you want to attract to our businesses.

Now’s the time to take stock and ask yourself which changes are likely to stick? 

This will fundamentally change how we engage with and create value for customers. 

We’ve noticed through our Thrive meetings that post-pandemic services like solicitors and accountants say that their customers are more empathetic — but also more demanding.

A Forbes report states that

68% of customer service managers have seen an increase in customer expectations since February 2020

74% of customer service leaders say customers have become “more empathetic” since the crisis

71% experienced an increase in overall contact volume since February 2020 and expect it to increase further

What about the way we communicate, has this changed?

All types of customer communications technology and new ways for customers to connect from mobile app, online support portal and text messaging.

Coronavirus has impacted all of our businesses – both business and consumer-facing – but it’s also impacted the lives and outlooks of your avatars or ideal (target) clients and customers.

Always stay aware

Some industries are suffering, and there are industries that are thriving. For us to stay in business, always re-evaluate and re-prioritize our target audience, think long-term.

Take the time to fully understand and re-examine your ideal client/avatar, has it changed since this time last year?  This may even require rebuilding the ideal customer profile and pivot.

You might have had a clear picture of your ideal customer in the past, but many brands are finding that things have changed. For example, businesses are finding new buyers for their products and services. Consider all the people who now use Zoom that didn’t even know it existed 12 months ago.

Example 1: the working parent

If your ideal client/customer is a working parent, they may well still be juggling homeschooling or have other family commitments while also working from home. They’ve got less time than ever – and maybe a shorter fuse than ever.

Example 2: the self-isolating grandparent

If this is your target customer, they’ve had their whole world change dramatically within the past few months and therefore your marketing strategies will need to adjust to reflect this.

Example 3: clients with reduced budgets

If your clients have suffered reduced cash flow and greater business uncertainty, they’re less likely to want to take-up or continue a contract with you.  If you are still actively marketing to those accounts that have been negatively impacted, is it better if you divert away from them for a while?

Example 4: your clients are rushed off their feet

If you’re a professional services firm, some of your ideal clients will fall into the category above, but others will never have been busier than during the coronavirus crisis. Health & Safety advisers and PPE suppliers have barely had a day off since before lockdown began.

Since things have changed, we need to readjust the knowledge we have about the target or ideal customer, ensuring that our marketing strategies reach our potential audiences and remain relevant to them.

If the previous ideal client is still relevant and is there a way you can still sell your services to them… great but what is it that we will need to adapt it to reflect their changing experiences and expectations?

If you are still actively marketing to those accounts that have been negatively impacted, perhaps it is better if you divert away from them for a while

The question for us in business should be ‘How can we create new opportunities in the current climate?’ Many brands have pivoted successfully in just a short period. Whether you pursue a different business model or re-examine your ideal customer/client, your business will need to shift its marketing message to take advantage of the moment.

Taking time to develop a real understanding of your ideal customer/clients is vital for any marketing strategy and where they were a year ago, where they are now, will they be different in 12 months’ time?  These are the questions that will deliver real ROI for your business.

Since things have changed since March 2020, so we decided this morning at Thrive.Buzz there is a need to readjust the knowledge we have about our target and ideal customer, ensuring that our marketing strategies reach our potential audiences and remain relevant to them.

Lorna Burroughes

Thrive.Buzz

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