"My customers are not online, they don't do LinkedIn."

Generally this comes from a business owner who doesn't like social media or they talked to one of their customers who does not have a LinkedIn account.

For all I know they may be right.

I haven't researched their customer's profiles but after a few questions it is clear they have not researched their customers' profile either.

Even though some of your potential customers are not online many of them are. Most of these active, online prospects are not going to be reached with outbound marketing techniques like direct mail or an ad in the yellow pages.

Where can a business owner or marketer get information on what their potential customers are doing online?

First, you will need to define your customer profile or persona so you will know what your potential customer is like.

A good place to start is this blog from HubSpot: How to Build Better Buyer Personas to Drive Killer Content.

The next step is to start finding out a bit more about who your potential customers based upon the demographic data you have been collecting when they visit your website.

How to Use Forrester's Social Technographics Tool

In Forrester's ground breaking book Groundswell by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, they classified consumers into seven overlapping levels of social technology participation. (See slide 3 for the classification.)

This tool shows you how different groups identified by age, gender and nationality fit into each of these classifications.

For example, with this tool we can see that 18 to 24 year old women in the U.S. are more likely than men in the same age group to be creators while men are more likely to be critics.

Both genders in this age group are more active online than those in the 35 to 44 age bracket.

Go ahead and try it, using the demographics you have been collecting on visitors to your website.

Link: Forrester Social Technographic Profile Tool

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