How Well Do You Know Your Customer?

Eddie Mutema
Inside Infobwana
5 May 2022
We have mentioned things like demographics, geographics and psychographics a number of times this year but you may be asking how this can really affect your marketing.

How well do you know your customer?*

The key to great marketing is knowing who you are speaking to and that can make all the difference. We have mentioned things like demographics, geographics and psychographics a number of times this year but you may be asking how this can really affect your marketing. Most people doing marketing will talk about coming up with a campaign and just boosting it. But before you create the content for the campaign you have to have an idea who you would like to reach. Statements like "our products are for everyone" creates a world of problems when it comes to marketing, as not everyone speaks or communicates the same way.


1. Dishwashing liquid
Here is a breakdown of two products that do the same thing but are targetting different customers - Boom dishwashing liquid and Sunlight dishwashing liquid. The products do the exact same thing but one markets to the masses while the other to higher income individuals. It would have been easy for Trade Kings to price up and challenge the long lasting Sunlight, starting a marketing war that would have probably cost them more than just going for a totally new audience and convincing them that they could afford dishwashing liquid. This marketing strategy has worked as they have beaten Sunlight on price and gained social proof that their product is as good as their counterparts. Understanding the target customer makes it easy to penetrate the market.

2. Fast Food Outlets
Another example is Hungry Lion versus KFC. Hungry Lion dominates because they have focused on the young person. Hungry Lion understands that fast food is for a younger audience that is unwilling or unable to cook, or a young parent too tired to prepare a meal for a child. KFC is coming into the market for a second time and trying to catch this audience with a similar marketing style to Hungry Lion, a style that conflicts with its first audience. Uncertainty in communication tends to build brand distrust and makes a customer question the supplier's value proposition. KFC, once considered a premium brand, is now losing out to Hungry Lion.

3. Mobile Network and Maheu
Vodafone came into Zambia with a lot of marketing money but no telecoms infrastructure. They piggybacked off established telecoms companies' networks. They were competing with MTN, Airtel and Zamtel but doing what Liquid does. Who was their audience and what was their objective in the Zambian market? It appeared they were not clear on this, which showed in their marketing and campaigns. This built uncertainty in potential customers, with people questioning "why do I need to go buy a sim from someone else and still pay Vodafone for data that I could get from my sim provider?"

Super Maheu on the other hand was first on the market, with zero competition. You only had one option when looking for maheu. An easy advert and jingle made sales happen. But fast forward to a few years later and a few more alternatives, the brand takes a hit! This is because they were not clear who their true customer was. So other brands, focusing on a niche, were able to lure customers away. Not fully 'knowing your customer' has had unfortunate consequences for both Vodafone and Super Maheu.

Take your time to develop a customer persona, using demographics, geographics and psychographics, to help you create a target persona and try to speak that person's language. We bet it will make a difference when it comes to conversion.

*Article by Jerome Arab