You Ain’t Your Consumer

By August 25, 2011 Ads, Items to Ponder No Comments

I recently reinforced an inherent truth I’ve understood for sometime: I am not my customer, and without market research, I will never know him or her as well as I think.

I’m sharing because it’s clear that many Bs make the presumptuous mistake of thinking they know their Cs.

Last year, I setup a product-specific PPC campaign and began adding keywords/terms I thought my consumers would search with. Thankfully, I also had the foresight to add terms I was familiar with, but didn’t think they would be using – at least not as often.

Turns out, the industry came up with a commonplace name for this product and were searching heavily to try and find it. However, the name they assigned was not the key term I was bidding heavily on.

Within 30 days of the PPC campaign, I noticed the runt of my ads out performing the ads I spent more time and energy developing. Immediately upon discovering my mistake, I updated our landing page(s), optimized the bidding strategy, cleaned up related marketing collateral, and replaced several keywords on our website.

It turned out to be a valuable lesson in search marketing and on why it is important to get to know your consumer.

Fast-forward to this morning.

Laser Hair Removal Ad

On a related note and reference to this advertisement:

  • I got a new Twitter follower
  • I investigated their homepage (per usual)
  • I saw an ad
  • I laughed
  • Soon after, I blogged about it

If you haven’t done significant market research and think you know your consumer, you don’t.

Without market research, I can tell you with a solid degree of certainty, that men with hairy backs don’t dream about having a smooth, sleak, sexy back. And, if your ad contains poor grammar (i.e. you change voice mid-ad and think those three S-words are proper nouns), and misspelled words (see: second characteristic of Austin gent’s dream back), you’re not going to convert the type of consumer willing to pay $699 for laser hair removal.

Moreover, those hairy-back “Austin gents” who see your ad and miss the mistakes likely don’t have $699 in disposable income for cosmetic hair removal.

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