Associate Vice President Marketing CredR
How CredR has perfected the art of creating customer personas
Why Time Invested in Identifying the Target Audience is Time Well Spent
Identifying and understanding your target audience, and knowing what they want to hear from you can increase your ROI tremendously. Target marketing methods help more people learn about your brand and attract more customers to your business, resulting in increased sales.
It can also help businesses break down larger markets and pitch their offering to prospects more precisely. However, your marketing strategy must not wholly eliminate the audience that doesn’t fit your criteria (you’ll see why).
According to a recent branding statistics report, over 70% of brand managers consider building an audience more important than converting sales.
Figuring out your target audience is daunting and needs years of testing. And in the recent episode of our marketing podcast series, Spilling the Magic Beans, we at Rocketium went one-on-one with Vitasta Kaul, the AVP of marketing at CredR.
In this conversation, Vitasta speaks about how India’s largest online platform for buying and selling two-wheelers, CredR, could find its perfect audience base.
Importance of Testing in Identifying Target Audience
Knowing your audience may need years of testing. It takes considerable time and effort to research and test one’s brand and understand how it is performing in its testing period.
Testing helps brands understand their audience better and to know what exactly works and what doesn’t when it comes to reaching them out.
Understanding the demographic background of your customers plays an important role in testing. But knowing the psychographic background is also essential.
For instance, Vitasta shares how they targeted their audience. Here’s a quick glimpse into that:
- Firstly, they targeted the male population between 18 to 34 years, as they learned through experience that male family members in India were the primary decision-makers in purchasing anything.
- Secondly, the factor influencing their targeting was dependent on whether the customer was tech-savvy to understand how online shopping worked. CredR being a digital platform, this was important.
- Thirdly, the occupation and age group of the audience mattered as well. They realized their audience age group is: mostly college-going people or first-time job holders shifting from tier-2 cities to big cities who prefer using a two-wheeler for daily commute.
Maximization and Optimization: The Two Wheels of Marketing
Elaborating upon the process of marketing which they had adopted, Vitasta says:
“There are two parts to marketing. There is a process of ‘maximization,’ and then ‘optimization.”
The first approach they adopted was ‘maximization’ in which they targeted everyone from 18 to 45-year-old, from young women and men to everyone under the sun.
They targeted the English-speaking population and the local language as well, and the content was made accordingly.
In this way, they got a clearer idea of their target audience’s profile. So the initial targeting was based on assumptions. Still, after-sales, they tried assessing and validating their hypothesis by having conversations with the customers and understanding their profiles.
“So, we know a lot of our hypotheses get validated. A lot of them get trashed, and some of them sort of get strengthened,” Vitasta says.
‘Your Consumer is your Brand Ambassador’
Speaking to the customers is crucial to learn more about your assumptions and hypotheses in the marketing process. CredR adopted the same strategy.
Vitasta shares how they utilized the pandemic situation in their favor. During the pandemic, people felt the dire need for a two-wheeler as there were no transportation facilities due to the lockdown.
The best way to commute was to buy groceries and carry the heavy load home on a two-wheeler. Also, this was when the daily wagers were left stranded in big cities and forced to walk back to their homes without any transportation facility.
Many of them wanted to buy two-wheelers to go back to their homes.
Given the situation, CredR launched a test-ride and buy-at-home facility for two-wheelers. They also offered safe test rides by sanitizing the bikes. The campaign was a huge success and worked well for the company.
Regarding this experience, Vitasta says:
“Your consumer is your brand ambassador. There is no celebrity in the market who can become the face of your brand and certainly make you popular and sell 100 million bikes for you.”
Hence, talking to the customers and knowing their feedback is very important. And CredR came up with a single-click feedback system to know their customers’ overall experience.
They did this post-purchase consumer survey about 30 days after the bike had been purchased; this was purposefully timed since by the time of survey, the customer must have tried and tested the vehicle and were ready with honest feedback to share.
Again, conversing with the customers is a great way to connect with them and create a certain level of personalization. According to a marketing statistics report, 73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service. Another report says 67% of people expect brands to provide personalized experiences.
Things to Consider While Trying to Identify the Target Audience
Vitasta shares some great insights on the things they considered while they tried identifying one’s target audience:
- Firstly, to understand what is the channel through which the consumer is coming.
- Secondly, to understand:
- What was the final trigger for the consumer to make the buying decision?
- Was it the value-added services?
- Was it the condition of the bike?
- Was it the reviews, or was it a reference?
- And thirdly, to understand the consumer profile or the buyer’s persona.
While talking about the business approach, Vitasta says that two things influence it:
- The first is the data from the pre and post-consumer survey and the analytics, and whatever is generated through the marketing engines.
- And the second is the business objective: what are you trying to achieve at that point in time?
Creating and Scaling Content
The art of effective content management comes with time. From using survey data, focusing on business objectives while creating content refreshing content, to maintaining a content library, CredR, as well, evolved its content management process through many experiments.
Vitasta says that the approach they used in creating and scaling content is always driven by two factors;
- Firstly, the data that comes out, like the pre and post-consumer survey and analytics,
- Second is the business or the company’s objectives
One needs to be strategic while adopting the kind of content and branding approach, which also depends on the traction that different months yield. Elaborating on this Vitasta says that there are months when they don’t do transaction-driven communication but do a lot of brand-driven communication. This happens especially during the festive seasons when everybody is pitching or trying to put their content on different digital and social media platforms and competition is too high to gain enough traction.
Such choices and tweaks in the content and branding approach have to be done from time to time. For CredR as well, the journey of content creation was an evolving process.
The process of content creation can be spontaneous as well. For this, brands have to tap into the emotion of their customers. One such example of CredR’s spontaneous and target-oriented social media campaign was the hashtag ‘Naye Se Accha,’ (Better than the new) campaign. This was a statement they had heard from a school-going kid who was enthralled to see their father’s newly bought second-hand bike and made the comment. They immediately picked it up and turned it into a campaign that worked well with the masses.
This way, CredR focused on addressing the apprehensions of people about buying second-hand vehicles through their campaigns and content.
Another learning they had was that maintaining a content library with many templates and doing the content refresh from time to time is crucial in today’s content-driven marketing age.
After all, content plays a crucial role in influencing buyers’ decisions. According to a report, 79 % of people say that user-generated content impacted their purchasing decisions.
But with such variety in content forms these days, content creation can be a daunting task for marketers. Coming up with new creatives once every six months and then a content refresh isn’t that simple. And this is where the AI-based automation software and platforms can prove to be a boon for marketers.