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From the author to time-poor readers with <3

Anthony Simonetta

CEO

“We believe achieving big goals starts by matching your vision with genuine customer insights. With this we have helped companies design and develop innovative apps & websites, along with engaging campaigns for social media and search.”

It’s our why statement at Hustle Digital. It’s a statement that works to motivate our team to deliver their best work as well as what our customers think and feel when they engage our services.

Here, I present the 3 steps that we used to help create this statement. Each step uses a customer-centric design framework that you can pick up and use in your business to define your own why, and strike out on the path to being a business leader.

Step 1: Customer Personas

Here’s an obvious statement for you: the primary function of a business is to provide a product or service (or both) to customers.

Therefore, successful businesses are those that place customer needs at the heart of everything that they do.

I am constantly shocked by the number of business decisions made without a clear understanding of who the ideal customer is and why they buy. It’s a mistake that leads to wasted time, money and effort.

The first step in our workshops is to analyse the customer with a simple framework that humanises the discussion; framing our collaboration around the emotional elements that motivate a customer to buy.

DEMOGRAPHICS – the usual profiling suspects are and always will be valid. Age, occupation, location and disposable income (or socio-economic status) are fundamental indicators for the loose groups that people in the modern world belong to.

Building on your demographics, a great customer persona will address the customers’ emotional attachment to your product or service in the form of THINK, FEEL & DO. It’s with these elements that you can start to empathise with the customer persona.

Without empathy, you risk failing to build a connection between customers and your brand. Your connection will remain emotionally shallow, defined by a transaction for the use of goods or delivery of service. Your customers won’t feel anything. They may still buy out of necessity, but will they come back or cross-buy?

THINK – What is at the top of your customer’s mind?

FEEL – Are they confused, frustrated, happy, delighted…? What’s causing them to feel this way?

DO – What set of activities or tasks do they undertake? Which of these take up most of their day?

Here’s the set of customers that we defined for Hustle Digital. Feel free to use this template to draw up your own customer personas.

Now that you have defined your customer personas, print them out, place them in a public place and refer to them regularly before making decisions. Ask yourself each time you make a strategic decision, “is this in the best interest of my customer persona?”

Need some help in creating a customer persona? Join us for a “define your why” workshop.

Step 1A: Validating Your Customer Personas (Loosely!)

Validation of your assumptions in profiling your personas will come naturally through the course of time; your sales results will likely show an increase or decrease depending on whether you’ve nailed the analysis or not. But, what if you wanted to validate your assumptions before adopting your personas?

I’m glad you asked. The Internet gods have given us the greatest cost-effective market validation tool in the history of the world: Facebook ads.

Facebook is not exactly the golden child of tech anymore in 2019, but despite its questionable privacy ethics, for marketers, business owners and executives the advertising platform gives you so much control that you can actually tweak your targeting to help loosely validate your assumptions.

Here’s how we use it at Hustle Digital. Refer to our earlier customer personas. Now, compare it to the results of our campaign below.

The age and gender match almost perfectly to the assumptions we made about our customer personas. Demographics, loosely validated.

What about our emotional assumptions? These can be validated by observing the change in cost per result for your ad. See below our cost per result graph.

Throughout this campaign, we’ve been modifying the interest targeting, content and post text. Each time we make a modification, we see the change in cost per result. As you can see, the latest cost per result has been the at its lowest, $0.61. This gives us a good indication that we’ve found a combination of content and interests that is resonating with the audience we’ve targeted. Emotional assumptions, loosely validated.

As I’ve alluded to in the title and in my use of the term ‘loosely’ throughout the article, this method of validation will not give you an indisputable definition of your customer personas. In fact, I don’t believe that there exists a method to achieve this indisputable definition of a customer persona. Even if you went to the expense of a traditional focus group or rigorous consumer analysis or even employed data scientists to find answers within large datasets of customer data, there will always exist elements of bias or interpretation that can skew the outcome.

This method will allow you to test your assumptions against the interactions of real people who use Facebook and adjust the demographic and emotional aspects of your customer persona.

Step 2: Customer Journey Mapping

Unsurprisingly, we’re analysing the customer again, but this time we’re considering what happens to them at each step in their journey with your business.

The basic stages of a customer journey are: entice, enter, engage, exit and extend.

For each of these stages your customer journey should address the following:

ACTIVITIES – what tasks are your customers undertaking.

THINKING & FEELING – while acting on the above tasks, what is your customer thinking and feeling?

TOUCH POINTS – what products, services, content or other assets does your business offer to them at this stage.

PAIN/GAIN – what pains are they experiencing? what gains do they make through your touchpoint? Is this part of the journey a net gain or net pain (more pain or more gain).

Here’s a journey map we’ve created for Hustle Digital. As you can see, our services gradually take the pain away by assisting our customers initially with strategic services, followed by implementation services.

 

Need some help in creating a customer journey map? Join us for a “define your why” workshop.

Step 3: Define Your Why by Stretching the Meaning

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” – Simon Sinek.

Simon’s famous statement can be observed most easily by looking at Apple’s brand. They’ve done an incredible job of motivating people to buy from their whole ecosystem.

You wouldn’t buy a phone from Dell, but you don’t think twice about buying an iPhone from Apple… They’re both computer companies.

The fact is, we’re all comfortable with buying anything from Apple because they’ve made us believe that they represent more than just a product. As a brand and as a business, they exist to challenge the status quo, to think differently.

That’s their ‘why’.

So, how can you define a why statement as strong as Apple’s and become dominant in your industry?

Here, we use the stretching the meaning model. Writing a ‘why’ statement is hard, but business people never have any trouble understanding ‘what’ they do.

‘What’ you do is as simple as listing your products/services. Taking this definition of what you do and matching it to your now deeper understanding of your customer personas, you can stretch the meaning of your ‘why’ statement from your ‘what’ statement.

The stretching the meaning model requires you to define a sentence in the following form:

I want a [what statement] because I believe that [why statement].

Hustle Digital’s why statements for each of our customer personas are as such:

Entrepreneur

I want a digital agency because I believe that my vision is too big for me to achieve on my own and I need help from a team that really gets me.

Executive

I want a digital agency because I believe that if they have the right set of skills and a clear understanding of my brief will help me deliver my project on time & with confidence.

Business Owner

I want a digital agency because I believe that I need a team who understands how proud I am of my business and can execute a plan for its growth.

Some common elements have revealed themselves while defining each customer’s why statement:

  1. Understanding is key.
  2. Plan and execute.
  3. Deliver value to customers.

Hustle Digital’s Why Statement

Clashing and merging our why statements from each customer segment, we came up with our final why statement:

“We believe achieving big goals starts by matching your vision with genuine customer insights. With this we have helped companies design and develop innovative apps & websites, along with engaging campaigns for social media and search.”

payoff

use these frameworks

Customer personas, customer journey mapping, stretching the meaning. Your cheat sheet for defining your ‘why.’ Become the Apple of your industry. Great companies realise that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Leave your name and your number and we’ll get back to you.

Press this huge button to get in touch with us.

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Thanks for getting in touch…

you rock!

Our CMO Roy, or one of our team members, will be in touch within 24hrs.