How to use your Customers’ Life Stages to market your brand

FamilyWitten by Chipo Mapungwana.

Most companies look at the here and now  when trying to attract  new customers. They focus on  what  their customers are buying today, with no thought for that they will need tomorrow and in the future.  In order to create an effective  marketing strategy that will optimise  a brand’s  customer engagement efforts, organisations need to learn more about  their customers and what stages  of their life they are at. Rather than shooting from the hip and hopping that  someone will buy  your products and services, in business to customer marketing, it is essential to understand customer life stages, customers’ main influencers , (those significant others who help or influence their  purchasing decisions)  at each stage and  what concerns customers in each stage of their lives. This will enable companies to create products and marketing messages that appeal to their customers’ hearts and minds.

Being cognizant of your customers’  life stages  enable  you to:

•          Guide the development of your product lines.

•          Cost-effectively  advertise  to a particular  group.

•          Design meaningful  promotions.

•          Mature your products to follow  your customers’  needs as they grow.

Your customers’ Life stages and how to engage them.

Life Stage: At home teens and single

Theirs influencers: Friend and peer groups. Mom and Dad

What to do: This group of customers is usually concerned about their looks ,clothes,  their future, including school and college and jobs.  Many have a wide circle of friends  and peers who influence them. They  are sometimes impressionable and are concerned about their looks and how they appeal to others. While your marketing communication should always be ethical, you will make strides into this groups if you appeal to their self-worth, youthfulness , attractiveness and uniqueness. Their friends play a critical role in their lives and are used as reference groups so use images with friends or groups. Use testimonials from their age groups to promote your offerings.  You can communicate with teens on social network sites, in teen magazines, on music  and movies channels. Many love to be out and about so if you have a special promotion or launch, you will attract them with outdoor activities and Mall launches.

Life stage: Young working couple with no children

Their influencers: Parents, peer groups and friends and workmates

What to do: They are concerned about having enough money to live on and buying that dream house or affording rent. They are starting out in their careers so they are also concerned about their jobs and making a good impression. Keep love in the air for the young couple and appeal to their new “oneness” and dedication to each other and togetherness. Create images with romance and  successful  futures and careers ,that they can associate your brand with. You can reach this groups on social networks, through home décor magazines, men and women’s lifestyle magazines and programs. On TV  you may find them viewing sports, fashion and career programs, action and comedies because the young and in love, love to have a good laugh.

Life stage: Young working parents

Their influencers: Their parents, friends with young children and work colleagues.

What to do: Young parents are usually concerned about being good and wise parents, having enough money to provide for their family, their careers, the mortgage or rent money.  This group has just embarked on a major journey of raising children. They may be feeling insecure and overwhelmed by life and parental responsibility. Your marketing messages should take the burden off every day decisions from them. Make it easy for them to make small decisions by being the expert in your field. Let them know that your product is the best because it is medically proven, safe and child proof , easy to get etc. Let them know that other young parents are using and benefiting from your products and services and use testimonials from other young parents or from parental figures to influence them.  Make them know that you are prepared to help them to build a future. You can appeal to them through baby magazines, family TV, sports programmes, on- line on baby websites, social networks , parental support groups, cookery shows and blogs and on business and career magazines and channels.

Life stage: Working adults , Single ,with no children

Their influencers: Their friends and peers, and workmates

What to do: This group is concerned about  their career advancement,  about their parents, appearance,  and sometimes about finding a partner  as well as buying that first house or affording rent. They want to have enough money to take care of the basics, building a nest egg, while enjoying the good things in life. They may be very mobile and looking for the best life prospect for themselves. Appeal to their individuality, their career success endeavours and the  freedom to do what they want today.  Your marketing messages should reinforce  their life choices and their need to prepare themselves for the future. Use testimonials to let them know that they are making the right decisions by using your brand and make it easy for them to access your products quickly.  You can engage with this group on Social networks sites, in tech ,business  and career magazines, on line blogs, current affairs sites, travel and leisure magazines on and off line, family, documentary,  fashion and sport  TV, women and men’s lifestyle magazines.

Life stage: Middle aged, Working, Married with Children

Their influencers: Their children and spouses, workmates

What to do: They are concerned about their children and having enough money for college and university. They are also looking towards eventual retirement and are concerned about having an adequate nest egg for the future. They may be going through a midlife crisis and are concern about their appearance , health and their self-worth. They may be feeling inadequate because they have not done all they wanted to do with their lives. Your marketing messages should reinforce the love within the family unit  but also individuality and uniqueness of each partner. Create images of families  and togetherness. Use teen  figures to appeal to this group because their children play an important role in their lives.  Give hope by making them feel that they still have time to add value  to society and to make a difference and to achieve their dreams through your brand. Use family themed launches for  your new products and promotions. You  can engage with this group on line on business and social networks, specialist and business magazines, home and décor , gardening, men and women’s  magazines and programs, specialist blogs , family, sports programs.

Life stage: Middle aged, Working, with children and Not married

Their influencers: Children , Friends and peer groups, workmates

What to do: This group is concerned about their children and providing for them through tertiary education, their careers  and advancement, retirement and their health and self-worth. Your marketing messages should assist them to make decisions about the future, while reinforcing their sense of self- worth, attractiveness  and individuality.  They want to know that they are making the right decisions, so reinforce your marketing messages with expert opinion. You can engage with this groups on social networks, business and career sites and magazines, men and women’s magazines, soaps, sports and life style channels, home and garden and specialist programs such as Discovery channel , National geographic etc.

There are many more life stages that your customers may go through. The point is, you will make a much better impact with your marketing communication, if you appeal to  the hearts and minds of your customers and if you are aware of their feelings during these life stages.

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About chipomaps

A brand reputation, marketing and new media trainer and consultant. Constantly curious, constantly learning.
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