We asked Martha O'Gorman, Chief Marketing Officer at Liberty Tax Service, how she identifies Liberty's ideal customers - and how she targets them effectively with marketing initiatives. Here's what she had to say.
The one thing I have learned through my years of experience in marketing is that the ideal customer is identified best by modeling them after a real person. I spend a lot of time watching and listening to our customers in person and through social media channels to get a sense of who they are and what they are looking for in a tax preparer. In many ways, that expectation is all over the board, but there is one constant that rings true throughout our customer base: they want to be treated with respect by a friendly person who makes them feel good about their experience with us. Sounds simple, but in fact it is not easy to do with consistency.
To effectively target our customers, we have to know them, see them, and watch and listen to their interactions with our franchisees and their employees. Too many marketers are so far removed from the actual customer that, in my mind, we can sometimes get swept away with the latest "cool" technology or some brilliant creative product that in reality does not speak to the needs, wants, and desires of the people we are trying to reach.
Social listening is one clear way to identify those needs, wants, and desires. We take a very active role in monitoring and responding to the social conversations that take place about our brand. It is here you can identify the pain points your customers have and strive to adjust your business model to eliminate those problems. It is also through social listening that you can hear the good things that customers say about your business and capitalize on those strengths. Messaging can be modified or changed to be responsive to the social conversations.
Once you have set up the mechanisms to listen to your customers, the targeting and delivery vehicles for the marketing programs become so much easier to create and execute with confidence, as opposed to sending a strategy to market and then hoping it resonates.
My three key pieces of advice are:
A targeted, quarterly magazine that takes CEO's, VPs and Sales Executives to the cutting edge of franchise development.