The world as we know is changing at a fast pace. The pandemic accelerated changes on many levels across industries. As people remained confined indoors, and all outdoor activities were severely restricted, online was the only way they could spend time with each other without flouting social distancing norms.
The same applied to marketers too. They know that to succeed, they have to foresee their customers’ needs and provide tailor-made solutions that match their sensibilities. To achieve that, it is imperative to know one’s customer thoroughly. Knowing the customers’ choices, likes, dislikes, and the trends they follow. Along with their demographics, their financial and past purchase history can help businesses craft a marketing and sales strategy that targets the right market segment.
Businesses today are more data-centric in their approach to customers. As competition heats up, having the right data can prove to be an advantage for marketers. With the right data, businesses create Customer profiles or avatars, which broadly categorise the customer base into specific personas or target groups. A largely homogenous body of people from the same region having similar characteristics and outlook is a better target for marketers.
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Ahead of Ramadan, Google published research on the various trends and created customer profiles by analysing multiple social and demographic trends in specific geographical regions. These trends not only show a dynamic society but also map the shift in customer preferences. Customers today are more connected digitally. They are always seeking more ways to entertain themselves while staying indoors to fight the pandemic. They are not afraid to spend money, provided they are given the right product. This implies more planned and targeted advertising from marketers. They prefer to shop online. As we complete another year into the pandemic and begin preparations for another Ramadan under lockdown, here are seven key customer profiles from the MENA region marketers cannot miss.
Ramadan symbolises togetherness, well-being, The Foodie is the profile of any customer who loves food. Is an enthusiast and shares their love for food by searching for ‘new recipes’
A Google study tells us that food-related queries have seen a 125 per cent year-on-year growth during Ramadan. Most people searched for recipes and culinary inspiration during the festive season. They shared recipes, new dishes with family and friends over social media.
Which led to a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in grocery delivery app usage in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the first week of the holy month.
The Spiritual Persona
The Holy month of Ramadan is a time to introspect and spend time closer to God through prayers and charity. The faithful, or in this case the Spiritual Persona, is disciplined and follows specific timings for prayer and breaking fasts. To keep track of the sunrise, sunset and exact sighting of the moon, the Spiritual Persona turns to technology for help. The month of Ramadan sees a marked increase in the number of searches and downloads of religious app downloads. With the onset of the pandemic, gatherings have been prohibited. Instead of remaining confined, prayer meets, and meditation sessions are held online. People are making the most use of technology to find peace and stay connected to the almighty. Online charities too become very popular.
The Smart Shopper
The Smart Shopper is a type of customer profile with a keen eye on the latest products and loves a good bargain. This persona loves shopping on e-commerce sites. The best way to draw this customer profile’s attention is by advertising festival-special discounts well ahead of the festival period and serving them ads based on their preference.
The Entertainment Lover
With the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the demand for digital content has soared. The demand for shows, games, podcasts saw a marked increase during the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic. The Entertainment Lover does not have a single-source for all his entertainment needs. Platforms may differ, but the content should be interesting. The Middle East saw a 37 per cent rise in the number of entertainment apps that were downloaded weeks before Holy Month’s commencement. Marketers can tap into this segment by allowing prospective customers to engage with the brand while offering variety directly.
This customer profile defines those who are trying to seek a break from their reality. Customers in this profile category love to indulge themselves in the festive spirit and generally spend on items of home décor, games, etc. An essential part of escaping from reality involves switching off from the present. This is possible by indulging in fun activities like indoor games, board games, puzzles, online gaming etc. A Google study reveals that search queries for items of home décor saw a 50 per cent jump in the Middle East. Queries for games, especially multiplayer games and gaming consoles, saw a 106 per cent jump in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Indulging in electronic gadgets like big-screen TVs, music systems also saw a huge jump during the pandemic induced lockdown.
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People who come under this profile try to make the best use of their time. Self-Motivators are ambitious, innovative. These people are always on the lookout to upskill themselves. Whether it’s learning a new language or obtaining a new certification, self-motivators are always searching to do something new that adds value. Online learning, DIY courses, gadgets that keep their schedule and keep them organised are of particular interest to customers with this profile. Marketers can cater to such customers by providing products and services that empower them.
The Sanctuary Seeker
Customers belonging to this profile seek harmony and peace. They seek inspiration from nature and build a positive outlook by caring for the body, mind and soul. Customers belonging to this profile often seek a long-lasting, fruitful relationship with their surroundings. Such people are most likely to redo their homes or invest in goods to serve them in the long run. The pandemic-induced lockdown allowed customers of this profile to focus on their health and well-being. Because of them, the keyword search on Google for terms like exercise, fitness, and workouts rose to a whopping 116 per cent across UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt during Ramadan.
The customer profile analysis points us to another interesting fact. Customer profiles give us a direct view of industry trends. Which industries boom during Ramadan? Knowing customers and their preferences, down to the keywords used to search for specific products and services, can help businesses plan their media campaigns creatively. Being aware of industry peaks can help businesses craft tailored strategies, including fine-tune their media buying and create campaigns that resonate with the audience.