Who is your product serving?

Who is your product serving?

#Distinction #Concepts #Users 


Users, customers and consumers, the classification of these three belongs to the marketing category in traditional industries. In the Internet industry, most people know the concept of users, and consumers and customers are rarely subdivided. In actual operation Some people may have also made a distinction, but because the concept of users in the Internet industry is too popular, the differences between users, consumers and customers are often not reflected in the expression, and users are used to "endorsement", so these three are rarely used. Separately.

In fact, it is very important to distinguish these three user roles. The purpose of separating traditional industries is to make the marketing crowd more accurate and avoid waste. For the Internet industry, from the selection and positioning of target users to product design, operation, etc. The first thing involved is the user role. When you are designing a product function, you need to know clearly what kind of users you are designing for, what are the characteristics of users, what are their needs, where are the user groups, and how to operate them and many more.

Let's talk about how to define and distinguish users, consumers and customers, and how to distinguish them in actual work.


1. How to distinguish users, consumers and customers?

1. What is a user?

A user refers to a person who uses a product or service. As long as the people who are using or have used it belong to the user, the product and service may not be purchased by themselves, but may be given or borrowed, as long as Users who have used it or have used it are counted as users. For example, we use WeChat every day, so we all belong to WeChat users, but we did not pay WeChat;


2. What is a consumer?

Consumers refer to people who have potential purchase desires and impulses in the near future. In a broad sense, consumers are people who have consumption needs, so everyone can be called consumers. Consumers here are narrowly defined and refer to those who have recently purchased. People who need it but haven’t bought it yet. For example, if you plan to buy a computer in the near future, you are a computer consumer. If you plan to buy a mobile phone in the near future, you are a mobile phone consumer. If you have bought it or have no plans to buy it recently, not belong to consumers;


3. What is a customer?

A customer refers to a person who buys a product or service. The customer is not necessarily the user of the product or service, but must be the person who pays for the product or service. For example, if you buy a BMW car, you are a BMW , it doesn't matter who will open it;

Among the three, users include the widest range of people. Most traditional companies have no users but only customers. Traditional companies generally target consumers, and then convert consumers into customers to provide services to them, and finally enjoy the services. It’s just the person who spends the money, that is, the customer; on the contrary, in the Internet industry, most products in the Internet industry serve users. Customers, or use users to attract customers to make profits, to a certain extent, it can be said that users, consumers, and customers are gradually converting, and the number of people will become less and less.

If it's so simple, it's easy to say, the complexity of this thing is that you may have to serve two or even three of users, customers, and consumers at the same time, and users, customers, and consumers may or may not be the same person. , it may be an individual, it may be a business, you have to take care of every role above, and this business model can be established.


2. What is the use of layering users?

1. Better match the service population and business model
The ultimate goal of an enterprise’s operation is to obtain a large number of customers and income, but if it does customer service directly, the cost of customer acquisition will be very large, and it will lose the advantages of the Internet and become a traditional company with an Internet shell, so many Internet products need Divide users into layers, and then establish business models in an intersecting manner. The common ones are as follows:


(1) Provide services to users and acquire customers through accumulated users

This is a common routine for most C-side products, such as Baidu, which captures the entire network content on its own server to provide users with search services, which meets the needs of users to find information. When a large number of users use Baidu's services , Baidu began to sell advertising services to companies with promotion needs, so that these companies could become their own customers to achieve profits. If you follow the traditional way of thinking, Baidu is an advertising company, but Baidu uses the Internet's way of thinking, and has a large number of users, so it has become a domestic Internet giant.


(2) Direct-to-consumer services, acquiring customers by accumulating a large amount of consumer data

This is a common model for most vertical products, such as Dianping and Meituan. Dianping provides commenting services. When you have the idea of ​​going to a restaurant, the demand at this time is to find a good restaurant, so you go to Dianping. Look at other people's reviews, and then check on Meituan to see if there are any discounts. When Meituan and Dianping have accumulated a large number of consumers, they can promote their own advertising and other businesses to the merchants, and let the merchants become their own customers. This routine is the same as above. It's almost the same, but in the crowd, it's consumers and not everyone.


(3) Directly serve users, and then convert users into consumers or customers

This model is mostly community-based and content-based products, such as QQ. Users can use a large number of basic services of QQ for free. To use advanced functions, they must open a membership. Like Zhihu, there are a lot of free content, but some content There is a fee. If you want to see it, you have to pay. The users, consumers and customers of this type of product are all the same type of users. The final completion of the business model is the result of the gradual transformation of a user.


(4) Direct-to-consumer services, converting consumers directly into customers

This is the business model of most e-commerce products, such as JD.com, Taobao, etc. It mainly serves people who have consumption intentions. Through discounts, promotions, coupons and other means to allow users to place orders to buy, and finally change consumers into For those who ride bicycles and are willing to pay, consumers and customers here are also the same type of users. It is important to do a good job in the conversion of users.


(5) Provide services to users and convert consumers into customers

This type of product is mainly because the user and payer are not the same person, such as k12 educational products and gift products. Taking K12 educational products as an example, the primary and secondary school students who use the products may not have the ability to pay, but the parents have the ability to pay, as long as Parents are willing to pay if they feel that they can improve their grades. Therefore, in this type of product, it is necessary to satisfy both the needs of users and the impulse demand of consumers to buy, so that the business model of this type of product can be established.


(6) Serving customers directly

Most of these products are to B products. To put it simply, I will provide you with services if you spend money. If you don’t spend money, I will not provide you with services. Now many enterprise-oriented saas products are like this. model.

The above cannot be said which is better or worse. Each product person should choose the users of the service and the corresponding business model according to the situation of their own company. For example, like the first one above, this is what most companies want to be. Users can do whatever they want, but this model requires a lot of capital and human resources to establish, so it seems that the threshold for user-oriented products is low. In fact, it is very difficult to scale. This model is almost all giants. Only the giants are willing to make no money or even subsidize money for users to use their own products and services, and there is the last model above. The number of users in this model will be very small, but as long as one order is made, one order will be earned. There is income from one order, which is very suitable for entrepreneurship and enterprises with few resources.


2. Role in product construction and design

Different users have very different needs, and the factors considered behind the design of products are also very different. Let's talk about it separately:


(1) Product design features for users

From the perspective of demand for products aimed at users, taking content-based products as an example, the essence of users’ demand for reading content is to kill time and kill boredom. This demand can also be solved by watching TV, games, etc., reading content is just a preparation Choose a plan, but users are blind, and they are willing to use it as long as the cost of boring play is extremely low; based on this feature, when designing this content product, it is necessary to design a very low threshold for use, and special rules Simple, can compete with watching TV, playing games, etc., and users are willing to use it. For example, Toutiao today is very simple to use. After downloading, as long as you keep refreshing, new content will come out, and it will automatically recommend updates based on your browsing history. Content that suits your taste, there is almost no threshold for use;

And it is simple and applicable to users of different levels, so as to cover more users of different types, such as Baidu's products, many people say that Baidu's design is ugly, but the users of Baidu's services range from first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to village-level users. There are users, and the design is determined by the size of the users. Baidu's design just doesn't have a prominent personality, and it's not ugly. Compared with the same user-oriented products, Zhihu and Douban, the crowd is mostly intellectuals, so the tone of the product is consistent. The force seems to be higher, but the user scale is much smaller;

From a functional point of view, do not stack too many functions for the products used, but divide the user scenarios, first meet the largest demand scenarios, and then trigger other niche needs in different scenarios, such as WeChat, viewing messages, and finding contacts. , Looking at the circle of friends, these three needs and frequency of use are the largest, so they are displayed directly in the bottom menu, and other needs are displayed in Discovery and Me.


(2) Design features for consumer products

From the perspective of demand, let’s take content-based products as an example. The demand of consumers to read content is to understand the introduction, evaluation, price comparison, etc. of the products they want to buy, so as to provide reference for their own purchases. It is a purposeful browsing, not a Use aimlessly, for example, if you plan to buy a mobile phone, you will look up the appearance, performance, configuration, price, evaluation of others, etc. of different brands of mobile phones on the Internet to compare, and finally decide which one you want to buy, so for consumers Content-based products must be professional and helpful for purchase. When designing products, you must highlight the elements that affect purchasing decisions, and design products around these elements, such as Autohome, which is specially designed for people who plan to buy a car. In terms of service, its product settings and content are based on purchasing decisions, such as evaluation, test drive, quotation check, fuel consumption check, model comparison, etc. Many car websites like to put car models to attract invalid traffic, but Autohome does not do this. , because they clearly know that the people they are targeting are people who plan to buy a car, that is, consumers, not people who are blind.


(3) Design features for customer products

Users are blind and need to be guided by products to achieve their goals, while customers are just the opposite. Customers will know their needs very well. In this case, products serve needs rather than need products to guide them. , the customer will pay only when the demand and the supply match almost 100%. For example, if I want a screw, if you can provide it, I will pay for it. Therefore, for customer products, we should pay attention to whether the problem can be solved. , can improve efficiency, and such products are mandatory in use, so the function is more important than the experience, the interface can be ugly, but the function must not be absent, a specific problem may correspond to a certain function, compared to the user The functions of the products will be many and complicated, but as long as the problem can be solved, it does not matter. Take Baidu as an example, the user-oriented product only has a search box on the front end, which is very simple, while the customer-oriented advertising platform is very simple. It is much more complicated. If you are a sem delivery specialist, to set up an advertisement, you may have to operate a dozen or even dozens of settings. Non-professional personnel may not understand it. Although it is troublesome, you must do it. And after doing it, it will really bring customers. These are the characteristics of customer product design.


3. The effect on the construction of profit model

All products are designed and operated for profit. When you choose services for different user groups, the profit models adopted are also different, such as:


(1) Products for user types

Because of the low threshold and free of charge, user-based products will be used by a large number of users. If there are more users, the product will have the value of advertising. Therefore, the profit model of such products is generally based on advertising, plus value-added services and games. , the most typical of this kind of profit model is Tencent, the user terminal is free, and then sells advertising spaces to customers, and at the same time charges users membership fees, operates games, etc. for users to consume. Many companies have not succeeded in Tencent, and most of their income can only rely on advertising. , such as Weibo.


(2) Products for consumers

This type of product can be said to be a huge gold mine. When consumers use the product, they use it with a clear purpose. As long as the service provided meets the needs of consumers' survey and evaluation or activates the user's desire to buy, It is possible to place an order at any time, so there are generally two major profit models for such products, one is advertising, and the other is e-commerce.


(3) Products for customers

Customer products are generally only available for payment, mainly by selling products or services for profit, and some may have follow-up service fees, membership fees and other income.


4. Effect on product operation

Whether a product can achieve its goals requires operation to implement it. Different roles are defined during product design, and users naturally need to be stratified during operation. Different operating strategies are selected for different users, and the role of stratification on operation There are mainly the following aspects;


(1) Different roles have different user acquisition methods

In terms of user acquisition, user-based products generally use the first seed user verification requirements, and then find a tipping point to detonate, spread in circles, and then form communication between users and users. Use this method to acquire users, if you can't There is no great value in forming self-propagating user-type products; for consumer products, because the needs of users are very clear, when the needs are clear, most people tend to solve problems by searching. Therefore, for this type of product, it is necessary to pay more attention to acquiring users through search engines, such as sem, seo, etc. For customer-oriented products, the user population is small, the crowd is scattered, and it is very difficult to obtain users in batches at a small cost, so it is generally active. Targeted to convert, such as through telemarketing, advertising, etc. to acquire users.


(2) Products for different roles have different operational focus

For user-type products, what we need is the scale of users and the continuous use of products by users. Therefore, the focus of operation plans and strategies will be on the increase and activity of users, while other operational needs will be prioritized. Lower, such as profit, when the user's use and profit conflict, give priority to the user experience instead of making money;

The focus of the operation of consumer products is to operate the product based on the factors that affect consumer decision-making, rather than based on all the needs of users. To take the simplest example, as a website serving car consumers , there should be one picture in the article, one is a simple photo of a car, and the other is a photo of a car with a beautiful model. Which one would you choose? If it is a qualified consumer-oriented operation, the first photo should be chosen decisively, because consumers look at this photo to understand the appearance of the car, which is very important for which car they buy, and the photo with the model will Blocking the appearance of the car will divert the attention of the viewer. Although the latter case may bring more traffic, many people may come for the girl, not for the car, and the traffic brought is all is garbage traffic;

Customer-type products are completely based on transactions and services to carry out operations. How many links are required in the transaction, each link must focus on operation, and when each link is done well, the transaction can be completed, and it cannot affect or facilitate the transaction. No matter how much work is done, no matter how good it is, it is of no use. In addition, after the transaction is completed, it is necessary to provide customers with good after-sales service. Therefore, transactions and services are the focus of customer product operations.


(3) Operational assessment indicators are different

For user-oriented products, the number of users and their usage are the most important indicators of operation. Taking APP as an example, the operation indicators are generally downloads, registrations, new users, active users, etc.; for consumer products, the purpose is to Provide consumers with purchasing decisions, so in terms of operational indicators, we should pay attention to indicators that have an impact on consumer consumption. Take shopping guide products as an example, whether the recommended products are useful to those who see them, you can like them, add to shopping carts, etc. As an operational indicator for assessment; the general operational indicators for customer products are conversion rate, transaction volume, and if it is a product with a high frequency of use, there may also be operational indicators such as repurchase rate; different user roles, operational assessment Indicators should also be different. Not all types of products can set the same indicators for operation and assessment.



Divide the target group into users, consumers and customers, and then carry out product design and product operation in a targeted manner, which belongs to the middle and high-level capabilities of products and operations. The above content is the sharing of our own experience and thinking, and the content is not necessarily comprehensive. Not necessarily all of them, the main purpose is to make everyone have the awareness of treating users differently, rather than treating all users the same. In view of the space and time constraints, I will not go into details. I will continue to sort out other ways of user stratification and its effect on products and operations in the future. Welcome everyone to exchange and learn together.

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