Every third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October) is Get to Know Your Customers Day. January’s date has already come and gone, but it’s always a good time to learn about your audience on a personal level.
With the internet and big-box stores, personal attention has been traded for convenience. But as a small or midsize business that is trying to remain competitive, it’s helpful to learn a little about your customers. They are what keep your business alive, after all.
Below are seven effective ways to understand your audience. The more you know about them, the easier it is to create tailored messages and experiences that cater to their specific needs, desires and preferences.
- Utilize your available data.
There’s no question that you have tons of data at your fingertips. This doesn’t mean that all of it is valuable but some is. For example, Google Analytics collects demographic insights as well as your customers’ shopping habits, preferences and behaviors. By using a mix of social media analytic tools and mobile data platforms, you can capture valuable data on your customers from a variety of touchpoints.
Some of the things to look for in your data include:
- Where your marketing response is coming from
- Turnover rate of regular purchasers
- Trends people are interested in
- Historical sales data
- Behaviors on your website and social media
- Strike up a conversation.
One of the best ways to learn about your customers is by striking up a conversation with them. You’ll be able to ask them questions in a non-intrusive manner and spark meaningful dialogue that helps you understand their language. There are a number of tools you can use to connect with your audience, such as customer satisfaction surveys, polls, live streaming and even social listening.
- Respond to positive and negative reviews.
When someone takes the time to leave a review, it’s important to acknowledge them. Obviously, positive feedback is easy to respond to. You can simply thank the customer for their business and wish them a good day. Negative comments, on the other hand, can strike a chord. But, you can’t be reactive. People are watching, and how you handle the situation is more important than the complaint itself.
A neutral or critical complaint is an opportunity to improve your products and services. If you need to take the conversation offline, that is fine, but do respond to the customer and let them know that you care about their feedback. Providing consistent responses also shows other customers that your brand is transparent and credible.
- Host a physical or virtual event.
Hosting an event is a great way to meet people and talk to them in a friendly environment. You can host an event online or at your physical store. Or, if it’s a better fit, participate in a community event that draws lots of people in. The objective is to attract customers and create tangible experiences that help you better understand your target audience.
Here are some examples of events you can participate in.
- Live streaming events
- Trade shows
- Appreciation events
- Networking events
- Personalize your discounts and incentives.
The majority of consumers will only interact with personalized offers and discounts. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to take advantage of a 20% coupon for pet supplies if you don’t have a pet. So, make sure that your offers are personalized to your target market. When done correctly, you can increase conversions and sales while also learning more about what your customers want.
- Create a customer loyalty program.
Customer loyalty or referral programs are highly effective, and it’s surprising that more businesses don’t use them. You’re able to drive more relevant prospects your way while retaining your best business. Plus, the opportunity for continued communication is a wonderful way to build long-term relationships that you can turn to when sending out surveys and polls.
There are many ways to reward your customers for their loyalty, so pick something that will encourage them to continue engaging with you. This could be a discount, free item or extended membership. As you work towards a successful and innovative customer loyalty program, you can gain a wealth of customer data in the process.
- Partner with an influencer.
Influencer marketing can help your brand understand your audiences and how to influence them. This type of marketing is effective because people are fascinated by certain influencers. They follow them on social media, comment on their posts and ask questions about the products they use. By working with an influencer, you can promote your products and services to their audience and expand your reach.
Furthermore, be sure to monitor comments from the influencer’s fans and followers. Many brands are surprised to see how their audiences have evolved over the years, and it takes a fresh perspective and new marketing approaches to re-engage them. As you find what topics your audience discusses and what engages them, you can this insight to craft your content strategy.
Wrapping it Up
Knowing your audience helps you figure out what messages they care about. There’s no reason to invest in marketing campaigns and advertisements that will just go ignored by your customers. Utilizing an audience-centered approach will help you send targeted messages to the right people, increasing conversions and sales.
Whether you are looking to learn more about your customers, or you need help setting up a customer-focused campaign, contact WSI Net Advantage today. With our award-winning solutions, we can help you narrow down a specific market and connect with them on a personal level.
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
The Best Digital Marketing Insight and Advice
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