If you don’t know your customers…I mean REALLY don’t know your customers, it’s going to be difficult to grow your customer base, or keep the one you have. Without having a proper understanding of who consumes your product or service, you could end up wasting thousands of dollars in marketing that completely misses the mark. Not good.
So how do you avoid wasting thousands of dollars in marketing and advertising? It all starts with getting into the mind of your customers. Generic demographics alone won’t cut it. You need to know what they think, how they talk, what motivates them, what excites them, and what brings them pain. Here are some ways to accomplish just that.
Talk To Them
Have you spoken to your customers? Verbally? If not, you should. Phone conversations are great, but in-person, face-to-face dialogue is even better. A picture is worth a thousand words. To see your customer in the flesh can mean the world for your business. Your customer may be someone completely different than you had ever considered prior to meeting them in person.
You’ll be able to form a vision of who your customer is, and craft a marketing message tailored to that individual. This is sometimes known as your customer avatar. It’s important to have an accurate picture of your avatar.
Listen To Them
If direct communication isn’t possible, find out where they hang out. This could be online or offline. Once you know the demographic of your customer, check out the Facebook Groups, Twitter conversations, or online forums where they are speaking to their peers.
If you know where large groups of your customers hang out offline, you can visit those areas and get some clues as to what they’re needs are. The goal is to find out as much as you can about the customer, even on a personal level.
For instance, if you know that a large percentage of your customers like a certain type of music, or wear a certain type of clothing, imagine how much more targeted your marketing message can be toward them.
If you can join online communities where they congregate, you can see what common themes come up in their conversations. Not only will this help you craft your marketing message, but you’ll know what verbiage you can put in your advertising.
A great hypothetical example of this is the fighter pilots who fly F-16s. The formal name of the jet is the Fighting Falcon, but fighter pilots call it the Viper. If you try to pitch a marketing message to a group of F-16 pilots, and use the term Fighting Falcon instead of Viper, you’re going to get laughed at. These little things matter!
Surveys can also be incredibly helpful. What can be better than directly asking your customer what they want? This is different from observing your customer, which can be good and bad. On one hand, you can ask them what their thoughts are about your product. The other side of the coin is that they may not always be honest about their true feelings.
There are several ways to survey your customers using modern technology. First and foremost, you can post surveys on your website.
You can email them and ask them to participate in surveys on your website using a service like Survey Monkey. You can also use SMS (text messaging). In fact you can send SMS online, from a desktop PC using various services.
Use email or SMS to drive your customers to your surveys, or have them take it over the phone. It all depends on what features your product has available to you.
Analytics has been saved for last due to the impersonal nature of the data. That absolutely does not mean it is not incredibly important.
Use analytics data from your website, app, call logs, or whatever you can get your hands on. Google Analytics is usually the most common analytics tool used for websites and apps.
Although analytics is impersonal, it helps drive the decisions already mentioned in this article. Once you learn your customer demographic, use that data to pursue them further by opening lines of communication.
Get to know your customers, and get to know them well. They are the lifeline of your business. It boils down to learning who your customers are, then getting into their minds to find out what brings them joy, and keeps them up at night. You can be the one to solve those problems!