Do you know your customers’ needs and wants? No, I mean really know their needs and wants?
It appears that 38% of marketers find this their number-one challenge, regardless of company size or industry.
According to the newly released global report, The 2016 Digital Marketer from Experian, “Customer-centric brands are shifting the way they think about “customers” or “consumers” to start thinking of them as people; people who have real lives, relationships and desires rather than just views, clicks or transactions on the other side of a screen.”
The brands that can deliver on customer expectations will know the people who buy and use their products at a deeper, more intimate level, the report says.
This knowledge goes beyond standard demographics like gender, age or income to include their needs, wants and attitudes. How do these people spend their time? How do they engage with your brand and with other brands? How do they behave as individuals; not just members of a specific demographic?”
But, is that easier said than done, especially for smaller organizations? Predictive analytic and customer insight tools may be out of reach for smaller businesses. So, what can you do?
Here’s a list of 10 affordable ways to learn more about your customers’ needs and wants:
- Check online reviews. What are your customers saying about your company?
- Do some research on question sites, like Quora. What questions are prospective customers asking about your industry/profession/product/service?
- Dig up any complaints or praise you’ve received from customers.
- Conduct a quantitative survey. Keep it brief and offer an incentive or prize for completing it on time.
- Conduct qualitative research, particularly IDIs (in-depth interviews). Choose a wide range of current and past customers and ask for 5-15 minutes of their time on the telephone.
- Do social media research. Choose a representation of customers and check out their LinkedIn profiles, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, or other networks to which you have access.
- If you have a reliable database or CRM (customer relationship management) program, look for common customer insights.
- Check Google Trends to see what people are searching for.
- Review your website analytics to see which keywords visitors use to discover your site.
- If you have employees, ask them. They may be sitting on insights they have never shared.
Do you have any more to add?