The rise of the digital age has forced companies to evolve with the times or lose themselves in the dust of rivals who took advantage of emerging technologies and strategies. The embrace and application of new tech has provided companies with a plethora of benefits. Arguably, the most important opportunity created by this push towards modernization is the ability to gain customer insight through data collection, thus allowing you to discern consumer behavior, objectives, and preferences in order to optimize your company’s strategy.
If you are a business owner, eschewing customer insights in your current marketing strategy is a massive missed opportunity to both understand and reach your ideal audience; it is a critical component to any modern marketing strategy. Although it may sound complicated and time-consuming, it does not have to be. In truth, developing and deploying customer insights is rather straight forward. With that in mind, below, we will discuss the various reasons why and how you should use customer insights.
Why You Should be Using Customer Insights
Studies show that modern customers care increasingly more about a personalized marketing experience. In fact, 6 out of 10 Americans state that they are willing to give up more data for a personalized marketing experience. Your average customer cares so much about this that they are more than happy to switch brands to a company that makes a more concerted effort to reach them. A 2016 Salesforce marketing research survey of more than 7,000 consumers and businesses buyers confirms this. The analysis states:
Customers know that companies need more of their data in order to deliver personalized experiences — and a majority are now on board with that. Fifty-seven percent of consumers say they’re willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Additionally, consumers will share personal data in exchange for product recommendations that meet their needs (52%) and personalized shopping experiences (53%). Customers also increasingly expect companies to anticipate the products they need next. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers say it’s acceptable for companies to send personalized offers/discounts based on the items they’ve already purchased.
Deploying a marketing and communications plan without having a comprehensive understanding of your audience is like trying to climb a mountain blindfolded and not even knowing where the mountain is in the first place. However, when properly utilized, customer insights help guide and direct you down the most ideal path. A 2016 eMarketer survey discovered that “60% of B2B marketers attributed at least 11-50% of sales increases to marketing analytics.”
Examples of tangible benefits of customer insights include:
- A better understanding of your audience – Customer insights grant you a unique vantage point that provides an intimate and detailed profile of your customer base. Businesses that are armed with such analytics can strategize methods in order to not only improve current customer satisfaction and retention but also target their ideal consumer in order to continue growing. A deeper and more rigorous understanding of your customers can help you take complacent customers and transform them into enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
- Improving a current product or focusing product development – Insights can be utilized in the conception, design, and manufacture of your existing products or new products. The goal of any company is to identify a general consumer need or desire and create a product or service in response. By keeping customer’s tastes, needs, and desires in mind from the drawing board, you can create something that is not just suited for your customer, but perfect for them.
- Targeting your messaging – Similar to product development, enhanced intelligence on your customer’s wants and needs allows you to tailor your message and effectively target them. This is typically done through qualitative and quantitative research.
- Qualitative Measures – Customer reviews and market research.
- Quantitative measures – Google analytics, Facebook audience insights.
Performing qualitative and quantitative research on your audience helps you craft a stronger, more compelling message.
- Making predictions – One of the more valuable benefits of customer insights is the ability to predict how consumers will likely behave in the future. This can refer to either short-term behavior such as how they act in specific months or holidays or can be used for the long-term to grasp how they will act over their lifetime. Having a solid idea of what to expect allows you to adapt and prepare, especially when it comes to inventory and the supply chain.
Developing Personas and Messaging
Every time a business interacts with a lead, prospect, or website visitor, their goal is to have a message that resonates with the customer. At the very least, your goal is to have a message that piques their interest enough that they continue to browse your website. Although, ideally, you hope that your message is so powerful that it converts them from visitor to customer.
In order to ensure that you are acting optimally, you want to ask yourself the following:
- Is my current messaging appealing to and bringing in the prime prospects?
- Is my current messaging tailored to these prospects? In other words, am I addressing their values, wants, and needs on a 1 to 1 level?
Customer insights allow businesses to plan and apply effective marketing strategies to increase their bottom line. Understandably, you may be curious as to how that works in practice. In short, it starts with taking qualitative and quantitative insights in order to develop formalized buyer personas to describe your audience.
Our Process for Creating Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are a semi-fictional overarching model of your ideal customer that is based on data and market research about your current customers. The formulation for a persona is generated by creating a buyer’s journey for target consumers by grouping them into one of a few personas.
Typically, your average business will develop anywhere from 3 to 5 personas. These personas are often based off a handful of data points and factors, including demographics, behavior patterns, goals, and motivations. At Power Digital Marketing, there are a handful of steps involved in this process, including:
- Discovery call with you – The PDM team connects with you in order to familiarize themselves with your company, its staff, its products, and its goals.
- Internal survey with your company – Research begins during this phase. PDM surveys a solid portion, if not all, of your employees in order to get a more thorough grasp of their goals and their analysis of what your product or service is, what need it is meeting, and who you are serving.
- Customer survey – After this, we reach out to customers for more meaningful feedback as to why they selected to utilize your services or buy your goods. This creates a detailed profile of what your customers think and feel.
- Customer data analysis – The data gathered in the initial 3 steps of the process is compiled, categorized, and analyzed to develop insights and identify trends.
- Create persona templates – Upon completion of the analytics phase, these insights and trends are used to develop buyer persona templates. These are rigorous representations of the ideal groups of customers that you will find the most success targeting.
The buyer personas that are created with customer insights to help you better understand and relate to both your current and prospective customers. In addition, it allows you to segment and categorize them into groups to create a marketing strategy and marketing content that is targeted specifically for that persona. Once done, you can deploy those strategies across marketing channels.
Strategically Deploying in Cross-Channel Marketing
Now that you are armed with all the pertinent information and have identified personas, you can act upon that by developing messaging that will be used in a cross-channel marketing strategy. At its essence, cross-channel marketing is about creating a consistent and seamless marketing strategy the utilizes several avenues of communication to reach customers, engage with them, and ideally move them down the funnel.
Examples of deploying the messaging to multiple channels can include:
- Landing pages specific for each persona
- Direct mail
- Social ad images + copy
- Email content
- Blog content
- PPC and other forms of online advertising
- Mail order catalogs
- Mobile marketing
- Retail storefronts
Utilizing a range of channels increases your opportunity to reach that target customer persona;
customer Insights make it easier to tailor your content and strategy to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different segments across every channel.
Create Customer Insights
Taking the time to discover your archetypal customer is a worthy investment that will yield a wide assortment of benefits to any company, including:
- A deeper understanding of customers
- Focused product development
- Targeted messaging
- Improved click-through and conversion rates
In order to set yourself apart from your competition, it is critical that you recognize your customer’s needs and desires and then react accordingly. So, if you want to gain a more profound understanding of your target consumer, reach out today for a digital marketing audit.
Koetsier, J. Inc. “61% of Americans Will Share Personal Data for Personalized Marketing Communications.” (2018). https://www.inc.com/john-koetsier/61-of-consumers-will-share-personal-data-for-personalized-marketing-communications.html
McGinnis, D. Salesforce. “Customers Are Willing to Swap More Data for Personalized Marketing.” (2016). https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2016/11/swap-data-for-personalized-marketing
eMarketer. “B2B Executives Use Marketing Analytics to Boost the Bottom Line.” (2016). https://www.emarketer.com/Article/B2B-Executives-Use-Marketing-Analytics-Boost-Bottom-Line/1014376