Every good marketing decision starts with an appreciation for your customers.
As such, for you to get the most out of your marketing, you need to understand who you’re dealing with. Until you begin to understand the specific interests, habits, and needs of your audience, it can be hard to know exactly how to structure your marketing tactics.
Fortunately, recent innovations in intelligent marketing algorithms provide brands with a wealth of big data from their consumer — data that you can leverage to help you better identify and engage with your consumers. It’s up to individual businesses to employ that data intelligently to build up a detailed picture of their users.
It’s about realizing the needs of your customers and conveying your commitment to fulfilling those needs. Engaging with your target market lets them know you are aware of their desires and that you prioritize their happiness.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can analyze your users and understand their behavior to created a targeted marketing strategy.
Monitor the customer landscape
The language we use matters.
A great way to identify what your audience cares about is by looking into the searches they make. Whether that’s search engine and PPC data from Google, website analytics, or data from internal search engines, these different data sets offer an insight into customer psychology and actions.
Even just looking at query types (transactional, navigational, etc.) or intent (cheapest deals, near me, etc.), can provide businesses with vital insight into the needs of their customers.
Use keyword research tools such as UberSuggest or Keyword Tool to explore the terms your customers are searching. Keyword research will allow you to understand the language people are resorting to — and what matters to them. Answer The Public is particularly useful for as it provides you with actual questions your customers are asking, helping guide your content output.
You can drill down even deeper into your audience’s psyche by trawling sites like Reddit or Quora to hear first-hand stories. Nowadays, people readily share their opinions of and encounters with brands, highlighting what they love and what they hate. This granular approach to analysis will help you identify what makes your customers tick and why.
Amazon reviews are an awesome ecommerce research hack — it’s where customers candidly share their no-holds-barred experiences of products — and buyers should take note.
Use social media insight tools
Social media offers businesses a range of analytical tools that provide further data on their customers. (It’s data that people have chosen to share about themselves, so be thoughtful in the way that you harness it and mine it for insights).
Don’t overlook the free tools in favor of fancier ones. Twitter Analytics, for example, provides business owners with an overview of their followers and their interests. This can include their interests, lifestyle habits, marital status, estimated income, and shopping behaviors.
Facebook Insights also offers valuable details. By using Facebook’s granular data, businesses can build accurate and high-quality buyer personas that relate directly to their consumers’ interests, demographics, and personalities, for example.
Use this information to create targeted marketing communications to niche customer segments who will be most likely to respond to them. By investing in precisely personalized forms of marketing appropriate for each social channel, you are more likely to receive greater consumer engagement and ROI.
Use targeted audience research
Every business worth their salt knows that communication lies at the heart of understanding your audience. Connecting with customers both digitally and offline is the most direct way of learning what makes them tick. There are many ways that your business can do this, including:
Host a Q&A session: a tactic used by brands including JP Morgan and H&M, a social media-based Q&A lets your customers communicate directly and instantly with you. Create a branded hashtag to monitor the conversations and try to respond to every question with detail and clarity.
Use customer surveys: surveys are cheap and easy ways of sourcing customer opinions. Create multiple choice questions, but provide a blank field at the end of each one so they can expand further if they need to.
User-generated content: encourage your customers to share photos, videos, and reviews of your product or service, how they use it, and what it means to them. How they interact with what you provide can give you a valuable insight into your position on the market.
Data can tell you a lot, but you should not neglect the wealth of information that can be gleaned directly from your audience themselves. Not all feedback will be helpful or relevant, but the options above offer you a variety of different types of customer information for you to leverage.
By creating conversations between your brand and your audience, you can create a rapport with your customers, and encourage them to be more open about their needs, concerns, and opinions.
Evaluate existing customer sales data
In addition to looking at external data, such as keyword analytics and social media, brands can use their existing sales and customer data to tap into their customer demographic.
Depending on the platform you use for your website, you should have access to information on each stage of the customer journey. This will tell you how they found your site, what they looked at before making a purchase, and of course, what they ultimately purchased, if anything. Same goes for content — you can see which blogs and pages are drawing people in, or where they drop off.
Most ecommerce solutions, such as WooCommerce and Shopify, offer apps and plugins that can help gather and interpret sales data. These include standards such as age and location, but also the time of day purchases are made, average order spend, and more.
Intelligent data such as this can help you identify some crucial factors about your customers and their habits. It can highlight points at which customers drop out of the sales funnel for ecommerce stores, monitor fluctuations in your sales figures, and offer reasons for high bounce rates, for example. These insights can be engineered to optimize the customer journey as you begin to understand the reasons for user behavior.
Web analytics can also be used to identify which pages receive the most traffic, what factors affect hits, and so on. Using this data, you can redesign your website to optimize it for maximum engagement and conversion. Be sure to revamp your pages to give your customers the best experience you have to offer, with appropriate content, and strong calls to action.
Good marketing relies on a deep, detailed awareness of your audience. It helps guide virtually every decision you make for your business. Explore a variety of different channels to fully understand your customer base, and bear them in mind every step of the way.
About the Author:
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.