If you don’t want to get to know your customers at a personal level, your digital marketing strategies are likely to be flatter than a bottle of coca-cola from a children’s party.
If you fail to reach out to your consumers with personalized marketing and customized experience, the prestige of your brand will rapidly decline, as will your audience.
The one-size-fits-all promotional strategy of the past decade will not—and though this might seem obvious, as marketers, we could all do with a little reminder of this from time to time.
Why should you get to know your customers?
When designing content marketing strategies or campaigns to promote your brand, it’s easy to get away with innovative elements, ignoring the unique needs, expectations and priorities of the process.
But customers are the lifeblood of your business, and getting under their skin is the only way to engage, encourage, and connect in a way that is both meaningful and beneficial in equal measure.
This is why…
- 96% of customers agree that customer service is an important part of their preference of loyalty to brands and companies.
- Businesses that lead the initiative of their customer service outperform the laggards by almost 80%.
- 90% of the CEOs believe that the consumer has the most important effect on their company.
- 91% of today’s consumers, especially digital natives, are more likely to shop with brands that include relevant deals and recommendations.
Know Your Customer: 7 Important Ideas
We have been refreshing ourselves on the importance of knowing your audience. Now we are discussing ways you can get under the skin of your consumers and experience enhanced marketing success.
1. Spark up a dialogue
Without a question, one of the most direct and invaluable ways to get to know your customers is by starting a conversation with them.
By approaching your customers where they are, you will be able to understand how they relate to their peers when asking them valuable questions in a way that is organic rather than intrusive. And when you ask the right questions, you will get the right answers—the kind that will help you boost your brand experience significantly.
From surveys and interviews to social listening, there are many ways to communicate with your consumers where they are most comfortable—and get to know them. But, perhaps one of the most important ways to engage in meaningful audience dialogs and speaking the language of your consumers is through user-generated content (UGC).
Eighty-five percent of customers considered visual UGC more powerful than labeled images or videos. In addition, 90% of consumers agree that authenticity is crucial when determining which brands to endorse.
User-generated content builds reputation and trust while providing a deeper insight into the minds of your consumers. That said, it’s worth your time and investment, particularly if you are looking to appeal to your market audience.
2. Get analytical across touchpoints
We are literally swimming in data in the digital age. Market metrics and insights are, of course, golden dust to marketers trying to consider their customer base in a way that is profound and meaningful. But are you using your data to its fullest capacity?
Although Google Analytics is an integral part of extracting value from your numerous demographic insights, drilling into additional data sources through touchpoints can give you a panoramic insight into the habits, desires, and behaviors of your customers.
Through using a combination of social media analytics tools as well as mobile data platforms to collect a host of in-depth insights through your key customer touchpoints, you will be able to create profiles or personas that will boost your marketing communications exponentially.
3. Respond to positive and negative reviews. Personally.
Expanding on the previous point: concerning customer feedback, it always pays to respond in a constructive and timely manner to both positive and negative testimonials.
No matter where they are written, you can remain committed to providing personal answers to customer feedback in the public domain. This will humanize your brand, demonstrate your dedication to customer service, and provide you with even more conversational insights.
90% of customers confirm that online reviews have a significant effect on their purchase decisions. As such an integral signal of confidence, having clear answers is essential and this will open you up to a wealth of new consumer knowledge.
4. Tailor your deals, discounts, and incentives
Returning to the value of personalization for a moment: if you deliver personalized offers and discounts to your customers, you are likely to promote brand loyalty, which, in turn, will give you the ability to get to know them better.
The vast majority of customers today, 72 percent to be exact—will only engage with customized offers, promotions, discounts or rewards.
What kind of options do you have? Get personal with your offers and promotions (may just be a window to the souls of your customers).
5. Host an event or an experience
When it comes to understanding your clients, experiential marketing is a very satisfying pursuit—if you have it right.
Research shows that millennials enjoy the experience of material possessions. And while the new generation is leaning a little more towards creative gadgets and cool goods in terms of their consumer philosophy, this ‘woke’ cohort is concerned with rewarding brand interactions.
If you host a brand event or create a tangible experience (physical or virtual), you can ultimately develop a forum to communicate your brand value with your consumers through a personal approach. You will also be able to grasp parts of your audience in a way that goes beyond digital stats and metrics on your own.
A brand committed to driving creativity, Volkswagen has initiated several experiential initiatives in recent years—and its ‘Piano Staircase’ project is no exception.
Placing its customers at the center of the campaign, VW turned the staircase of the Stockholm subway station into a life-size, pressure-activated piano.
Based on the VW’s ‘Fun Theory,’ the campaign is based on the notion that if something’s fun, people are more likely to engage with it.
As the video reveals, 66 percent more people tried the stairs instead of taking the escalator. In addition, more than 1.2 million YouTube views have been generated by the video alone to date.
Although this particular initiative is over a decade old, it is worth noting because of its continuing relevance—a testimony to the power of experience.
With clear marketing, strong brand placement, and interactive creativity, it’s possible to demonstrate your brand values, collect valuable customer knowledge, and communicate with a broader, more dedicated audience.
6. Start a mobile loyalty scheme
Speaking of cultivating trust and developing long-term relationships, establishing a customer loyalty scheme would not only raise your client retention rates, but will also open up a continuous contact channel between your brand and your audience.
83 percent of consumers report that loyalty services make them more likely to associate with specific brands. Like Amazon, Starbucks, and TOMS have all gained a great deal of success through their groundbreaking loyalty programs—gathering a wealth of priceless customer insights into the process.
7. Host contests
Last but not least, we give another fast node to user-generated content.
Showing active gratitude to your customers will inspire trust and loyalty, which, in turn, will make your customers more likely to connect with your brand through contact points. And holding a contest is an effective way to do that.
This is a direction that isn’t especially well-trodden, but by being brave and being an early adopter, you stand to turn your heads while gaining plenty of social media traction.
By developing a beautifully designed hashtag, selecting a social media site to host a competition, and offering your consumers an opportunity to share a day in their lives, you will gain a wealth of insight into your prospects, giving your brand recognition a boost in the process.