How Well Do You Know Your Customers? 4 Tips to Help You Boost Your Marketing Effectiveness

Businesses spend a great deal of money and effort reaching out to potential customers. They post status updates on social media, set up YouTube channels, and pay for local advertising, all with the hope that their message will convince people to buy what they’re offering.

But if brands are blindly throwing marketing messages out, they’ll likely find that the response is disappointing. Without knowing anything about the potential customers receiving those messages, a business has little chance of success. If you’re planning an upcoming campaign, it’s crucial to first stop to think about your customers, which means investing time in getting to know them. Here are a few tips to help you learn more about your target demographic.

Monitor Activity

The best way to learn about your market is to watch your current customers and website visitors. If you own a storefront, you can watch the customers who enter and exit each day. You may even have time to ask them questions about their interests. In the virtual world, however, watching customer activity means using tech tools to monitor traffic across all of your online platforms. This technology will provide information on how far customers scroll on a page, which links each customer clicks, and what links and search terms bring customers to your site. You can also monitor social media activity and learn more about the type of customers who generally like, share, and comment on your page. This type of analysis takes time, but it helps you form an overall picture of your target market.

Conduct a Survey

If you want to learn more about consumers, the best approach is to simply ask. You can do this in the form of a survey that you post on your website or social media pages. You can also send surveys to customers with each purchase. For best results, offer an incentive for customers to participate, such as entry into a contest or coupons toward future purchases. Not only will this help you identify site usability issues, but you can also learn why customers chose your brand over the competition. This information can be extremely useful when you’re determining how best to connect with similar customers who don’t know about your products or services yet.

Create Personas

In recent years, professional marketers have turned to a tool called marketing personas to inform their marketing campaigns. Using all of the information collected through their analytics efforts and surveys, marketers come up with various profiles of the customers most likely to respond to their marketing efforts. Personas take into account even the smallest factors, including customer demographics, details about a typical day in their lives, personal interests, and other products and services they regularly purchase. Once these customer profiles are in place, everyone involved in a campaign can keep those personas in mind as they post social media updates, create blog content, and come up with other ideas to get the word out about what they’re offering. Don’t limit yourself to one persona. Your target demographic is likely made up of customers who have a range of jobs and personal interests.

Incorporate Automation Tools

Once armed with all of this information, your brand needs a way to put it into use with each new campaign. With tools like GetResponse’s new marketing automation software, you can segment your marketing efforts, sending specific messages to customers who fit a specific profile based on past behaviors. One group of messages may go to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, for instance, while another group goes to customers who have looked at a particular product on your site. When you learn to incorporate insights into your marketing campaigns, the result will be messages that convert into sales. Over time, you’ll be able to use the information you’ve gained from previous campaigns to refine your efforts, making subsequent campaigns more successful.

Your current customers can serve as valuable indicators of the types of consumers most likely to connect with your brand. It’s important to find ways to learn more about those customers’ interests and buying habits and put that data to use in future campaigns. This form of data-driven marketing is becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes, making it important for brands struggling to remain competitive.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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