But more importantly, how well do you know your customers? And where would you be without them?
Truth be told, you would be lingering amid delusion believing in your own hype. The reality is simple; without customers you would have no business.
Therefore, finding customers is a well-known battle for all businesses, especially marketers. But how well you know your customers has a direct impact on your business.
The Battle for Attention
Marketers work tirelessly to bring in new customers. And once new customers are brought onboard, the work does not stop there. Building rapport and ongoing relationships is even harder work. Businesses must strive to keep customers satisfied.
In a world where the attention span of humans continues to decrease, the battle for attention becomes more strenuous. The attention span has dropped by almost half over the past two decades.
Studies have shown that the attention span of a human is now slightly lower than that of a goldfish, which is a mind-blowing statistic. It could be said that the evolution of technology has affected the decrease. But that is a debatable subject to be discussed some other time.
What the above information reiterates is that knowing your customers is more vital now than ever. To win the battle you must know your customers and keep them engaged.
What Is a Customer?
A customer is someone that buys a product or service from a business. Whether the person is buying a coffee, car, software or any other product or service, they instantly become the customer.
Customers are the backbone of all businesses. They drive revenue, brand awareness and overall expansion and growth of a business. That is why understanding your customers is so crucial. If you know your customers then you can market to a broader range of people as well.
Satisfied customers mean you are doing something right and can result in repeat business. And repeat business is generated with minimal expense. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and should be capitalized on.
Why Are Customers Important?
The explanation is self-explanatory as mentioned above. But let us look at it from a metaphorical point of view. Customers are like a cog in the wheel. Therefore, without customers the wheel would stop turning. And if the wheel stops turning, then business comes to a grinding halt. This is not something any business wants to come across.
But there are other reasons why customers are important too.
Customers provide you with valuable data and information. This data and information can have an enormous impact on the growth of your business. The information can be processed to better lead marketing strategies in the future.
Customers provide you with insight into their habits, behavior, likes and dislikes. They also provide you with their opinion on what you do and whether you are delivering or overpromising.
But to understand your customers, you must know who your customers are. And there are many factors involved in getting to know your customers.
How Customers Have Changed Over Time
Many years ago, customers were none the wiser. The internet did not exist and finding relevant information was not so easy. These days, customers can easily find the information they are looking for. Just by searching google, they have the information available at their fingertips.
In the past it would have been considered a seller’s market. But in today’s day and age, with information so readily available, it has become a buyer’s market. Customers are so much more knowledgeable today than they once were.
As a result, some businesses avoid revealing too much information upfront. As is the case of creating gated content online, which is only creating barriers for customers. The problem with gated content is that a customer is going to look for the information elsewhere.
And as a marketer this is not what you want. Customers need to be lured in and not steered into the arms of a competitor.
Remember, the attention span is short. So, make the most of the opportunity.
Knowing your target audience will help your business prosper. Because if you do not know who your intended audience is, then who are you selling to?
Your target audience will be interested in what you offer and will share common traits with other customers. Defining your target audience can be an ongoing process. And redefining your target audience may have to suit current market trends and/or changes in behavior.
So, managing this process is best achieved with marketing automation. With MarketingPlatform you have all the necessary tools in place to handle information and place the customer at the top of the podium. Customers have always been and always will be number one.
A Unified Customer Profile View
When you obtain information about a customer, it should be collated into a database. And what better way to do that than with a customer data platform. By obtaining customer data from various channels, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), web-shop etc. you can create a unified customer profile view.
Data that can be collected includes:
- Company name
- Mobile number
- Social media accounts
- Transactional history
By keeping your customer data platform up to date, you can better understand the customer’s journey. And this all leads to satisfied customers and business growth.
Segmenting Data to Better Know Your Customers
There is so much data to be collected from customers. And the more data you collect, the more opportunity you create for future marketing campaigns and successes.
Data can be segmented into various categories. These categories include:
- Demographic; Age, gender, education, work status, income, marital status.
- Geographic; Country, city, location, language, climate.
- Behavioral; Purchase history, engagement, timing, loyalty.
- Psychographic; Personality, lifestyle, preferences, opinions, values.
- Firmographic; Industry, revenue, location, job title, company size.
These categories will differ for B2B and B2C segmentations. B2B is where a transaction takes place between two businesses. The focus here is on lead generation and engagement, which leads to a longer sales process. Whereas B2C is where products are sold directly to the consumer. And the emphasis is on the customer journey, with a shorter sales process.
With this kind of data, the information at hand will help create dynamic segmented email flows. To the point of being able to predict future purchases. With email marketing messages can be targeted and measured. So, delivering the right content to the right audience will boost engagement and improve your open rates. Furthermore, leading to more conversions.
Customer Surveys and Feedback
What better way to get to know your customers more than simply just by asking? Asking for feedback or having customers complete a survey (which they can remain anonymous) helps you better understand your performance. And more importantly, the direction you are heading into. Moreover, what your customers think of you and your product and/or service.
We all know that there is always going to be some negative feedback. That much we know is inevitable. But, as humans, we all learn, or should learn, from our mistakes. Afterall, we are not perfect. Therefore, this feedback gives us the opportunity to strive to be better.
On the other hand, positive feedback is a win-win situation. The customer reassures you and your brand. The positive feedback can also be used as a marketing tool. When you receive positive feedback, kindly ask the customer to post a review online. Reviews can be posted on google or any other product review board.
And if you are not sure on how to ask for feedback, then you can always use a 3rd party companies. These companies will help you create forms, surveys and quizzes that people will enjoy answering. What is more, surveys can be used for lead generation too. So why not get to know your customers better at the time they sign up?
What Is Left Without Customers?
With the market place getting more competitive with each passing day, knowing your customers is more paramount than ever. The insight provided will help you know your customers, which makes marketing and selling your brand a lot more desirable.
The aim is to persuade as many prospective customers that buying from you is in their best interests. And existing customers need to be looked after even more so. Because there is always competition lurking nearby trying to win your business.
In summary, if you know your customers, you can take care of them. And in return, your customers will take care of your business.
And if you do not take care of your customers, then somebody else will. So be proactive and ensure customers always feel as if they are number one. And do not forget to reward the customer. Loyalty and appreciation are priceless!
This blog post has also appeared in a MarketingPlatform Newsletter.
Author: Alex Trajcevski
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