The most important thing every business owner must do is keep the customers happy. Unfortunately, this is impossible to serve them if you don’t know what they actually want. Rather than making blind assumptions about your customers, you need to study them in detail. As Brian Fletcher of Marketing Profs points out, your marketing research is necessary to keep your brand focused on the strategies you need to move forward.
Here are some tips to make sure you understand what your customers want.
Begin with Case Studies
You may think that you are operating a completely unique business, but there are other companies that also appeal to the same customer base. Look for case studies from both your own industry and any ancillary businesses that reach the same customer base.
You should review case studies from these businesses to learn more about their marketing strategies. You may find that they give you some solid insights into your own customers.
Run Structured Focus Groups
Many firms limit their marketing research strategies to customer surveys. While they can provide some great information about customer buying patterns and needs, surveys rarely provide the detail you’re looking for. This is especially true if you want to know whether a particular product matches their needs.
Focus groups can be much more effective. They allow you to solicit detailed feedback about your products. This gives you some great insights about both your competitive advantage in customer service.
Use Online Analytics Tools
Every business in the 21st-century should have an online presence if it hopes to survive. In order to make the most of your online business model, you must take advantage of the data at your disposal. Google analytics, compete.com and other analytics can uncover invaluable information about your target customers.
Getting feedback from your customers is very important. You want to know both what you’re doing right and wrong. There are a couple of times you should seek feedback:
- After you close an important deal.
- When a major customer hasn’t contacted you for a while.
- If a customer gives any indication that they are not happy.
Remember that unhappy customers are 40 times more likely to share feedback then happy ones. Therefore, you want to get as much information about them as possible.
Start Researching Your Competitors Today
When creating a product for a target market, brands need to start by researching their competitors to determine what is missing in the marketplace in order to create a product that fills a need of that customer base. The team at 888 Ladies started to plan a new game called “Treasure Fair” by researching what was missing within the market. They found that competitors’ games were not 3D and made the decision that their game would be an immersive 3D experience. The 888 Ladies team documented the entire process of developing the Treasure Fair game in the “Creating a World: The Making of Treasure Fair” article.