If your business is going to succeed like it needs to, you need to understand your market. It doesn’t exist in the abstract: your market is made up of individual customers, with tastes and particular budgets, who live in different concentrations in different areas. You need to understand who these people are if you’re going to design products and adverts to their taste, sell at a price point they can afford, and advertise them where they’ll see them!
Today, we’re taking a look at some of the ways you can learn about the customers that make up your market, and some of the ways that don’t work so well.
Listen to Them
Social listening data is one of the most popular, time worn sources of insight for learning more about your customers. This research is often carried out by market research companies and involves looking at the discussion surrounding your brand and associated keywords on the key social media networks. In the early days of digital communication, this was a great way to take the temperature of your customers and learn where you are succeeding or failing.
Unfortunately, as social media channels and their users have matured, this has become a less useful tactic. More and more discussion happens on ‘dark social’ networks – private messaging apps like WhatsApp, and people curate their online presence more. Public conversations are less authentic, more performative and the useful insight you can derive from them has plunged.
One of the most important metrics you can measure is the health of your brand. How many people know about it, what qualities do they associate with it and does it encourage them to spend their money?
You can use brand trackers to answer the first two questions. These surveys ask respondents to rate your brand (assuming they’ve heard of it – if they haven’t, that’s useful information itself) for key qualities that you define, and to compare you with your competitors. This lets you know if you’re building the brand you’ve set out to build, and if you’re punching at, above or below your weight in the marketplace.
You can measure the value your brand imparts with some specialised A/B testing. Comparing the activity generated by an ad completed with your branding and a generic version puts a figure on much value your brand’s adding to your products, which is useful and effective tracking!