Marketing – The Art & Skill of Reading Customer Minds
Every business wants to offer their products and services in a way that instantly appeals to customers. Sometimes, the simplest of solutions can be the keys to success.
Marketing is a tricky business. You have a product, you have an idea of who would want it and who you are selling to but now, you have to connect the dots.
And you do all this whilst juggling and spinning all the other balls and plates in a business.
However, we seem to overlook the most obvious when it comes to deciphering what it is our customers actually want – and how we need to market it to them.
#1 Get to know your customer
WHO are you really selling to?
The answer given to this question will often be vague and a little open-ended, such as ‘women, aged 40 to 70’. It needs to be a lot more detailed than this.
Create a customer persona, a detailed image of who your customer is, what problems and issues they could be facing and – the important bit – how your product or service solves that problem.
#2 Research (and do it properly)
Asking your relatives or your next door neighbour about what they think of your product, would they use it and does your marketing blurb work for them, does not make the grade as research.
Marketing your brand successfully takes an in-depth understanding of your customer and starts with research.
#3 Social listening
Frankly, we think the research phase never ends. You should be listening to the buying public at large, as well as eavesdropping on the conversation and feedback your customers are having about a. your product and b. products/buying/selling/marketing in general.
For example, as a PR agency, we have seen a significant shift in how people and clients want exhibition staff referred to. Whereas at one time ‘exhibition girls’ was a commonly used phrase, some clients are more sensitive to it, preferring the terms exhibition staff, promotional staff and sales teams instead.
By constantly listening and responding to change in attitudes and opinions, you can respond to your customers.
TOP TIP – make a list of the top five customers of your business and ask yourself why this is the case. Carry on reading to find out more about canvassing customer opinions.
As well as listening and understanding responses, sometimes the best way of eliciting information is to ask people what they think, what they like or dislike etc.
There is gold in information from customers and potential customers, so why not…?
- Utilise a short email survey within the rulings of GDPR to canvass the opinion of customers when they buy a product? Think carefully about what information you need and why.
- Switch on the autoresponder when people sign up to your email, asking them what help or issues do they have that they need help with.
- Get friendly with face-to-face interviews or feedback from customers at expos and trade shows, a service that we offer here at Envisage PR Staff.
- Focus groups are also worthwhile, especially if you want to get to the nitty-gritty of what people like or don’t like about products or services.
#5 What are people actually saying?
Seriously, what words are people actually using about your product? People just want to know what your product does and doesn’t do.
It doesn’t always need to be fancy words.
Sometimes, copywriting needs a story behind it.
Sometimes, it needs to make them smile.
Sometimes, you need to invite people to take a closer look and sometimes, you need to point out the problems it solves and the value of this.
Top Tip – if the words you use don’t connect with the customer, it becomes ‘useless jargon’.
How do you read your customer’s minds?