Welcome to 434 Fridays! 434 Fridays is a bi-weekly series of posts where our team talks about various pieces of the marketing world, while giving you tips to succeed. This week’s topic is how to improve your email open rates.
Perhaps the best way to maintain a relationship with your customers is to get to know them. It may seem simple, but failing to understand your consumers’ wants and needs can lead to losing their trust and ultimately abandoning your business.
The Current Landscape
The truth is, customers overall are less trusting than ever, and it’s getting harder to win them over. This is especially true in businesses that were impacted heavily by the financial crisis- banking, pharmaceuticals, airlines, and media are the categories that have taken the worst hits. Customer diversity is also rapidly increasing, which makes the need for micro- segmentation and customer insights high. Additionally, with the internet and smartphones, consumers now have more power than ever. They are easily able to compare prices, check reviews, and see all options that they could possibly consider.
Conduct the Research
Don’t blindly promote your business without first conducting some research. You may have a hunch of who your target customer is, but in-depth market research can let you know if you are right or missing the mark completely. You may think you have one target audience, but research may suggest you have three or four, each of which will have different needs and react differently to your messaging. Some of the insights market research can provide:
- Social media habits
- Geographic location
Use the Research
After you have the research, the important part is using it. In the early 2000s, digital cameras broke onto the scene. Kodak, whose business had been steady for years, ignored the market trends and research, assumed their customers would remain loyal to traditional camera film, and did not enter the digital market. By 2007, their stock was selling at $90 a share. By 2012, it had sunk to 76 cents a share, and they were forced to file for bankruptcy. By ignoring their customer insights, they effectively sunk their business.
Put Yourself Through the Experience
Remove yourself from the ownership of your business for a few moments, and walk yourself through the journey your customer takes. Note any places where the process falters or gets difficult, and use these to evaluate how you can make the process smoother. If you have a sales team, record their calls and use them to analyze what you are doing well, and what areas need improvement. Also, consider role-playing exercises with your team members to get them acquainted with all parts of your customer experience.
Monitor Customer Activity
Now that you know who they are, watch what they do. Data is important to learn how customers interact both before and after they become a customer. This can help you anticipate future customer needs, and help your business grow.
Whether your sales are currently increasing, decreasing, or staying the same, take the time to invest in your company by getting to know your customers. You may find things that surprise you, or you may reconfirm what you already believed to be true.
If you would like to know more about your customers, schedule your free consultation with one of our marketing experts today!