In a world of constantly shifting consumer expectations, it’s crucial that you understand who your target audience is and then look at the customer journey from their point of view, as well as from your own brand too. You have to have an intimate understanding of the people you are trying to reach in order to motivate them to take action with your brand.

Knowing your audience is the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts. To understand your customers well, you need to be aware of their actions, thoughts and processes which can ultimately increase customer loyalty and bring in new business through positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Here are four ways to help your brand understand your customers…

>> Segment, segment, segment!

Before you can understand your audience, you need to pinpoint exactly who they are. The idea is to break the audience into smaller groups and then target your strategy to each group based on their commonalities, which is known in marketing as segmentation. Different people respond to different messages, so you should be as specific as possible when you identify your target segments. You can then dig deeper and focus on your key customer groups by drawing up a profile for each of them, including age, gender, name, personality traits and even their end goal from using your product or service. Customer profiling is a great way for you to understand what makes a specific group tick, which means you can effectively market to them.

>> Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes

Understanding your customers requires you to focus on the customer journey (the points at which your customers have contact with your business). These include everything from the initial contact with your brand, right through to the purchase process and ongoing customer service. Various points in the customer journey could affect your brand and make a potential or existing customer feel either loved or disappointed. Understanding your customers and improving your service must be a priority throughout your business – regardless of your size, industry or type of product or service. Everyone from the front desk to the delivery staff should focus on exceeding your customer’s expectations!

>> Dig into the data

Your company’s database will hold valuable information on each of your existing and potential customers. It will help you to understand their needs and what makes them tick to market effectively to them. Set time aside to regularly explore the data you have – look for patterns and anomalies, analyse your customer’s buyer behaviour so you can see when your customers typically make orders and use analytics to see website trends.

>> Don’t be shy – ask them!

The fourth way to gain an understanding of your customers is simply to ask them what they think. One specific way to achieve this is through focus groups. A focus group is a small group of people who are asked a series of questions about your brand’s products or services. The group may consist of a cross section of people from society or be made up specifically of potential customers, depending on your aims. Focus groups allow you and your brand to gain a deeper insight into your customer’s thoughts and record your findings for future reference. We have successfully implemented a range of focus groups for our clients, which have provided them with invaluable feedback on various products and services.

For more information on how The Creative Alchemist can help your brand with market research, get in touch today on 01642 224706.