Getting to Know Your Audience

Every relationship needs maintenance, right? Why not develop the one you have with your audience? You customers! With constant change in lifestyles, events, society, fashion, and preferences, it’s important to keep a conversation flowing with your customers in order to ensure that you can not only understand them, but also anticipate their needs and preferences.

Hopefully you’ve had the chance to read our last post on email marketing (if not, click here) where we touched on talking with your customers in-store. It’s an important way to keep up on the latest news on the lives of your customers. Knowing if they’re going on vacation, have a big event coming up, are expecting a baby, going on a special diet… this can all help you shape suggestions and modes of communication. But if you want to take a wider view and see the trends, similarities between, and the pain points of your customers, surveys are a great way to go. Nowadays, there are a lot of ways you can easily create, send out a survey, tally, and analyze data – all for free! – so there’s really no excuse to skip this valuable exercise. Go on – work those communication muscles!

A mix of demographic (hard facts such as home zip code, number of people in a household, etc) and psychographic (e.g. how much do they spend online each month, are they planning to buy  car soon, do you remember the last ad you saw) questions can help you get a detailed snapshot of your customers at a point in time. Perhaps you’ll find that you have more 20-year-olds than you expected. Perhaps you’ll find that your customers are heavy social media users and you need to participate more. Or maybe you’ll find that your current M.O. is working! Either way, it’s always a smart idea to ask. A few tips for you though… 1) make it an anonymous survey so that people are comfortable being completely honest, 2) cluster questions together by category so that the customer stays in the right mind frame, and 3) whatever method you choose, make the experience as easy as possible in order to encourage as many participants as possible. The larger your sample size, the richer your feedback becomes and the more reliable your assessments will be. You may even be able to use the questions and answers as talking points in your store!

Keep in mind that questions for a B2B company such as mine will be different from your B2C companies but if you’d like to get an idea of the type of questions I’ve asked in the past or share some of your own, post it in the comment section below.

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