Too bad this article isn’t a promotion for a magic eight-ball to reveal what your customers think, what they want, and what bothers them. Alas, that eight-ball is still in beta, so these tips will have to suffice for now.
Understanding your customers’ desires and pain points is the beginning and end for an effective marketer. Peddling your product without understanding who you’re talking to and what your customers need is a rookie mistake.
There are rare times when intuition is enough to help you connect with prospects, but banking on your killer instincts is as smart as stroking your magic eight-ball when making important business decisions.
Here are a few practical tips to help you uncover what is really going on in your customers’ heads.
1. Test the waters with search campaigns.
Let’s assume that you are already running some sort of search campaigns. These insights you find based on the best performing messaging should be feeding right back into your business and impacting your product road map when relevant.
Information and product expectations are evolving at a dizzying pace, so testing is a discipline you can never afford to retire. The minute you stagnate your messaging into the comfort zone of “what has always worked,” you block out possible low-hanging fruit and potential customers who just need you to speak their language and connect with their pain points.
Don’t stop testing, and don’t stop learning. See it as though you’re chiseling away at a giant boulder representing your buyer’s personas, and eventually you will see a fuller picture of who they are and what they need from you.
2. Read their digital body language.
Now this one is a bit of a contextual guessing game where (educated) assumptions are necessary. Just like crossed arms may signal defensive body language, it could also indicate that it’s about 10 degrees too cold in the room.
So, you mustn’t be hasty when deciphering digital signals. A high bounce rate off of a particular page may not indicate that your prospects aren’t interested in the topic, but rather the timing of delivery is wrong based on their stage in the sales funnel. Intelligent, thoughtful analysis is mandatory when gleaning insights from digital body language.
Follow your visitor’s clickstream and time spent on page to get better insights as to what information they need and which pages are falling short of their expectations. Some argue that online buyer behavior provides the most accurate picture of interest and intent by your visitors.
Zero in on buyer motivation with an in-depth analysis on recency, frequency, and clickstream data of site visits. For a full picture, consider the following in your digital mapping:
- Bouncing off pages
- Social media shares
- Cart abandonment
- Product pages
- Pricing pages
Try to deduce the following from your customers’ digital signals:
- How to create a more meaningful onsite experience for your prospects
- How you can better nurture their purchasing decisions
- What content isn’t working (either at all or based on stage of funnel)
3. Analyze customer support data.
One of the best ways to read your customers’ minds is to actually listen to what they are telling you. (Go figure.) At every touch point within your business, it’s imperative that you open the gates to customer feedback.
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