4 Key Steps to Determining Your Customers’ Needs
Content marketing and inbound marketing share a very wide range of similarities, including the fact that they’re both customer-focused. What that means for business owners and decision makers (as well as for marketers) is that any content created for use in these campaigns must be based on your customers’ needs, wants, challenges and problems. It must be relevant to them, or you’re not actually delivering value. You’re just sending out random content. How do you determine their needs, though?
Observe Your Customers (Paying Attention) A great deal of information can be gleaned simply from paying attention to your existing customers. Which of your products do they purchase? What are their ages? Where do they live? This can give you considerable insight. For instance, if your company sold lumber, a customer aged 40 who lived in a suburb and bought both planking and posts might be building his or her own deck at a privately owned home. This gives you information needed to create and send content that is pertinent, interesting and informative to that customer (and any others that fit the same mold). Pay attention to your existing customers and you’ll find a wealth of information available.
Ask Questions One of the best ways to find out more about your customers’ needs is to just come right out and ask them. You can easily do this on your website. Tailor your opt-in form so that customers have to fill out a handful of carefully chosen questions in order to opt in. Keep the number of questions relatively low, though. No one wants to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, and the longer your form is, the more chance that they’ll leave without completing it. The key here is to plan your questions carefully beforehand so that your customers’ answers are as illuminating as possible.
Surveys Another excellent way to find information about what your customers want and need is to provide them with a survey. This can be done on your website, through email, on your social media accounts and in other ways. Like opt-in forms, surveys should be relatively short, and the questions should be carefully thought out in order to maximize the value of the answers.
Invest in a CRM System CRM, or customer relationship management, is not a new thing, but these systems are becoming increasingly important. Essentially, they track all customer interactions, purchases, actions and more in order to give you as complete a picture about them and their needs as possible. You can even learn what communication channels they prefer, what products they’ve inquired about and purchased, returns, and their service history. A good CRM system allows you to keep all this information organized and accessible, so it’s easy to make decisions regarding content marketing and communication.
Determining your customers’ needs doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge. There are plenty of ways to access this information. Once you have it, the challenge is to create content that meets those needs, or answers the challenge your customer has.