Disclaimer: I will be making a very bold claim in 3, 2, 1…
More important than a solid budget and a team of experts, as a marketer, a fundamental understanding of your consumer is your most valuable asset. Let that soak in… Knowing, understanding, relating and connecting with your consumer is what will catapult your success as a brand.
This foundation becomes the catalyst for increasing relevancy, engagement, lifetime value, and ultimately, crushing your marketing goals. Building your marketing strategy from the perspective of your consumer will not only allow you to more strongly connect – it will help you convert.
During this morning’s keynote at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, Flint McGlaughlin, Founder and Managing Director of MECLABS Institute, discussed the ‘marketer’s blindspot’ – the disconnect between what marketers think their consumers want and what consumers actually want. He stressed the importance of marketer’s looking through the customer lens to provide the most significant value.
It seems that just like a driver on the road, a digital marketer also has their own blindspots – those places where we are guessing what our consumer’s want and what solutions they are looking for. So how do we remove these blindspots to better connect, relate, and convert?
Here are 4 simple steps to help you see around and through those marketing blindspots:
1. Build out personas – Although consumers come in many shapes and sizes, categorizing your target audience allows you to focus on the qualities they have in common. Bucket your consumers by their known or anticipated challenges, desires and motivations to better align your messaging strategy with how your product or service can be the solution they need.
2. Map out your lifecycle – Your consumer’s every move is part of a greater overall journey with your brand – from acquisition to brand advocacy. Maintain a customer-centric viewpoint within each lifecycle stage and put your brand’s self-interest aside. Focus on what your message means to your consumers at each unique touchpoint and how your brand is the solution for them at every stop on their journey.
3. Test, test, test! – Now that you can group your consumers and understand their evolution with your brand, employ testing strategies to develop a more granular understanding of their wants. This can be as simple as switching up your subject lines or as complex as doing a multi-variate testing of offers. As Flint mentioned during his keynote, testing allows you to reduce any elements of friction that may be putting a sour taste in the consumer’s mouth, and ultimately, what will veer them off course. “There are no expert marketers, just experienced marketers and expert testers.” Design your testing strategy around your consumers and their behavior – see what works and what doesn’t so you can pivot and shift accordingly.
4. Digest the data – Leverage the data you have available to learn why your customers interact the way they do with your brand. Transform your thinking from the “what” to the “why” to get to the real core of your consumer’s needs. What does this purchasing behavior tell me about my consumer? Why are they abandoning this page or that product? What are our consumers saying about us socially? Look for trends and patterns so you can then take action on these results.
Understanding the keys to your consumer’s behavior and mindset will help remove any blindspots you as a marketer may face. Build, map, test and digest and you will be well on your way to creating a more connected brand journey for your customer.