Before the era of content marketing, the guidelines for brand marketing could be found in your company’s meeting room. Now you have to listen to your customers. A successful brand must be a natural part of its target groups’ lives.
The price of a product or its absolute necessity are becoming increasingly rare selection criteria at the time of purchase. The reasons to choose a certain product or service lie deep in the minds of consumers. This means that in order for marketing to be successful, you have to listen to your customers. This way, it is possible to determine the action and stories that suit your customers’ set of values, enabling encounters in places where your customers would be found in any case.
Customer insight in content marketing is a combination of multiple sources
Gaining customer insight is the first step of a content strategy project. Many would like to skip that step, because it takes a certain amount of time and some money, too. Yet every single time our clients have decided to survey customer insight, they have been happy with the result. Marketers do not usually know the target groups of their brands as thoroughly as they thought they did.
What, then, can be done to increase customer insight? For best results, customer motivation, needs and behaviour should be examined from many different sources. This requires the right mix of data and research. To gain an insight in the lives of your customers, consider at least the following ways:
- Online behaviour: A keyword analysis and the analytics of your own channels are easily available ways to check what people are searching online and what kind of traffic your site gets.
- Social media: Who are our followers on social media channels? Who else do they follow? What does the social media analytics reveal?
- Qualitative interviews: Customer interviews are a traditional, but still a very successful way to create customer insight. We recommend it as a minimum measure to gain customer insight in any strategy project.
- Consumer stories: Recruit a group of consumers for one or two weeks to answer questions and complete tasks. They may take photos, write stories of their experiences and shoot videos. This helps not only create an overall idea of the target group behaviour, but also evaluate the performance of individual shops and the actions of your competitors.
- Online discussions: Traditional focus group discussions can also be held online. Online discussions are less complex to carry out than traditional group discussions, and there are no geographical boundaries to participation. Online discussions are also more equal, because it is less common for a single person to dominate the discussion and start leading it in a certain direction. From the perspective of content strategy, an online discussion is a particularly attractive way to dig deeper into the world of the target group.
Why does it pay off to spend time and money on gaining customer insight?
To create successful marketing that speaks to your customers, the knowledge and ideas of your company have to be adopted to suit the world of your target groups. Nevertheless, the benefit of customer insight boils down to saving money: it makes it easier to use marketing resources optimally. Sometimes a survey can result in entire customer profiles being removed from your target groups. The choice of channels may also be revised and their performance improved. Underperforming content and marketing efforts can be discontinued.
The sums spent on improving customer insight will pay off – sometimes many times over.