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Get to Know Your Customers Day is January 18: Take Advantage of this Powerful Marketing Opportunity
With the first quarter-annual Get to Know Your Customers Day fast approaching, a number of businesses are thinking of ways to express appreciation for those who keep their companies in the black. Though certain gestures go a long way toward keeping customers coming back, it’s also important to take a moment to reflect on just how vital the consumer is to your ongoing success.
First, and perhaps most importantly, satisfied customers are your most valuable advertising tool. In a marketing world more diverse and widespread than ever before, prospects hold the opinions of peers in higher regard than all your paid advertising efforts combined. This makes word-of-mouth advertising a coveted element for modern businesses, and it’s only effective if it comes from the personal experiences of your customers.
Effective Marketing Tools Right from the Source
From another angle, customers are the keys to unlocking the full power of your marketing potential. Marketing strategies and campaigns are most effective when geared specifically toward the needs and expectations of your target audience.
When you get the details necessary for developing such tactics straight from the source, they’re virtually guaranteed to work in your favor. By truly getting to know your customers, you can gather all the information you need to create a buyer persona, and this is the first step in moving forward with future marketing efforts.
How to Get to Know Your Customers
Your target audience entails all the people you’re hoping to reach through marketing campaigns, but knowing which segments of the market might be interested in your products and services is only the tip of the iceberg. Each member of your target audience is an individual with unique needs and expectations.
This is where your buyer persona comes into play. It’s a detailed profile of the ideal customer created through understanding the specific likes, dislikes, professional categories, education levels, family situations and other vital elements of customers’ and prospects’ lives. Learning more about these factors isn’t always easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Pay Attention to Details
This may only be the first of many steps in gleaning details from customers, but it’s a significant leap in the right direction. Most customers pay with plastic rather than cash these days, so when they step up to the POS terminal or click into your online checkout, you already have a name.
Since people hardly give a second thought to offering up their email addresses at store checkouts these days, don’t be afraid to ask for it. This single detail opens the door to a number of other ways to get to know your customers at greater length.
While you’re asking for an email address, inquire about a zip code as well. Again, the public is growing accustomed to providing information like this, so it’s not overly invasive. Those magical five-digit combinations boost your geo-targeting potential for marketing purposes.
Send out Surveys
With a detail as seemingly small as an email address, you can delve far deeper into a person’s life than an online sale or conversing in a growing checkout line will allow. Send out a survey to each customer after the sale.
First off, thank the customer for choosing your company. Then, ask about all those previously mentioned factors as well as other particulars. How would you rate us? How can we improve our customer experience? Would you recommend us to others? Why or why not?
Keep in mind, timing is critical. Follow-up surveys should be sent out within a few hours after the sale while the experience is still fresh on a customer’s mind. With each passing hour, the customer’s interest fades and the possibility of getting your hands on those vital facts wanes considerably.
Fortunately, with modern-day technology, you can automate those email strategies. Don’t forget to use the name accompanying the email address to make it all a little more personal. For today’s consumer, seeing “Valued Customer” at the top of an email just isn’t quite as endearing and motivating as seeing a name.
Multitask with Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is designed to expand your reach and visibility through a wide range of channels. If you spin it the right way, it can foster your efforts to gain greater awareness of your customers; of course, you’ll need to invite customers to follow you and offer certain incentives for doing so.
On the most basic level, you can literally gain insight into each customer through those outlets: apps for just such purposes are built into Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to name a few. They’ll give you plenty of information about customers’ locations, interests and other points.
Aside from integral analytics tools, engaging followers holds incredible power in its own right. Ask questions. A considerable portion of your followers will be more than willing to respond for nothing more than the opportunity to be seen on your social site.
At present, less than 40 percent of the nation’s businesses are using this element of SMM to further their marketing potential. If you take advantage of it, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.
Getting to know your customers as individuals rather than sales statistics may not be a simple process, but it’s not impossible. All the details are out there waiting to be found; you just have to know where to look. With a little time, effort and ingenuity, you can garner the details necessary for creating a finely tuned buyer persona.
Your buyer persona gives you the power to take all those marketing efforts to an entirely new level by basing future marketing campaigns on the specific expectations of prospects and customers alike rather than on a vague understanding of your target audience in general.
Customers are a business’ most valuable asset, and they can be your most effective marketing tool spanning well beyond the powerful word-of-mouth aspect. Get to Know Your Customers Day is January 18. Use the coming weeks to ramp up your efforts to take full advantage of the occasion.