Harnessing the power of the many sophisticated marketing technologies available is a good move for business, but only if you keep your customer in mind. Business growth relies upon technology, this is an undisputed fact, but more important than any tool or piece of software is the people you are selling to.
Getting to know your customer when they’re not someone face-to-face does present problems, but the extensive volume of data to play with means savvy marketers can get a broader picture than ever before. Tracking the right metrics and carrying out the right social media analyses makes recognising genuine customers easier than before and helps to enhance your overall understanding of your customer base.
How Customer Expectations and Service has Changed
Customers have become more than savvy to how they can access brands, especially with the growth of social media. And, in turn, this has meant that their expectations have become a lot more demanding. This demand shouldn’t be seen negatively by brands as it is a further opportunity to offer great customer service and experiences, and show the quality of their company.
Real-time customer service has become the norm, with one survey suggesting that 32% of customers expect a response from a brand within 30 minutes, with a further 10% expecting something back within 60 minutes, whether during “office hours” or at the night or weekends.
The range of sophisticated martech tools available to collect and analyse data has significantly helped too, with website analytics integrated alongside social engagement tracking, CRM databases, and statistics relating to downloads or sign-up numbers. The sheer volume of different data types allows for accuracy in pinpointing target customers and shaping your campaigns accordingly.
This is a lot to manage and keep on top of, and it is understandable that a brand may struggle to keep everything in order. This is why investing in the right technology really matters and why utilising the social intelligence tools and software out there matters. To help facilitate your data management for the benefit of your customers the following elements should be core considerations.
Knowing what your competitors are doing is central to finding the rights and wrongs within your industry. You can deposition your competitors by simply following their successes and failures closely and tapping into the likes and dislikes of cross-over audience members.
Competitor tracking and benchmarking allows you to find your position within your industry and work to improve it where necessary. You can analyse the same sort of metrics from your competitors’ social activity as you do your own, balancing the vanity metrics against the more tangible data you can glean.
Target Audience Profiling
With so much information about our audience available, there is no excuse not to personalise content and deliver exceptional customer experiences. In this example of the clothes and homeware brand Next it is possible to see how understanding their customers’ interests can help them plan future campaigns.
This data may seem quite random but it is anything but. Looking closely at Sotrender’s data, it shows Next exactly where to take their campaigns in future and what topics may engage their audience most effectively. Having this information is vital to planning future campaigns and helping to ensure that they are best positioned for higher engagement levels.
What do your customers want? You may know what you want to develop but is it what people want? Even unsolicited feedback through social media can be used positively in product development and you can choose to go a step further and involve your customers in your product development.
Coca Cola did this with their VitaminWater brand as they worked with their Facebook fanbase to find someone to help develop a new flavour. The winner was given $5,000 to work with the development team in creating the new flavour and it resulted in huge engagement levels with over 2 million VitaminWater Facebook fans getting involved in the product development process.
Influencer Identification and Targeting
Within every sector there are now key influencers who hold great esteem and attention within the online community. Brands battle it out to connect up with these influencers, spending a great deal of time and even financial investment to convince influencers to promote and advocate their product.
With macro and micro influencers being in high demand, your business needs to find those who can advocate for your business and are most closely matched to your target customer. With a ‘customer first’ mantra you should be looking for influencers who mean something to your audience and can be a valuable addition to your marketing efforts, rather than just “anyone” with a name and a decent follower count. Identifying the right influencers for your brand is truly crucial to success in the subtle art of influencer marketing.
You want to position your brand as one that customers are proud to advocate for, but to achieve advocacy you must be fully customer focused. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the technology and forget the human aspect of your marketing efforts. Technology is there to help and assist in delivering the best possible customer experiences.