How can the Digital Age help you understand your customers?
Easy – We ask online!
Working at a leading digital advertising agency with strong referral partnerships the amount of different people I get to speak to is amazing and very fulfilling. Day after Day I speak with all sorts from the next Mark Zuckerberg, those who are a little more should we say “traditional” and just come to realise they need an online presence (usually because they are losing market share to their competitors), to the large successful organisations that have been utilising the space since day dot on August 6 1991.
What have I learnt, well, it is important to know where you stand so you can make an informed decision and the digital space is the best place to determine that – like the last time you chose a restaurant after reading all the online reviews (did someone say keyboard warriors?).
We can all sometimes get caught up with trying to get where they are going online, ignoring the feedback, before understanding where they have come from. We are in a day and age with the internet that with a small budget there is no need to recreate the wheel to be successful – so know where you stand, what the world thinks of your brand, what your industry needs, where people are looking for your products, what your competitors are doing successfully and what they could be doing better.
One of the best things we can do is look at competitive data to determine what is and isn’t working (I suggest also looking outside the box at other companies who are being successful), and what will and won’t work for our own unique selling propositions – ask your customers why they chose you over your competitors. The great ability in the Digital Ages to talk to our customers and understand what they do and don’t like is amazing. It is now about what they see is our future not what we think they won’t – Personally I hate it when someone tries to tell me what I think and feel, how the heck would they know – Traditional Marketers might disagree on that one lol.
In every successful campaign I have ever run across both my Traditional and now shortly lived Digital career I have always followed these simple principles. Understand your buyers and what they want, then sell them that exact solution. It might be a little harsh to say but generally if someone is unhappy they are asking to be sold something.
In the online space we all have a voice and the ability to promote, network and showcase our experiences to the world but it is so important to ensure we are listening – probably more important than trying to shout against the rest of the noise. No longer is this world for those of us who can afford to produce an amazing TV commercial or pay for advertising space in traditional media. The ability to target our customers based on knowledge of the individual and online personas (sometimes deeper than their offline personalities) we can all achieve more from our advertising spend. Yes those who have a bigger spend get a bigger bang but even they started with a shoestring budget at some point.
So remember to LISTEN, EDUCATE YOURSELF and only then can you achieve your goals (in life and business).
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