The more you understand about your consumers, the more effectively you will be able to provide them with products and services that delight them. This is better each consumer. It’s better for you. It’s a Win-Win situation.
So, how do you build a continual, reliable consumer insights engine to help you make rock-solid marketing decisions that will fuel your growth? Follow these 13 steps, and you’ll take your relationship with your target audience to another level.
13 Steps to a Consumer Insights Factory for Your Business
1. Ask Your Customers
Talk with your customers on a regular basis. Ask them about their changing needs, and about their vision for the future.
2. Ask Your Prospects
When a new prospect contacts you, ask questions that give you insight into their underlying challenges — the ones that the market has not yet solved. On your website, include polls, surveys and feedback forms.
3. Ask Your Partners
You probably have a great relationship with partner companies. So arrange a regularly scheduled time to brainstorm about your consumers’ needs.
4. Ask Your Employees
Employees often see things on the front lines that are not as apparent to other levels of the organization. Ask your employees for their insights into unmet consumer needs.
5. Ask the Media
The media has a broad view of the market. Leverage your media contacts to provide high-level feedback on any trends they are seeing.
6. Analyze Your Web Analytics
How are people finding your website? Once there, how do they navigate through the site? Study your analytics at least on a monthly basis to understand your website visitors more clearly.
7. Analyze Your Onsite Search Statistics
If you use onsite search on your website, learn what your site visitors are searching for and interested in. Are there any patterns or trends?
8. Analyze Search Trends
You can reference broader Search trends in general as well to discover what your market is interested in, using tools like Google Insights for Search.
9. Analyze the Blogosphere
Discover what people are discussing and the terminology they are using in the blogosphere with tools such as BlogPulse.
10. Analyze Social Spaces
Check out what your consumers are saying in social platforms, whether Yelp, Facebook or forums. BoardTracker is a free tool that helps you monitor conversations based on specific keywords in online forums, for example.
11. Create Product Prototypes
Test inexpensive product prototypes and gauge your customers’ reactions.
12. Create Virtual Prototypes
An even more affordable way to prototyping is to create mock-up drawings and share these with your customers for their reactions.
13. Create Packaging Prototypes
Instead of changing the product, test whether a change in packaging, product name or marketing is what helps you to resonate with consumers more deeply.
These are just a few suggestions to help you collect better consumer insights on a consistent basis. If you need additional help, let me know below. Thanks!