5 Ways to Find Out What Customers Want
Consumers, like me and you, are becoming increasingly demanding and, in fact, quite cheeky in our expectations at times! ;)
But why not? Companies are looking to meet the exact needs and desires of their customers more than ever, because it is critical to edging out their competitors.
This is why consumer research has become vital to the success of any business.
What is consumer research?
In a nutshell, consumer research involves analysing consumer behaviour patterns to figure out what consumers want from a particular product or service.
Why is it important?
It might seem strange that Erica’s Cycle Shop is booming, even though they only sell three bicycle brands. Your own Bicycle Empire offers 32 different brands of two-wheeled splendour, yet your business is limping along slowly. Why?
The reality is, if you don’t know what consumers want, how will you know what to offer them to make them happy?
Effective consumer research can help you understand your customers, laser focus your marketing efforts to reach them effectively, improve your conversion rates and grow your business.
If you haven’t been investing in consumer research and are feeling your blood pressure rising as you read this - don’t panic! This is not a topic that should provoke anxiety.
Rather, when you understand the golden opportunities consumer research holds for your business, you should be getting excited!
But where do you start? How do you begin to tap into this alleged treasure-trove of information? Wait, even before that: Where do you find it!?
In this article we’ll look at 5 places you can start looking for the not-so-hidden gems that will boost your understanding of your audience.
1) Website analytics
Many companies don’t realise that they are already sitting on a goldmine of consumer data that has been collecting on their website over time (provided that website analytics was set up at some point).
There is so much valuable data you can gather based on your website’s visitors!
● Demographic, interest and geographic data:
Website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, generally have an entire section dedicated to the demographics of the audience engaging on your website. Here you can find a wealth of information including their gender, age groups, interests etc.
You can also find out from where in a particular country or region people are entering your website. This data can help you establish how and where to communicate with potential customers most effectively.
● Website behaviour:
How are visitors navigating through your site? This reveals a lot of information about who they are and what they want.
Looking at the behaviour flow of your site and monitoring which pages are generating higher engagement can tell you a lot about what your audience is really looking for.
● Data sources:
As a tax advisor, you might be thinking that you’ve hooked a lot of potential customers through your hip dance moves on your TikTok account... Who can resist a tap-dancing tax advisor, right!?
Your web analytics might, however, reveal that your site visitors are mainly coming from the blog post about personal tax savings tips that you recently shared on Linkedin.
This is not to say you should stop tap-dancing! But it might suggest that your marketing efforts could be better spent focusing on a different strategy for your particular audience.
Website analytics can feel intimidating for some, but it really is easy to use with some basic training and practise.
(Get in touch with LUNIR if you are interested in a website analytics 101 training session.)
2) Conversational intelligence
People are more active online and on social media than ever before. According to Statista, on social media alone there were over 3,6 billion users in 2020, and they estimate there will be over 4,4 billion users by 2025. That means a lot of online conversations, comments, reviews, engagements… a seemingly endless supply of golden nuggets!
As protected as social data is, there are conversational intelligence tools that can harness public social data and configure it in a way that reveals consumers’ expressed thoughts and behaviours.
What better way to find out what people want than straight from the horse’s mouth? Talkwalker, for example, a leading analytics tool in this space, allows you to monitor billions of conversations in real time.
Through AI technology, the tool allows you to segment data so that you can uncover insights about general topics, competitors, or your own company and products.
Conversational intelligence isn’t limited to social media though. Endless valuable insights from blogs, forums and a hundred other online sources are also right at your fingertips!
3) SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tools
SEO tools are often overlooked as a means to extracting consumer behaviour data. Understanding consumers’ search engine behaviours can be extremely powerful in figuring out what is going on in people’s minds.
Tools like SEMRush help you find out what keywords and search terms people are using when looking for particular products or services, and what the volumes are for each of them.
So, why is this useful for your business?
Let’s say you are selling sustainable fashion sneakers. You can plug “sustainable sneakers” as a search term into the SEO tool, and it will show you the top searched keywords relating to sustainable sneakers. You can also break down the results by geography to get more precise data.
Maybe you find out that customers in your region are especially fascinated by shoes made from seaweed or old CDs – who knows!
These insights can help you tailor your offerings and communications (and could perhaps spark some fresh ideas too!).
4) Paid Advertising
This takes a bit of financial investment, but if you are clever with your paid ads you can unearth some valuable gems about your consumers.
● Demographic, interest and geographic data:
Paid ad reports provide you with data about the people who are engaging with your adverts, such as age groups, gender and interests (similar to the type of data you can get about your site visitors through website analytics).
The results could show you that an unexpected audience is interested in your offering. You may not have anticipated middle-aged men to be so interested in visiting your ostrich farm, but discover that it is in fact a passionate (and potentially lucrative) audience to tap into.
● AB testing insights:
Paid ads allow you to do AB testing, which is the process of testing the performance of different types of creative content against each other. This can show you what kind of content people are more interested in and what is more likely to convert to sales.
You might be a die-hard fan of the colour purple, but after testing 5 ads with different colours, you could find that using shades of pink in your ads generates a better conversion rate. (Yes, the impact of colour sometimes extends further than we may expect!) The same could be done with different text, or even emojis!
Sometimes the most obvious way to find out what people want is to simply ask them. Surveys not only provide you with valuable information about your audience, but according to mTab, it turns out that consumers actually find completing surveys satisfying! Win-win, right?
You can send surveys to your social followers and mailing list etc., but it is also possible to reach extended audiences with tools like SurveyMonkey Audience, for example. Another interesting way to gather data is through Linkedin polls, which doesn’t involve any costs.
There you have it: 5 (of many) methods to reach the pot of gold that’s waiting for you at the end of the consumer rainbow. With so much information available about what your customers want, there really is no reason to guess.
So, are you keen to do some consumer research and take your business to the next level? Get In Touch with us. LUNIR has the right tools and knowledge to help guide you.