To have success as a company, a brand needs to understand its customers, and it’s vital that a marketing team incorporates that understanding in its strategies. Although gaining knowledge about your customer isn’t always easy, there are multiple ways to know who your customer is and what they’re buying. The first step? Start with your data.
Trying to interpret the data or even choosing the right analytics tool can be overwhelming, but these steps are too important to overlook or ignore.
“The best methods to know who is buying your products is to pay close attention to Google Analytics and if a brick and mortar, ask customers if they are buying for themselves or as a gift,” said Wendy Navarro, owner and marketing consultant for Navarro Creative Group. “When set up properly, Google Analytics and sales funnels can help a brand or business determine who their shopper is, how they found your business and what actions they took via click through activity.”
Google Analytics also offers an audience section with demographic, device, and geolocation data, helping companies collect additional customer information. Learning these insights enables brands to better target their audience and achieve goals much faster.
Additionally, companies can use Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, or any of the other comparable eCommerce tools to access preliminary customer insights such as peak purchasing times, devices used, how many times customers visited before ordering, and reviews or other volunteered information.
“Engaging a following via social media and external publication writing is also a great way for expanding your customer and user insights,” said David Barbour, co-founder of Vivio Life Sciences. “This helps in gauging interest levels and the type of online users that most frequent your website.”
Hotjar’s intuitive capabilities can record cursor movements on your web pages, providing valuable insights into how customers perceived your site and what interested them most. It also records a small portion of the cursor movements to let you know how the potential customer saw your webpage and which products or services they were most interested in.
Other Ways to Track Customers
Susana Yee, owner of Digital Everything Consulting, finds that tracking is the best way to discover who is really buying products, along with researching influencers and the brands they partner with.
“Many influencers have very specific niches now, and when we see success through tracking and sales from a particular niche influencer, we know that our client brand resonates with that target audience demographic,” she said.
Companies should also create buyer personas – statistical representations of customers and how they see your product or brand.
“A buyer persona can be created when you are already in the business and know your potential buyers,” said Charles Donovan, a marketing consultant at Full Surge. “Go through your business as your customer will, making it easier for you to adjust their wants and needs on to your store and products.”
The easiest way to find out who your customers are is simply by asking them, which can be accomplished through customer surveys, noted Maple Holistics CMO Nate Masterson.
“There are some important questions you can ask yourself to get a better picture of who your customers really are,” he said. “What is your brand? What’s your mission statement? Are your products high-end or on the more affordable side? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can come up with a list of questions to help you pinpoint who your customers actually are.”
For instance, if your products are high-end, but consumers complain about price, your perception of your audience may be warped.
Start at the Beginning
Every company wishes to know its customers, but savvy marketers will collect consumer insights during the product evaluation phase and have a strong idea of who their target audience is before the actual launch.
Still, things can change, and you might be attracting a segment you didn’t expect or neglecting a group you’d been aiming for. That’s why it’s always important to continue using available tools to track who your customer truly is.
“Most brands struggle to stay ahead of the rapid pace of evolving consumer behavior. Consumer behavior will continue to change when it comes to avoiding ads or being sold to on every channel. However, if retailers begin to spend time on understanding their core consumer and their intent, they wouldn’t be in a constant state of reaction,” said Bethanie Nonami, Chief Innovation Officer for Marley Nonami. “Validate any assumptions your team may be making about intent with customer surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Help the brands fulfill their customers’ intent and introduce them to your brands and products through a rich, interactive, engaging and delightful experience with your organization.”