If the marketing field has a golden rule, it’s this: know your customers. And not just in a vague, “females, 18-29 years old” way. You need to know what kind of job your customers have, what their goals are, the daily challenges they’re facing, what they find funny and frustrating — all the details necessary to connect to them on a human level. Only then can you offer an effective solution that will attract their attention and convert them into happy customers.
Getting to that level of detail and familiarity can be trickier than it sounds, however. Painstaking market research is time-consuming and difficult to maintain on an ongoing basis, especially with so many emerging channels and trends influencing buyers in new ways.
Here are our tips for building an accurate and effective customer profile that’s unique to your best prospects — and keeping it accurate as your market and customer base continue to evolve. As it turns out, the best resources are right at your fingertips — members of your own team!
1. Talk to sales.
Find out the central problem most buyers are looking to solve using your solution, the one question they ask time and time again, and the most common misconception about your product. For instance, if you find that many customers are unaware that your software has a certain feature, maybe add a brief video showcasing that feature to your website's home page, or write a blog post highlighting its functionality and use cases.
2. Consult with customer support.
They can offer a treasure trove of insight into your customers’ perspectives and ongoing problems. What common issues are your customers struggling with? How can you make it easier for them to adopt your solution? What resources can you provide to improve their experience with your product and recommend it to others?
3. Keep an eye on online communities.
Browse LinkedIn groups, Quora, Reddit, and popular review sites to see what conversations your product is inspiring. How are people discovering your product? Are they using it in conjunction with another tool that you could partner with, or in unexpected or innovative ways you could highlight on your blog? Use these conversations to inform a deeper understanding of who your customers are and shine a spotlight on members of your community.
4. Monitor your analytics.
Which pages of your website have the most views? Which blog posts have the highest number of comments or social shares? What kinds of search queries or keywords most often lead people to your site? The more specifics you know about what your customers are looking for and the kind of content that catches their eye, the easier it is to optimize your campaigns.
5. Go straight to the source.
Spend an hour or two each week picking up the phone and talking to a few current customers, or sending a handful of personalized emails. Establish and maintain genuine relationships with people who actually use your product, listen carefully to their experiences and insights, and then keep them top of mind when developing your marketing materials.
Applying the Power of Marketing Ops to Your Business
Once you’ve nailed the buyer persona and attracted a potential customer’s attention, how do you create a marketing strategy that will convert them into paying customers and continue to grow your business? Download our free ebook, 5 Steps to Transforming Marketing Operations for Maximum Growth, for tips on delivering an exceptional customer experience, selecting the right tools to support your marketing efforts, and the key metrics you should use to fuel your success.