In a competitive economy, learning and knowing your target market like the back of your hand is essential to succeeding and differentiating yourself from competitors. The advantages of understanding how to learn about your target market and capitalize on it are many:
- Ability to relate with your customers and thus improve your marketing message
- Improved conversion rates and closed sales by targeting highly qualified potential customers
- Improved customer loyalty as you continually improve based on research
- Efficiently budget for marketing costs to maximize return on investment
Marketing research and learning about your customers used to cost a fortune and be available only to companies with large marketing budgets. However, with the rise of the internet, customer surveys and market intelligence are in the reach of businesses of all sizes and budgets. Learn how to best utilize online marketing surveys and focus on your market with these actionable tips.
Include chance to participate in survey after customer action
The beauty of a website is that you can code feedback on the design, functionality, and user-friendliness right at the point of question. For example, at the end of purchase you can have an optional feedback box asking customers how their eCommerce experience was. Another example would be to include a place on product pages that customers could let you know what kind of products and varieties the customer would like to see that are not currently offered.
Offer an incentive to customers to encourage participation
Many customers, especially if upset, will give you feedback on your business without any type of incentive. However, you cannot depend on the good will of others to give you enough information to learn about your areas of improvement. Offer some type of incentive for the customer’s valuable time, whether that is a gift, a chance to win a drawing, or even just a discount on future purchases.
Keep time required to a minimum
If you find that there are 50 questions you would like to ask to gain insight into your market, that can be a challenge with the amount of time it would take to answer. There is an alternative with online surveys, especially if your website already has high traffic volume. If you keep the questions down to a minimum, you are more likely to receive participation because you require less of the customer’s time. If you program your surveys to ask random questions, over time you are going to get the sample size you need for enough information to take action.
Include a permanent virtual “suggestion box” on your website
Adding a suggestion box to your website will not only give you valuable customer feedback and market research, it will also create a sense of loyalty in your customers as they see you are open and willing to change to meet their needs. This suggestion box also will give the customer a chance to direct the conversation versus normal survey questions with only a few choices. You can learn a lot from a customer with open-ended questions.
Send an email blast asking for participation
As you grow your email list (you do collect email addresses, right?), you will gain a valuable source of participation from customers who have willingly opted in to receiving emails. Take advantage of this and send out an email blast to your existing customers asking for a few minutes of their time with an incentive of course.
James Daugherty created this post on behalf of Ask Your Target Market – Market Research has never been this easy.
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