It all starts with knowing and understanding Jessica.
Jessica is 28 years old. She is married. She owns a home in a small rural town outside of Toronto. She works full-time and currently earns about $67,000 a year. She commutes every morning on the GO Train into Toronto. She has a morning ritual… wakes up at 6:00am, makes a coffee and checks her email, thumbs through Instagram and Facebook, chills out and wakes up for about 20 minutes. Then it’s time to get ready for work and out the door no later than 7:15am.
When Jessica has social time, she loves to spend it with her girlfriends over coffee at the local independent coffee house. She supports fair trade, equal rights for all and several other causes. Jessica is vegan.
She also cherishes walks with her husband and dog in the nearby forest and her quiet time.
Jessica spends about 2 to 3 hours a day on-line. Her favourite on-line destinations include Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and health/diet websites. She does most of her shopping on-line and Amazon is her go-to choice for on-line shopping. She has a Netflix account and binges on Shameless!
If Jessica is your customer, you NEED to talk directly to Jessica.
Large companies go to great lengths to gather deep relevant details about customers like Jessica. They are careful about what they measure and weighing the importance of the data they have collected. Yup, it can get a little creepy, but it’s one way marketers ensure their products, services and marketing in general is put in front of the right people at the right time and thus increase their odds of capturing their attention and converting them into a customer. And here's the great thing about all this, you as a small business owner have the very same ability to gather customer data as your larger competitors!
Let me give you an example of how this works.
Imagine you are crafting an on-line ad. You’re going to send it to your email list and Facebook.
The older way of thinking was you create an on-brand message or offer with some attractive graphics and/or photos and you send it to everyone on your mailing list and to a wide range of people on Facebook. Simple. Done.
The newer way would see you segmenting your email list into well-defined groups. Let’s say you own a juice shop (sorry Paul, but you’re just great case study material!). Instead of sending the same email and same Facebook ad to everyone as mentioned above, you segment your email list into people who seek natural remedies when feeling sick, yoga enthusiasts, athletes, people who want to lose weight etc… Now, you are able to send messages and offers that are very specific to the segment, thus allowing you to craft very tempting and relevant marketing to them.
You send an email that shows your top three juices that are ideal for weight loss and back it up with a testimonial from a customer directly to the people who identified as wanting to lose weight! This will have a MUCH greater effect on the email recipient (and your sales) than a generic deal on juices sent to everyone. This also applies to social media channels such as Facebook, which allow you to target quite precisely specific demographics, geo-locations and even behavioural data. You can create multiple ad sets within Facebook, each with different messaging aimed at a specific customer segment. Powerful!
Before we start…
There is a fine line here. If you try to gather too much information, dig too deep or try to market to customers in places that seem a little invasive you may actually do damage to your brand. Knowing your customers will help you determine how much ‘marketing intrusion’ they will tolerate.
Now let's discuss methods by which you can gather this business-critical customer data!
#1 Survey with Reward
Offer your current customer base a reward for taking your survey and providing you more descriptive information about themselves. In return, offer them something as a reward. A special product or service only for them, a handsome discount etc…
#2 Google Analytics, Cookies
Dig deep into your Google Analytics and Cookie data and you’ll find there is a lot of valuable information about your customers’ online behaviour. This quantitative data will help you understand your customers' on-line behaviour a little better.
#3 Pre-Order Opportunities
You can build customer profiles by offering powerful pre-order opportunities and collect a little more customer data than you may have in the past.
#4 Loyalty & Reward Programs
These are a great opportunity to gather robust identity data (First and last name, date of birth, gender, address, telephone number, social networks of choice etc…)
#5 Favourite/Rating System
To help you grab more qualitative data about your customers’ likes/dislikes and habits, employ a rating system on your website or social channels. You can apply a rating system to products, services, customer service effectiveness, response times etc... You can get as specific as you like.
I’m not going to sugar coat this. Gathering REAL customer data is challenging and time consuming, but the rewards can have a 10X effect on your marketing efforts and results. If it is seemingly daunting right now... start slow and small. Get into the habit of looking more closely at those Google Analytics emails you get each month or start by adding ONE of these data-collecting ideas and go from there. Even a little effort in this area of your business can net you massive rewards. Good luck and happy data gathering!
Would you like my help starting your business or taking your current business to the next level? Email me directly, text me at 905.442.3323 or call me at the same number. It's always free to chat!
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