Friday night, after getting home from work, I checked my mail and found a brand new Gillette Fusion razor in my mailbox. Courtesy of the local CVS Pharmacy. Getting me to use this product would most likely force me to use complementary products as well, like replacement blades and the shaving cream. Definitely a good move on the part of both Gillette and CVS. Suddenly, the name on the box caught my attention. The package was addressed to my girlfriend…
What’s my point, you ask? This little anecdote should clearly highlight the importance of knowing your audience. So how do you find out what are the needs and wants of your audience?
Ask. This might come across as obvious but many businesses try to guess their customers’ needs instead of simply asking them. Don’t assume that just because someone signed up for your service/product or RSS feed, there is no room for improvement. Of course, you can keep split testing until your head spins or you can just get a random sample of your customer base and send out a survey (I am not suggesting that it should be one or the other; it should be both). Most people will be thrilled to share their ideas.
Here at SMS, we use QuestionPro for our surveys.
Monitor user behavior. Where are your users coming from? What are they searching for on your website? What links are they following?
Google Analytics does a good job of figuring out where your visitors are coming from and can even tell you where they are clicking on your site. Another tool you might want to look into is CrazyEgg. If you process less than 5,000 clicks per month, the account is free. Even if you process more, you still can get a pretty good idea of where people are clicking from the first 5,000 clicks.
If you think this is Marketing 101 material, you’re right. But now consider your own business. Do you know everything there is to know about your audience? I bet you can find out even more.