I cannot stress enough how important using data to drive your decisions is; now, more so than ever. Most businesses are experiencing an influx of traffic to their digital platforms due to COVID-19 and many are observing rapidly changing shifts in behavioral trends and purchasing patterns.
With an increase in online spending and “new” customers visiting their digital ecosystem, there is now a need for businesses to offer digital services. It is essential that businesses maintain their momentum during this time and to do this they must reevaluate and analyze their historical and new datasets to adjust to the ever-evolving sense of normalcy.
Reassessing Your Digital Audience
Having a digital presence that is efficient and meets customer’s needs is important. The message, voice/tone, layout, navigation, pathing, etc, must resonate with your customer base.
A key component that most businesses fail to understand is the difference between the following audiences:
Current/Frequent Customers: Repeat buyers, loyalists, etc.
Target Audience: Who you are aspiring to bring into your ecosystem
New/Infrequent Customers: Those who have recently joined the ecosystem
Knowing your existing customers, target audience, and new customers is important in determining why, when, where, what, and how when spending and making strategic investments. How do you know you’ve invested in the right place? How will you justify the ROI and tie your efforts back to your goals/objectives? Note: ROI needn’t always directly co-relate to a dollar amount. There may be other intangible returns that you should be mindful of as well.
Revisiting your audience, analyzing their digital journey, and identifying any UX pain points customers may be experiencing will help in determining where to spend and invest.
Let’s break down these 3 audience groups:
The Power of Knowing Your Current Customer
Back in 2007, Subaru took a hard look at what their brand represented. They knew that they had a unique product and a very loyal customer base. So they decided to go the extra mile and chart a course to discover what made their customers unique and understand the true DNA of their owners. After several well-conducted researches, interviews, studies, and focus groups they found that 67% of their owners loved animals and out of this, over 50% were dog lovers. This nugget led to the creation of the countless dog-related advertising/philanthropic campaigns that we cherish such as “Dog Tested. Dog Approved,” “The Barkleys,” and countless other initiatives!
Subaru was able to understand their current owners and found a way to resonate with them perfectly. This led to the formation of a very strong bond between the brand and its consumers in which Subaru owners became brand evangelists. The infectious spread of consumer support allowed Subaru to realize the power of true owner loyalty and brand commitment. Their sales have soared month over month and year over year from 2008 all the way through to 2019.
With that in mind, what do you know about your current customer base? How can you help build such an everlasting connection with them?
Attracting Your Target Audience
Next, let’s look at your business’ target market. A few simple starter questions you can ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience and why? What are their qualities or personality traits?
- Why does your target audience want to purchase your product?
- What benefits do you offer that competitors don’t?
- How do you want customers to learn about your offering(s)?
- What information have you already gathered or would like to know about your target audience? Examples:
- What online portal do users typically use? LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform? Perhaps they use several.
- When are they accessing these channels and potentially your site/app?
- Are they engaged during work hours or other times?
Asking questions will help you better hone in on the strategies or approaches that make sense when wanting to connect with your target audience.
Google launched an initiative a few years back called Micro-Moments. These are purposeful and intent-rich moments when preferences are molded and decisions are made. This is why it should be top of mind to be where your target audience is and provide them an avenue to discover your product/services. Furthermore, finding out what echoes with your target audience will help you curate targeted campaigns and content that they can relate to. This not only softens the barrier of entry to push for engagement, but may also encourage accelerated adoption.
Decoding Your New Audience
As a result of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders that we have been undergoing, there has been a massive migration of users to various online/digital properties. With this massive migration, many businesses have seen a sudden rise in new visitors and an increase in the frequency of returning visitors. It’s important to find out more information about these new members.
Here are a few questions that will help you get a better understanding of this new audience:
- How did they find out about the brand?
- What were they looking for? Were they successful in finding it?
- Are there new patterns with new customers?
- Do new customers have different traits or behaviors than current customers or target customers?
- What can you do to further their commitment to the brand? What will make them a repeat customer?
- How do you improve loyalty with these new customers?
Once you understand new customers, now decide what actions relate to them. How can you lead them to an experience where they feel “oneness” with the brand?
You now understand your audience pool, the next step is to rebaseline your business strategy to adapt to any changes. Identify methods/tools to engage with your audience and understand when you should chart a new course or path to success. Tune back in soon where all of these will be covered in our follow up article which will be posted shortly.
If you have questions about topics we have discussed, are struggling with some of this yourself, or would like to brainstorm your ideas, let’s chat. Cognetik is an end-to-end data solutions agency and we have several experienced professionals well versed in these areas and more to assist you.