You Know Me So Well!
It’s the general consensus that before you feel truly comfortable with someone, you have to get to know them first. We’ve all heard phrases like “I’m not usually this quiet, wait until you get to know the real me.”
So why should it be any different between a brand and a customer? The answer is, it’s not. For many consumers, the more they get to know your brand, and the more the brand gets to know them and understand their wants, needs and expectations from an eCommerce site, the more likely they are to convert.
Personalising your customer journey and adding that extra bit of pizazz to make them feel understood and like you’re hitting the mark with their shopping experience, can really boost your brand affinity, and help with loyalty and conversion rates. In the online sphere, going the extra mile doesn’t go unnoticed, and with new businesses jumping online every day, ensuring you stay a step above the rest when it comes to user experience, is vital to your growth.
Get to Know Your Customers Through Expert Advice
It just so happens, that 21 July 2022 is ‘Get to Know Your Customer Day’, so we’ve rounded up some of our in-house experts, who are specialists in a range of Online Marketing areas, to give you some tips and advice on firstly, where to begin with getting to know your customers, and secondly, what the impact of this is on your brand.
You’ll get insight straight from our experts who have helped retailers and merchants get to know their customers in their specialist areas, time and time again. You’ll hear from:
So without further ado, let’s hear from the experts themselves.
Paid Social - Thinking Bigger
To kick start our expert advice, we’ll be delving into the world of Paid social. At Visualsoft, Paid Social is using a combination of data-driven strategies, mobile-first creatives, seamless integrations, social commerce tools, industry insights, and platform partnerships allowing our clients to THINK BIGGER and grow online.
Heading an innovative and forward-thinking team, who better to talk through the importance and impact of getting to know your customers in social media, and how we can help you do just that, than our Head of Social, Sarah Adams.
Leveraging Data to Drive Results
“In order to deliver impactful adverts that drive results, it’s essential that you understand your customers. Data and audience insights are powerful tools that allow you to create personalised experiences that give your customers value, and enable them to engage with content that’s tailored to them.
Knowing exactly what your customers want from your social channels enables you to create specific content, which can then be enhanced by data-driven campaigns, to drive success. Audience insights can also help form the objectives to increase brand awareness, traffic, engagement, conversions and more.
There’s a multitude of ways you can leverage social to understand what it is your audience is after. Utilise polls (organic and paid), question tools on stories, chat features, questions in organic posts, directing users to surveys via the bio link.”
Found this helpful? You can hear more from our social team by getting in touch today. The social-landscape is ever-changing, and with every update we adapt our approach, strategically or creatively. Having experts at hand to help you every step of the way can be a driving force to your growth.
Paid Search - Rely On Your Customers
Now time to introduce our next expert, Sasha Howells, who specialises in the realms of Paid Search here at Visualsoft. This is a form of online advertising that can help to improve your visibility in the search results for search queries related to your industry. This typically takes the form of a Pay-Per-Click model, which means that the retailer only pays when their ad is clicked by a user. Let’s see what advice Sasha has to offer on the importance of getting to know your customers in Paid Search:
The Right Answer At the Right Time
“It is important for us to get to know the client's customer to understand what answer they are looking for.
In Paid Search, we rely on people searching for answers, but in all honesty, the majority of customers don't know exactly what they are looking for. They are searching for something to tell them what they want; the answers to their prayers. By getting to know their habits, behaviours and patterns and by utilising Machine Learning, we are able to predict and serve the answer that is needed at that moment.
By getting to know the customers, we get to know who they are as people, what language they use, what images they gravitate to, and in turn, we are able to create ads that are more relevant and engaging to them. According to Google Research, Customers are 2.7x times more likely to convert from an ad that is culturally relevant to them, which means language, imagery and location play vital parts in the customer journey and to get them to the end goal: make that purchase.”
Use What You Know
“We start with what you have; analyse your data. Find out where your customers are from, then do the research of that area to find out what type of language they use, who is relevant to that area, and apply this to other data findings. Shopping is more fun when it feels like a tailored experience for you.
If budget allows, we use a focus group of the target demographics and also a test group of others which aren’t normally considered within the target group. You may be doing well with your tried and tested group and putting your budget there, but another group could offer you insights that you never had available before.
Lastly, ask them upfront on the website. Offer a survey or even a quiz of what they would like for the experience. If you want to update your website, involve your customers. Ask them this or that question, offering them different variations and see if there are emerging patterns and ideas coming from these. But most importantly, make it interactive, engaging and with different mediums such as images, videos and text, and don’t forget to make it worthwhile for the customer by offering some type of reward for doing the quiz such as 20% off your next order. Customers are the ones using your website everyday so make them part of the design process.”
If you want to hear more from Sarah and our Paid Search team, they deliver a full range of services within both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. We just so happen to be a Google Premier Partner for 2022 and we have seen our partner level with Microsoft increase to a Microsoft Elite Partner. So if you need help with your Paid Search Marketing, or getting to know your customers through Paid Search, get in touch today, you can have full confidence in our experts.
SEO - Let's Get Visible
Our next expert specialises in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is a marketing service that complements all others, and is vital in driving high volumes of quality traffic to your website through search visibility and user experience. Alex Whyles, Head of SEO, is here to help you with the impact of getting to know your customers in SEO.
“Why should an online business get to know & understand its customers? Because they are as unique as the number of searches made around any given subject and/or product and also because you need to let Google (also a kind of customer) know what you’re about in order to be visible for those queries that are being made.
There are multiple touch points & purchase decisions made throughout the buying cycle, none are typical, none are set to a formula but all begin with mapping out demand. From a SEO perspective the first task is to see what people are searching for i.e. keywords but also how they are searching; this will give you the basis of a successful strategy whereby your site can be optimised for the most relevant searches.
Leverage Tools and Technology
“Tools such as SEM Rush (above) will help you find what your potential customers are looking for & the questions they’re asking so you can make your website relevant to them.
Imagine a world without store floor guides, customers would spend ages looking for your products & then give up. Online is exactly the same but you also have to consider Google as well!
Of course you can lead a horse to water but…..
Being able to be visible for searches & questions that are asked is half the battle. Maintaining interest in your site from a Google perspective & also a user perspective is critical for a sustainable business.
This is where it is a good idea to look at where customers land & visit your site, how they interact; do they leave straight away or do they spend a lot of time looking for an item?
Analysing your site architecture & User Experience with tools such as Google Analytics will be key in not only converting your customers but also progressing your business size. For example, if you are getting several thousand searches from your visitors looking for a specific product, wouldn’t it make sense to make that more visible on the website & to Google?”
And that wraps up Alex’s expertise on getting to know your customers in SEO. However, if you want to hear more from our in-house SEO team, get in touch with them today to chat through all things SEO.
Email Marketing - Are You Communicating Effectively?
Our in-house Email Marketing expert is next up on the list, prepared with tips, and advice on getting to know your customers. Lisa Dixon is Head of Our Email Marketing. They work with our innovative Email Marketing Platform to communicate effectively via email, to your customers base and target subscribers. With Lisa’s experience, you can be sure her advice will be worth bookmarking this page.
Grow Your Sales By 85%
“When it comes to Email Marketing, it is essential to get to know your customers. In doing so, you can create a unique and tailored experience for your customers. Personalisation can be vital in email marketing to help optimise metrics such as open rates, click through rates, and conversion rates. Understanding your customers also allows you to listen to their needs and ensure any expectations they have are met, as well as giving insight into customers interests inline with brand goals. In using this insight, it allows you to nourish a relationship with your customer. Companies that create an emotional connection with their customers outperform their competitors in sales growth by 85%.
In essence, better marketing will be achieved by knowing customers better as well as them being more inclined to purchase from the brand.”
Captivate Your Audience
“By taking the time to understand your customers, this not only enhances the customer experience for them, but offers a host of benefits for you, the retailer or merchant: increased engagement, brand awareness and loyalty, resulting in repeat purchases which will ultimately optimise performance and drive existing and potential new subscribers to the site. Using subscriber data through a variety of channels can help optimise the subscriber journey, increase engagement and strengthen your brand to build deeper relationships. Developing 1-1 relationships with subscribers to allow for personalised campaigns, which will ultimately help captivate your audience.
In terms of how you can collect the relevant information from your subscribers to enable retailers to serve the content their customers want to see, there are a number of methods you can use: Preference forms (to gather subscriber preferences and enhance email campaigns by increasing contextual relevance and personalisation), Dynamic polling (to capture first party data to optimise the subscriber's experience), Mailing lists (to create personalised campaigns based on what subscribers have purchased previously), and Loyalty programmes (to reward customers and promote additional offers/benefits)”
That draws Lisa’s advice to a close. If you’ve found this useful and want to hear more from our Email Marketing team, get in touch today. They work closely with you to develop objectives and campaigns to drive performance.
CRO - Are You Looking at the Bigger Picture?
CRO is a marketing method used to increase conversions on your site. A conversion can be anything from a purchase or wanting to carry out a specific action like adding something to a wishlist or buying a sample. And we’ve got the perfect person to offer their expertise on how and why getting to know your customer is important in successful CRO. Introducing our Head of CRO, Heather Barmby…
How, Where, Why?
“Getting traffic to your website is one thing, but understanding how, where and why those users have landed on your site is another. With this insight, you can begin providing visitors with a better user experience. Without understanding who your customers are, your UX strategy is a bit of a guessing game.
There are some top-level questions that you need to ask when thinking about how well you know your users. Are your users researching? Are they just browsing? Are they new or a returning user?
Do you know where your users are clicking, or perhaps where they aren’t clicking? Do you know the monetary value of those clicks? Are you clued up on which areas of the site will provide the most opportunity to increase the amount of revenue your site generates?
This is all data that can be gathered to build a bigger picture of how your users behave on site. Once you have this insight, you can begin to structure the site in a way that will provide an optimised experience. When making website changes, be sure to incorporate A/B testing into your UX strategy. By doing this, you’ll be able to predict the behaviour of your users so that you can be confident that the changes you make are beneficial to both the user and your website’s performance. Utilising A/B testing will allow you to accurately pinpoint the impact of any changes made to your site and take away the guesswork.”
Focus On You
“It might be tempting to look to your competitors for inspiration, but this should not be in place of an effective optimisation strategy that gathers data from your actual users. There’s no guarantee that your competitors’ techniques are working well, or couldn’t be improved further.
TIP: On-site surveys are a brilliant and inexpensive way to hear feedback directly from your users. It really is like gold-dust. To take this one step further, consider adding a survey on the order confirmation page of your website. This means you are collecting feedback from actual customers, rather than browsers. Ask them if there was anything that almost stopped them from purchasing. You might be surprised at some of the responses. Collate their feedback and prioritise by volume and opportunity.”
Did you find this useful? Get in touch with our CRO team today for more information on CRO. Our experts use data to help you to create a strategy that encourages customers to carry out specific desired actions, whilst providing a journey that exceeds their expectations.
Creative Media - Connecting With Your Customers
Getting to know your customer in the world of Creative Media Marketing is our next focus. And we’ve asked the best person for the job, Carli McNaught, our Head of Creative Media. Our talented Creative Media team is at the forefront of design. We leverage the latest softwares and push the boundaries to open up new marketing avenues and deliver new services to help you connect with customers and innovate through your brand. So you’re in good hands when it comes to advice in this area of Marketing.
Maximise Your Marketing Material
“For Creative Media, getting to know your customer is a large part of our strategy. It allows you to continue the customer tone of voice through various marketing materials. Understanding what the client/brand’s priorities are, to be able to achieve the best results, and choose what content to promote. Having a better understanding of our clients' customers allows us to better sync up brand guidelines, brand and customer goals. So the correct message is getting across to customers.
Another important factor to consider when working on creatives with a client is to create an engaging and emotional connection with their customers through their marketing material. To get to that emotional connection, an understanding of the client's knowledge of their customer base is key in being able to tailor to different demographics and platforms, allowing us to cater to each audience, maximising results.”
Increase Results Through Insight
“A range of benefits come from being able to understand and action your understanding of your customers throughout your marketing material: Increased engagement (open, click through and conversion rate), improved brand awareness and loyalty, optimising subscriber journeys in emails, and developing 1-1 relationships with subscribers are just a few benefits that can be obtained from getting to know your customers that little bit better.
And there are a number of ways you can get to know what your customers are interacting with from a creative perspective.
You can go direct by sending preference forms to your subscriber base after creative email campaigns to ask your subscribers preferences. You can also analyse performance data to see what content is most engaged with and well responded to by your audiences, whether it's once you have run a social campaign, an email campaign or an ad campaign. You should be able to see a preference through engagement metrics.”
Hear something useful? Get in touch today to hear more from Carli and the Creative Media team. Through the use of a range of media outputs, our award-winning design team can help you bring your brand to life.
Marketplaces - Reach New Customers
Looking to expand your reach and discover new avenues for growth? Our next expert, Lisa Sheehan, is Visualsoft’s Head of Marketplaces. Marketplaces are a type of third party eCommerce site. Sure, you’ve heard of eBay and Amazon? They’re marketplaces. They are home to millions of loyal customers that shop there day in day out, providing the perfect opportunity for eCommerce businesses to expand their reach. Let’s see what advice Lisa Sheehan has on getting to know your customers in the realm of marketplaces.
Customers Are Loyal to Marketplaces
“Customers are drawn to marketplaces for a number of reasons - one thing we can gather from their use of marketplaces is that they are looking for a convenient way to shop, at competitive prices, with excellent customer service.
Customers are loyal to marketplaces. Amazon has 15 million prime customers in the UK. 66% of potential customers go to Amazon first. 30% of all UK online spend went through Amazon in 2019.
Knowing that customers are fiercely loyal to marketplaces enables you to make the informed choice to start selling on marketplaces to capture those customers that won’t be responsive to your other marketing efforts.”
Convert Marketplace Customers Into Brand Customers
“The one thing to know about these customers is that a lot of them are unlikely ever to find your website first. They are a different group to those that would find your PPC advert, or click through your social media post. Knowing and understanding these are a separate group of customers will enable you to act on this and expand to marketplaces.
The customer information is, on the whole, not usable for the purpose of marketing. Customer information can’t be stored long term, and no email correspondence can be sent outside of the platforms. There are restrictions on content that can be sent within the platform.
In addition to using marketplaces to get your products in front of those loyal marketplace customers, your aim should also be to convert those customers to a brand customer, who may place future orders from you directly. Replicating your brand messaging across marketplaces can allow you to gain lifelong brand loyalty.
There are some limited ways to target your marketplace customers. Through eBay you can target your previous customers by grouping them into buyer groups, defined by time since last purchase and category purchased, to send offer codes to tempt them to repurchase.”
Great advice from our Head of Marketplaces! If you want to find out more about how our Marketplace experts can help your eCommerce business, get in touch today to begin your journey down new avenues for growth.
Affiliate Marketing - Strengthen Your Brand
Last but certainly not least, the final one of our experts you’ll hear from, is Sarah-Jayne Freeman, our Head of Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is the most powerful way of using partnerships to springboard your brand strength & Revenue by putting your products in front of millions of more sets of eyes.
“Where Affiliate Marketing is concerned, understanding your customers is essential for many reasons. Starting with the ability to create bespoke strategies for your customers. Every strategy we create should be bespoke to that individual client, knowing their customers allows us to tailor the strategic direction in relation to their shopping habits.
It also allows us to connect the right partners. At Visualsoft, we work with numerous technology partners made up of industry experts, to assist our clients with their growth journey. Each partner has its own customer demographic, by understanding the client’s customers allows us to connect the right partners to the account from the very beginning.
Understanding the client customer demographic also allows us to predict trends in their behaviour and therefore target them with the right messaging at the right time. For example, if the customer is a bargain hunter, they will be looking for the best price possible and we can use the voucher code or price comparison partners. Alternatively, if they are interested in the best quality products, we will be able to work more closely with content and editorial partners.
Target the Customer at the Right Part of Their Journey
Being able to understand your customer comes with a host of benefits, such as a deeper understanding of the client’s customer base allows us to anticipate what information they need at which partners of the buying journey and therefore we will be more likely to pass on the right information to encourage them through this journey and ultimately purchase.
Understanding the customer journey allows us to work within specific objectives which are tailored to individual needs. Meaning that if we are targeting key metrics such as AOV we can ensure we target the customer at the right part of the journey to affect this metric.
We Help You, Get to Know Them
“Google Analytics is one of the best places to understand the client’s customers, it offers information on their demographics, affinity categories, purchasing habits, and more.
We have a wealth of knowledge built into the Network technology which helps us understand the clients' customers, from their shopping habits and what device they are shopping on.
Running a competitor analysis within the Affiliate space gives us information on what the customers are looking for and where they are spending their time. This allows us to identify which partner verticals and specific partners will be most beneficial to the overall strategy.
Don’t always rely on your current customer base, having an understanding of the gaps in the market and direction of the company will ensure flexibility and have the ability to adapt to industry changes.”
Want to hear more from Sarah-Jayne Freeman, and our Affiliate Marketing team who can help you improve your brand strength and revenue? Get in touch today to speak with an expert.
The More You Know the Quicker You Grow
And there we have it. A handy walk through of different areas of marketing and how you can utilise each of them to get to know your customers and improve your marketing performance. You may find that some of these processes seem repetitive across the different areas. And you’re not wrong. Which makes it all the more efficient and something you should consider across your marketing efforts.
Hopefully, you have found our expert advice on getting to know your customers useful. To find out more about getting to know your customers, and how they can improve your customer experience, and keep them coming back for more, get in touch today. Our in-house marketing teams combine tailored marketing solutions and strategies, with our eCommerce platform to help with your online journey; growing and scaling your business.