Do You Know Who Your Customers Really Are?

Who’s looking at your website right now?

What are they looking for?

Why?

If you can’t tell, all your marketing is guesswork.

Social media usage may differ among age groups, but everyone from children to seniors has the ability to find and engage your brand online.  If your marketing or your social media messaging follows a one-size-fits-all approach, you may be ignoring (or alienating) various audience segments — and you can be sure that one of your competitors will find a way to engage the very users you’re overlooking.

But how do you know who’s finding you online?

One obvious way is to glance at your social media community.  Who’s following you on Twitter?  Who’s subscribing to your YouTube channel?  Who are your Facebook fans?  Users of social media channels are publicly volunteering the kind of information you’d normally have to pay a research group to track down for you.  In these cases, all you need is a little time and some demographic search tools.

Another way to learn who your customers really are?

Ask.

The web is full of general demographic surveys, but those are often broad snapshots of Internet or mobile usage as a whole.  And while traffic analysis tools like Google Analytics can tell you how many people are visiting your website, they still can’t tell you who those people really are.  (And if you’re in Germany, Google Analytics can get you in a whole different kind of trouble… but we digress.)

To better understand your audience and your customers, you need to ask them a little about themselves.  Online survey tools abound, or you can take the old-fashioned route and fire a few key questions at your email list.

Not everyone will respond to these requests, but the ones who do are the ones who are most likely to care about the quality of the information you’re providing to them.  They either want you to improve or they want you to succeed.  Either way, they’re providing you with extremely valuable information, so treat them well.

And then, once you have a better understanding of who you’re talking to online, you can craft better messages that deliver more relevant information to the people who need it most.

Image by c r i s