Surveying Your Customers is Important - FactSally Ormond
December 17, 2012 — 1,271 views
Congratulations - you've decided to set up a business; you have a fabulous range of products to sell and now you're ready to hit the market.
So what's your next step?
Hopefully, you're going to say building a marketing strategy. You're right, that is important, but there's something you need to do first.
Know what it is?
OK, let me give you a few clues. How do you know there is a market for your products? How do you know where your potential customers hang out? How will you know the terms they'll search for online to find your products?
If you're answer is 'guess', you're heading for disaster.
The term you were looking for is 'customer research'. Without it you won't know if there is a market for your products, yet along anything else. It sounds ridiculously simple, but asking your customers opinions will save you a lot of time and wasted energy.
You have to get out there and ask people what they think:
- Would they be interested in your product?
- How much would they expect to pay for it?
- What term(s) would they use to find them on the Internet?
- What social media channels do they use?
That last one is very important because if your social media marketing is going to be successful, you have to know where your customers are. Do they use Twitter or Facebook?
Even big companies get that aspect of marketing wrong. This is mainly down to some common misconceptions, such as:
- MDs believing that because they don't use social media, neither do their customers
- Companies that are using Facebook add updates during the day when their customers are at work and won't see them (they should be using the handy scheduling tool so they go out in the evening)
- Just because someone 'likes' your Facebook page doesn't mean you can bombard them with promotional emails - it's not an opt-in button
You see it doesn't matter what industry you're in, if you're not prepared to take the time to ask your customers what they want, you're not going to get anywhere. After all, they are the experts in buying your products, and you can only sell to them if you know where they are and what they want.
Persuasive copy, eye-catching websites and flashy social media profiles will only work if you're giving your customers what they want - so ask them.
Do your market research because your customers don't always want the same things or think the same way you do.
I am a copywriter living and working in Suffolk. When I am not working I am looking after my two gorgeous sons and can be found cheering them on in their rugby and fencing pursuits. I've even been known to join them bouldering! I am also a volunteer wish granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK and I have written and published one childrens' book 'The Adventures of Tilly the Tractor and Freddie The Fire Engine' and a novel 'Mackerel Skies'.