What do your consumers look like? Where do they shop? What type of music do they like? You may not think it matters, but it does. Businesses are becoming more and more consumer-centric. And as making sales becomes more about connecting with your customers, consumer research is more important than ever.
Consumer research means simply learning about your customer – everything from age, gender, and location to needs, preferences, and buying patterns. The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to connect with them, provide the products or services that they actually want and need, and ultimately make more sales.
Here are a few things you can expect to learn from focused and thorough consumer research:
What do your buyers look like? Good consumer research starts with a basic profile of your ideal customer, including demographics such as:
If your main buyers are between ages 45 – 60, then it doesn’t make much sense to serve ads to an audience of teenagers. Knowing whether your customer identifies as male or female has the power to impact marketing strategies, store placement, and even pricing and product features. The further you can narrow your target market down, the more time and money you can save by pinpointing exactly who will be buying your product.
Consumers have more information and influencer avenues open to them than ever before. By researching what your consumer does to gather and absorb information about products and interests, you will find information about:
Do your customers prefer analog materials like newspapers and books, or do they love being digital? Do they watch product videos or read customer reviews before purchasing? How many touches does it take before a typical customer buys your product?
Businesses often wonder “which social media platforms should I be using?” Research can help you answer that question. Knowing exactly where your ideal customer hangs out online (or IF they hangout online) helps you focus your time, effort and budget where it matters.
Learning more about your customers’ behaviors will help you shape your marketing strategy to fit their routines and develop materials to support them throughout the buyer journey.
By studying the where and how of your buyer’s journey from prospect to client, you’ll discover the best way to contact and influence your buyers. Consumer research will tell you about their:
Another important factor: how do your buyers shop? Do they prefer online or brick and mortar retailers? Third party or brand websites? What is the average value of their shopping cart? Purchasing habits provide extremely valuable information for creating sales funnels, email campaigns, and more.
Perhaps the most important thing you can learn about your customers is their why. To find out why customers love one product and loathe another, you must study their:
Good consumer research should tell you – what motivates your customers to action? Whether it’s a feeling they get from a product, a perception of quality or luxury, or being associated with an elite group, understanding your consumers’ underlying perceptions and motivations is the key to smart marketing. With this information, you can determine what type of advertisements and influencers they respond to, how to position your brand, and much more.
With consumer research, you can focus your time on the consumers who matter. Marketing executives use thorough and focused consumer research to make better short and long-term strategy decisions and put them ahead of competitors.
Do you have questions about consumer research? Let’s chat!