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Using Your Customers To Help You Make Awesome Decisions

At Marcel Digital, all of our digital marketing campaigns begin with one simple question, “What is this GOAL of the campaign?” The reason we ask this question when kicking off a campaign with a client is because we want to align our business goals with our client’s goals. A “goal” is defined a completed action that helps your business achieve its targeted business objectives. Having a clearly stated goal when starting any sort of endeavour ensures that teams are working in unison to a common end point that defines “success”.

So, what is a “goal” exactly? Goals can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, especially when they are beginning to research. It’s important that businesses remove noise and ask themselves “What are we ultimately trying to accomplish as a business and how do we measure that we are doing it?” It’s not as hard as you think, and we have laid out some steps below to help you and your team find your “goal”!

Defining Your Business Goals

Have you ever gone on a road trip? Usually before you hit the road, you make sure you have a destination in mind, with a map, directions, or a GPS showing you how to get you there. It’d be pretty crazy to just get in a car and go, right? Well, going on a road trip without a destination is a lot like starting a marketing campaign without a goal in mind. You need to know where you’re going and what you’re trying to achieve in order to prove ROI and value.

Google Maps

Without having a tangible point that, when hit or exceeded, will prove your hard work a success, you stand to fight a battle that can be likened to punching underwater - a lot of effort for potentially no gain. But what exactly is that “point” you are defining as a “goal” and how do you measure it? Well, for instance, “goals” can range from a multitude of things:

  • Signups
  • Downloads
  • Sales leads
  • Purchases
  • Video views
  • Time on page
  • Etc.

The reason for having a goal is you need to evaluate a campaign's success on a measurable metric that can show you and your team what marketing channels are most beneficial to your business needs. If you are unable to define a metric that would decide a campaign’s success, then that campaign is probably not an ideal avenue to pursue, and your time is most likely better spent elsewhere. Always have a clear vision of what goal you are trying to achieve with each marketing campaign you pursue and have a tangible or numerical point you are trying to achieve.

To find your business goals, sit down with your team and discuss where you all see the most potential and what your planned growth is for the future. Decide what products and what marketing channels are the most valuable and what other opportunities you have yet to look into. Doing this will help you and your team get on the same page and focus on what you all decided as your “business goal”.

But, how do you go about finding the audience that is going to help you achieve that goal?

Researching Your Audience 

Once you have your goal in mind and what you want to achieve, you’ll want to research the following information about your users:

  • Who are they?
  • What helps them make decisions?
  • When do they need my product or service?
  • Where are they?
  • Why do they need my product or service?
  • How do they use my product or service?

Basically, you want to know WHO you are marketing to whose goals as a customer align with your goals as a business. When you know this information, you can better target your content and marketing plan to distribute your message.

Use Your Analytics 

One of the first things your company should do when you develop a website is install Google Analytics, or better yet, Google Tag Manager. As a Certified Google Partner, we can’t stress the invaluable data we get from Google Analytics that helps drive our strategies and gives us the ability to make data driven decisions.

It gives us detailed insights from user demographics to traffic sources, referrals to highest converting pages, funnel paths to multi channel attribution, and everything in between. Without data and analytics, you’re flying blind.

Through Google Tag Manager, you are able to add tags that allow you to track user engagement at a deeper level, as well as integrate 3rd party tools to give you more in-depth insights into how your website is performing. It’s imperative that you learn more about the type of analytics that you may or may not have installed on your website and focus your report and dashboard development toward your goals. This way, you are able to quickly assess your current campaigns and if they are working properly toward achieving your goals.

Ask the Right Questions 

Another resource that usually remains untapped for a lot of companies and brands is the ability to survey customers. This is extremely important, because this is the most direct course of action you can take to getting your customer’s feedback. Surveying your customers gives you the ability to take you where your data can’t, their thought process.

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When leveraging your ability to survey customers, it’s important that you are asking the right questions. The types of questions you ask will determine the type of responses you receive. The more open ended question, the more fruitful of a response you will receive. When evaluating your surveying capabilities, focus on the following:

  • What’s the best way to survey customers / users
  • Select an effective template
  • Focus on your tone / brand in surveying
  • Source questions from team
  • Think of a great headline to capture attention
  • Will you be segmenting who is surveyed?
  • Who will be reviewing responses and creating next steps?

When you are done evaluating the above and putting the proper pieces in place, it’s time to select what types of questions you are going to be asking. Here is an example list to get your brain jogging:

  • Tell us about yourself
  • What information helped you make a purchase?
  • What information would help you make a purchase?
  • How do you use our products?
  • Would you recommend our product to others? Why?
  • What other products were you considering against ours?
  • What type of content would you like to see from us in the future?

The above questions allow you to get a more clear idea of who your users and customers are and what their expectations as consumers are. This information gives you a leg up over the competition and gives you actionable insights that you can apply to your future marketing strategies.

But surveys are annoying. What if they don’t want to answer questions?

Give Offers for Participating

One of the best ways to ensure that customers and users actively participate in your surveys is to incentivize them for their time and thoughts. Incentivizing shows you are appreciative of their participation and you are willing to compensate them for their ideas and feedback.

What are some ways to incentivize your customers and users?

  • Discounts
  • Free branded swag
  • Gift cards
  • Money
  • Coupons
  • Etc.

Humans have a natural “What’s in it for me?” instinct. The more you cater to this notion, without blowing your budget or resources, the more likely you are to get honest feedback that you can actually use. Always consider the following when incentivizing your customers:

  • Who are the people you are surveying?
  • What do they like?
  • What is your budget?
  • How do you deliver their incentive?

This last question is important, because you need to know how customers will receive their incentive. Are you mailing it? Are you emailing it? Will the customer have to come pick it up? Make sure that you are making it easy on the customer, but also within reason for your company’s resources to make it happen.

Giant Check Stock

Use The Information Moving Forward

Lastly, and most importantly, this information and feedback mean absolutely nothing if you do not utilize it. It’s imperative that feedback and information that’s provided by a customer or user is reviewed, prioritized, and applied if relevant to the goals of the company. Let’s be honest, users are smart people, and they can tell when a company is providing lip service. Being one of those companies is absolutely devastating to brand equity, so showing your audience that their feedback is valued means the difference between a lifelong customer and potentially huge losses if consistently ignored.

At the end of the day, you run a business that services people. It’s not just the person you are servicing, it’s their money, their time, their hard work, and the value that they are entrusting in your company to provide that service. When you ask great questions to your audience, you’re telling them “How can we better not just for you, but all of the resources you are putting into this decision?” It’s not something that should be taken lightly, because it’s definitely something your users do not take lightly.

Be the brand that users want to engage with, get them involved and watch a beautiful relationship ensue.

Want to learn more about how you can convert your users at a higher rate with more than customer surveys and feedback? Expand your marketing arsenal to include Conversion Rate Optimization, where data and marketing combine to ensure your users have nothing short of an amazing experience on your website. Learn more by contacting us. We’re here to help!

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Digital Strategy

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About the author

Kyle Brigham

Kyle Brigham is the Chief Strategy Officer at Marcel Digital. He specializes in client services and project management, but also original Nintendo games and ping pong.