In our digital world, consumers are more savvy than they’ve ever been before. They can read reviews, compare prices, and conduct product searches almost instantly. They’re more informed and, thus, choosier.
Unfortunately, they’re also very hard to get to know.
If you’ve ever felt like your target consumer is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, you’re not alone. Many business owners find themselves feeling stuck when it comes to identifying their target customers – but knowing your buyers simply as “someone who buys from us” is not enough.
It’s never been more true than it is now: you need to understand your customers. For your business to grow and thrive, you need to have a firm handle on their likes, their dislikes, their spending habits, and even what they think is cool.
In this article, we’ll dig deep into buyer insights and how you can use what you learn about your target customer to accelerate growth for your company.
What are Buyer Insights?
Buyer Insights is the process of understanding your customers’ needs and motivations, and they are derived from two types of data.
1.- Quantitative data – to help measure what is happening now.
Examples: sales or product feedback
2.- Qualitative data – to potentially provide insights into what needs to happen.
Examples: customer interviews or in-store observations
Why Do Buyer Insights Matter So Much?
Buyer insights are critical for all business functions, from marketing and sales to product management, finance, and operations. When combined with a solid strategy, buyer insights can help you reach your customers more effectively, so you can grow your business faster.
Without insights, your business is flying blind, essentially making assumptions that you hope are correct. That means you run the risk of building products and services that miss the mark.
For example, imagine you are in charge of marketing for a fitness brand. You might focus on reaching people who are in great shape and want to stay that way. The problem is that many people who work out aren’t actually looking to stay fit. Instead, they are trying to lose a lot of weight. If you don’t understand this difference and don’t market to people who are trying to lose weight, your company may not succeed.
Because the truth is: You’ll never be able to sell well until you understand who your customers are, what they want, and how they will use your products or services.
And that’s the knowledge buyer insights provide. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of who your customers are, what they value, and how you can meet their needs better than your competitors do.
Once you do that, you can tailor your marketing strategy and product offerings accordingly. You’ll finally be able to create products and marketing campaigns that resonate with the exact people you hope to reach.
The more you understand about your customers, the more easily you’ll be able to gain their trust and get them to engage with your brand. This, in turn, is sure to increase customer loyalty and drive more sales.
Why Is it So Hard to Understand Your Customers?
If you’ve ever tried sending out a customer feedback survey, you likely understand the challenge of getting to know your customers. Audience surveys are quick and easy to do, and you can easily share them with a large number of people. You can even set up automated surveys to collect data regularly.
But getting genuinely helpful responses can be….challenging.
According to Kimberlee Slavik, best-selling author and award-winning business strategist, it has a lot to do with neuroscience and how our brain chemistry works.
“People hate questions,” she explained as the reason surveys don’t work that well. Fortunately, she offered an alternative to asking questions, as well as why it works:
Customer Interviews: How To Get Them To Work For You
Customer interviews can be useful for digging deeper into your customers’ motivations and pain points. Interviews are a great way to get one-on-one time with your customers and gain insight that can help your business grow.
Slavik shared her methods with us (that don’t involve questions): “Call them and say, ‘Tell me how your life has improved.’ You’re now triggering a positive visualization of how their life is, and their brain gets flooded with positive chemistry and they can’t help themselves.
They will start telling you all kinds of stories. They’ll start relating to you and the next time you try to call them, they’re going to take your call. They don’t know why. They just know they like talking to you.”
According to Slavik, it’s all about getting people to think positively. It’s not that you’re gathering information. It’s how you’re doing it. And in this case, words matter.
“I’ve seen people blow it by saying one word wrong. They said, ‘Tell me about your experience with our company and it immediately triggered a negative visualization.”
Instead, she recommends guiding the thought process to something positive. “Tell us how your life has improved” inspires positive visualization. “If done correctly, you trigger the right brain chemistry with the right person, and it’s incredible the information you will get out of that person,” Slavik said.
The idea of buyer interviews is not a new concept, but it sometimes seems like a daunting one. According to Adele Revella, author of Buyer Personas, it doesn’t have to be.
In her book, Revella provides a simple framework for buyer interviews, but she admonishes that you don’t need to perform hundreds of them to gain these insights. Her research into the practice has shown that only 5-10 conversations with buyers that represent your target audience are needed to glean meaningful buyer insights.
Take time to have meaningful conversations with your ideal customer, and then when you take those insights back to your marketing team, you can begin the process of crafting a buyer persona.
3 Core Elements of a Complete Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal customers. Because these buyer personas resemble real people, they can better help you understand your customers by letting you put yourself in their hypothetical shoes.
As your buyer persona comes together, you’ll find that you need to consider two ways of understanding your buyer: their actions and their feelings. While their actions will give you information on their behavior, their feelings will allow you to see the thought process behind that behavior.
As you craft your buyer personas, it’s imperative that you include the following:
- Behaviors – the processes that your typical customers use to make decisions.
- Motivations – the things that drive your customers to make decisions
- Journeys – the paths that your customers take from the moment they first hear about your brand to when they make a purchase
2 Key Steps For An Insight
Once you’ve gathered enough customer feedback, it’s time to analyze it.
1. Identify the pain point that exists in your buyer’s current journey.
Identify the pain points that exist in your buyer’s current journey with your company. You can do this by asking questions such as:
- Where do they currently run into problems?
- What are the biggest challenges they face?
- What could be done better?
- What features could be added to simplify the process?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can clearly see where improvements are needed. But don’t stop there – identify where these pain points are most prevalent and create actionable strategies to address them.
2. Identify the emotions your buyer has when using your product
By understanding your customer’s feelings, you can get a better idea of if they’re satisfied with your product or if they’re having any issues with it.Then you can improve your product or service even further. You can do this by asking questions such as:
- What emotions are they feeling when they use your product or service?
- How do they feel about your product or service?
- How do they feel about your brand or company?
- How do they feel about the problem they’re trying to solve?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can then create strategies based on those emotions to further improve your product or service. You can also use these emotions to guide your marketing efforts – you can create marketing messages that appeal to the emotions behind your buyer’s behavior.
The Bottom Line
Gathering customer feedback can be a challenging task, but it’s well worth the effort. Thankfully, there are a number of tools and techniques you can use to understand your customers better.
And we’re here to help.
Our Fractional CMOs are skilled in taking what can be a complex process and making it easier for you to get to know your buyer and tailor your marketing to their needs.
At yorCMO, we’re on your team. By partnering on the C-Suite, our marketing experts fully engage with your company, aligning your marketing strategy with the right tactics and giving you clarity for continued, predictable growth.
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