Why the best market research is sales
…and how you can improve your marketing and grow your business using your customer data.
What you can learn from your customers?
The best market research you can get is sales. As when people give you money, they tell you what they really want. If you are collecting money from people in exchange for your goods and services on a regular basis, then you are also generating a huge amount of customer knowledge.
The question is are you learning from the customer knowledge you are creating?
Where do you spend your marketing money
Your marketing budget is the money that you spend on growing your business. I’m assuming that the majority of your marketing budget is focused on acquiring new customers rather than focused on acquiring new business.
If you are an emerging e-commerce business focused on acquisition, the majority of your spend will be on pay per click. Money to Google, Facebook or to another channel.
If you are more established, you might spread the budget a little wider, including some more traditional advertising into the mix.
In all of these cases, you are looking to find the new customer.
That used to be exclusively based around ‘the WHO’ – who is that person who buys from me? But it’s now mostly geared around the WHAT.
Keyword based advertising based around a ‘search driven need’. An answer to the classic sales-floor question you hear in every store you walk into, “What are you looking for?“
If you are selling to customers, you are collecting money (which is obvious), but you are also collecting insight and knowledge (which can be less obvious).
Understanding your Customers
Using the data that you collect (customer spend) as the basis for future marketing activity will help you to understand where customer loyalty exists and identify new opportunities.
It’s a similar approach to PPC advertising, but you are looking at your own data, rather than someone else’s.
That means you are in control rather than an algorithm.
It means that you decide how much you want to reward someone that has bought £500 worth of ski equipment rather than paying Google a hefty sum based on a keyword just to get them to your website.
Sales are Customers
So as you are looking at your sales numbers, just remember behind those numbers are people, and each and every one of them has a unique story with you.
If you haven’t already, I’d suggest you try an agile approach to your marketing, re-allocate some of your marketing spend and focus it on your own customers rather than pouring it into the forever thirsty search engines.
Based on our experience, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Also published on Medium.