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4 Expert Tips for Staying Relevant with Customer Wants & Needs

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Global Head of Content , Emarsys

For today’s marketers, understanding customers is priority number one. Every decision should be backed by customer data, helping to refine messaging and increase conversions.

In order to know exactly where to focus time, energy, and resources, B2C marketers must have a strong understanding of what motivates consumers to engage with, and ultimately purchase from, a brand.

Unfortunately for marketers, ecommerce is a constantly changing industry. New trends and fads emerge constantly, influencing customer interest and engagement without warning. The only way for marketers to gain a true understanding of what motivates consumers is to first understand their wants and needs.

Happy young woman in a fashion store

Here are four expert tips for B2C marketers to stay on top of customer motivations, and help drive engagement.

Tip 1: Collect Customer Data – and Use It

The first tip is to stay current with customers.

This means collecting incoming data across campaigns, platforms, channels, and devices. Gathering engagement metrics and conversion statistics helps identify the types of messaging in which customers are interested, what they are responding to, and which campaigns aren’t performing to expectations.

Once this customer data is collected, it’s time to put it to use. Marketers can segment consumer metrics based on various factors: demographics, location, buying habits, etc. If sifting through these large data repositories seems daunting, fear not, the rise of marketing technologies such as machine learning, marketing automation, and Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the role of the marketer – enabling them to leave the data analysis to machines and focus more of their time on critical strategy and content.  

When marketers have the ability to focus on meaningful insights instead of trying to sift through huge data sets, they can begin to draw patterns and trends from this data. These overarching patterns are what help to identify customer wants and needs across a more complex marketing strategy.

Tip 2: Understand Your Industry and Competitors

Although this tip may sound like a no-brainer, it’s actually a very important part of any successful marketing strategy. Understanding the industry, conducting competitive analysis, and building competitor profiles not only helps to improve messaging and strategy, but can also help predict industry trends.

Staying relevant means staying current with how industry marketing is growing and changing.

This research can help to predict what customers may be drawn to or interested in, either in the near future, or further down the road.

Tip 3: Meet Customers Where They Are

In the age of multi-channel and omnichannel marketing, customers have more options than ever before in how to connect and engage with brands. To stay top-of-mind, B2C marketers must meet their customers not only where they spend time, but also where they will be most receptive. Marketers must remember, though, that as they reach out to marketers across multiple channels and devices, it’s critical to maintain consistent messaging and unified experiences.  Customers should never be left confused about any brand messages or viewpoints. Marketers should make sure their imagery, messaging, and overall brand ethos are streamlined across every point of customer contact.

Many organizations have determined that a major portion of their consumer audience converts via smartphone. This means that the organization must deliver an ecommerce experience that is not only mobile-friendly but also optimized for easy, engaging, effective shopping on any device they may use.

Alternatively, the organization may find itself with an outspoken following of loyal consumers on social media; a sign to ramp up brand presence and begin running some social incentive campaigns. Or, a brand may find that its customers are incredibly responsive to email campaigns, which provides a great opportunity to A/B test specific subject lines or CTA links for optimal impact.

Tip 4: Personalize Messages for Maximum Engagement

As marketing technologies and strategies have become more advanced, so have consumer expectations. Audiences are more discerning than ever before when identifying insincerity in advertising. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to personalize messaging to make every customer feel like a valued, trusted individual.

Solutions like marketing automation help consumers send the right messages to the right people at the most opportune moments. Sometimes, personalization is as easy as a ‘Welcome Back’ pop-up on a website. At other times, it’s an incentive email for a local store based on geographic consumer data. And of course, sometimes it’s an ever-popular “other consumers purchased similar items” message that recommends options based on previous purchases, increasing the chances of earning repeat business.

Final Thoughts

Staying on top of customer trends and at the forefront of customers’ minds starts with understanding the audience inside and out. Analytics, technology, and personalization can help marketers optimize campaigns and maximize outcomes.

Learn more about how to gain greater knowledge about your audience here.

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