How Social Media Can Help With Market Research

Anyone who has ever worked in marketing understands the value of market research. Solid research can teach you about your intended audience and what your customers are looking for, which will allow you to grow your company and position it for success.

Imagine if nearly everything you needed to know about your customer base existed in a single space, and all you needed to do was find a way to listen to the conversation. Well, it is — and you can. That space is social media.

Social media (and the Internet in general) has come to dominate nearly half the globe. Customers use the Internet to communicate and connect with each other and the brands they want to do business with. These customers are telling you what you need to know about the needs of your intended audience. Here are a few ways you can put social media to work for you.

Pay attention to how your customers speak

You likely already know you should be monitoring social sites for mentions of your brand in case customers register complaints or talk about experiences they had with you. There’s more you can get out of these basic brand mentions, though.

Pay attention to how people speak about your company and the services you provide. Listen to what your customers are mentioning as the most important aspects in their buying experience. What matters the most when developing customer loyalty? What draws people to your products and services? What causes them to go to your competitors? This insight will help you improve the customer experience and better meet their needs.

Get quick results for surveys

Rather than spending weeks or months gathering data from surveys and study groups, you can use social media to learn about your customers significantly quicker. Pose questions to your followers, and encourage customers to share experiences with your brand to get a feel for what matters most to them.

In many ways, the information you glean from social media might be even more valuable than what you learn from focus groups. Nearly 3/4 of all people with Internet access use social media in some form. Using social media for your research, therefore, has the potential to help you gain a much more complete picture of industry trends and customer preferences.

Using social media for your surveys can also be a fantastic way to control costs related to social research. There are a variety of free tools available across a number of social platforms, but even the ones that have a cost tend to be more cost-efficient than spending the time and money to conduct surveys and poll focus groups.

Get real-time results

Traditional surveys often take several weeks or months to process and analyze. When you use social media to gather this important information, you get your answers in real time. This can help you implement positive changes for your customers and take advantage of the information you learned, while remaining confident that trends have not yet shifted.

Social media is a valuable tool for market research. It can help you learn more about your customers so you can better meet their needs and grow your business. Once you gather that information, spring into action with marketing that speaks directly to them. We can help! Give us a call at 847-768-2679 for design and print assistance.

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What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Marketing

Shakespeare was a master playwright who continues to entertain audiences centuries after his death. His mastery of the written word has been admired by people throughout the generations and around the world. While he may have never imagined anything like the Internet or modern marketing, there are still a number of lessons Shakespeare can teach us as we set out to master our own marketing techniques.

Becoming a master of words

Words are a major part of any marketing campaign. We all use words to reach our customers, to develop content that will interest them, and to explain why our products and services are superior. Shakespeare teaches us about the power words can have when they’re carefully thought out and used appropriately. People still enjoy reading and watching his plays hundreds of years after they were first performed. That’s because Shakespeare was a master at putting words together so they communicated the point to the audience and engaged them in the content.

Creating plots people can relate to and want to read

Shakespeare wrote for an audience that lived hundreds of years ago. Their life experiences were vastly different than our own. Yet, somehow Shakespeare’s writing appeals to us as much as it appealed to the people of his day. That’s because Shakespeare developed plots that people could relate to on the most intimate levels. His writings involved timeless themes, such as love and jealousy, which are still alive today. Shakespeare completely understood his audience and was able to use the difficulties people face to attract audiences, engage them, and convince them that he sympathized. By building this relationship with the audience, Shakespeare was able to build a loyal following to his brand.

We, too, must answer these same challenge from our own audiences (customers) today. Consumers want to know that companies understand and address their struggles. This helps to build the critical relationship that leads to customer loyalty and improved brand awareness.

Using multiple resources to develop content

No one develops their content in a vacuum. It’s estimated that of Shakespeare’s many plays, only a couple were actually completely original and developed by Shakespeare himself. This means he was frequently drawing inspiration and ideas from other sources of content. He would use these sources of inspiration to help get his own creative juices flowing. He would develop and embellish on the plots, characters, and themes until the works were completely his own, but still had parts that were drawn from other classics.

As content creators and marketers, we must also be willing to draw upon the experience and expertise of others. The marketing world continues to change, and we must all stay on top of the new methods if we want to remain competitive.

Looking at the successful work of others to draw inspiration can offer help with building our own content, too. As we read and see what others do in their marketing campaigns, we gain a better understanding of what we want to write and discuss with potential customers. Content development has become an increasingly important part of marketing. Listening and reading what others have to say can help any marketer start to develop their own voice, the same way Shakespeare found inspiration for his writing.

When you set out to develop your marketing campaign, you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of time reading modern marketing experts and trying to incorporate their wisdom into your own campaign. While these modern marketers will certainly impart a lot of wisdom, don’t discount what the wordsmiths of the past, like Shakespeare, can teach you as well. If you’re ready to jumpstart your marketing campaign, give us a call today.

How to Convince Customers You’re Worthy of Their Loyalty

Did you know that 71 percent of customers have stopped using a company because of the poor customer service they received? Did you also know that the average value of a lost customer is $243? Poor customer experiences cost companies money and seriously hurt the bottom line. No company can afford to just throw away $243 per person.

Fortunately, there is a solution. By focusing your efforts on improving your customers’ experience, you can help encourage them to return to you, improving retention and stopping the bleed of past customers going to your competitors. Here’s how to do it.

Focus on employees

Your employees are the face of the company when customers interact with your brand. Make sure they represent you well. Develop a strong relationship with employees by giving them degrees of independence, flexibility, and a work environment that’s a pleasant place to be. Employees will become more appreciative and enthusiastic about your brand and pass that along to customers.

Give employees training, then independence

Focus on building a culture of independence. Allow company representatives to troubleshoot and solve problems on their own. This will help them feel more appreciated, while improving customer service. Now, when a customer calls with a complaint, the person who answers can actually help them, rather than passing the phone call from person to person.

Try to under-promise and over-deliver

Far too many customers are used to companies neglecting their promises, so show that you’re different. Promise customers the minimum of what they can expect and then over-deliver.

Listen to what customers say are the weakest parts of their experience

Though fewer and fewer customers actually use complaint lines to let companies know they did wrong, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped complaining. Instead, it’s simply become more common for people to release their reviews to the public through social media.

A bad review from a disgruntled customer can have an enormous impact on your company’s reputation. Address customer complaints head-on and try to make amends for their poor experience. If the customer is satisfied, then politely ask them to update or remove the bad review.

Treat bad reviews as learning experiences. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What part of the customer experience was impacted (product research, pricing, the purchase itself, questions about the product, etc.)?
  • Are there any patterns to the types of complaints made by customers?
  • What do these bad reviews say about how customers wish to be seen in your organization?

Use the information you garner to guide you in making improvements to the customer experience. Prioritize changes based on the weaknesses customers point out in their reviews, and let them know they’re valued by your company.

The customer experience can be a fantastic predictor of consumer loyalty and retention. When you learn how to convince customers to stay with your brand, you’ll see more money in your pocket and better growth. Use the above advice to update your customer experience to make the most of every interaction between customer and company.

Making Your Company Stand Out From the Crowd

Most industries today are teeming with competitors, each offering a slightly different take on their products and services. In this environment, it can be difficult to imagine how you’ll ever make your products, services, and company stand out against the chaos. It is, however, possible.

Construct your advertising wisely

Customers see thousands of ads every day in just about every aspect of their lives. Whether browsing online, commuting, watching TV, or listening to the radio, customers find companies vying for their attention all the time. In this environment, it’s easy to see how customers get in the habit of just tuning out all the noise. To be successful, you must find ways to overcome that tendency. So how do you do it?

  1. Design ads that look nothing like those of your competitors. If your ads bear too much resemblance to other ads on the market, they’re much more likely to get overlooked.
  2. Make sure you integrate your ads across all campaigns. Once customers see so many ads, they tend to only glance at them. If your campaigns don’t use the same colors and themes, customers will be less likely to put them together and pay attention to what they say. By integrating them, customers get a consistent message across all platforms, which will help them absorb the message.
  3. Use a logo that’s visually appealing and represents your business well. Many companies, especially small businesses, tend to overlook the importance of their logos. However, logos tend to be one of the first things customers notice on advertising. A well-planned logo is excellent for branding. When the logo helps customers associate your business with your industry, they’ll start to form strong associations with your brand.

Tell customers what makes you different

We’ve all heard how important it is to find a niche within your industry and use what makes you unique to appeal to customers, but you should also take this a step further. Identify what makes you different. That might be where your products are made (made in the USA?), how they are made (fair trade? natural preservatives?), or how they can help customers solve a problem in their lives (increase sales?). Use that difference as a key point in your advertising.

Get out in the community

Companies that get out and involved in their communities will find their brand recognition soar, with sales following closely behind. There are numerous ways you can get involved in your community. You might sponsor a local kids’ sports team, a local charity run, or some similar event. You could set up a table at the yearly town picnic or sponsor a float in the town’s Memorial Day parade. All of these techniques will help you raise awareness within your community and show how much you care about the people you serve. The result: a better reputation and more chances to develop relationships with potential customers.

Your company might be competing within an oversaturated industry, but that doesn’t mean you have to be just another face in the crowd. Use the suggestions outlined above to get started building your own brand recognition and reputation. If you’re ready to get started with a new marketing campaign, give us a call or drop us an email today at files@copyset.com. We’d be happy to help you reach more customers.

How Babies Can Show Us the Way to Find A Niche

Like so many other expectant couples, Sarah and Mark began researching baby products right away, as soon as they found out they were expecting baby number one. They listened to advice from friends and family, and they turned to the Internet to learn more about all the options and brands available to them.

Before long, they found themselves overwhelmed with choices: bouncy seats, swings, white noise machines, stuffed animals designed to mimic the mother’s heart rate. Who knew there could be so many different products dedicated to helping babies sleep?

As the couple began to wade through all the options, Sarah quickly began to realize the marketing genius behind it all. She worked in advertising and had seen this phenomenon countless times in successful ad campaigns. The makers of these various sleep products had completed the trifecta.

They had:

  1. Identified a real problem
  2. Tapped into their potential customers’ fears
  3. Designed a product to fill that niche in a slightly unique way

The importance of these three marketing points applies not only to companies designing sleep aids for babies, but to everyone who wants to design a successful product.

The keys to successful marketing

Successful marketing is built around identifying and addressing a key need for consumers. If your product looks interesting or does something really interesting, but customers don’t see an immediate need for it, it probably won’t sell very well. The key is to show customers exactly how your product addresses a specific need, even if the need is one they don’t even know they have. Show customers how your product or service will make their lives easier, and they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.

Capitalizing on what’s different

When Sarah and Mark began researching baby products, they were amazed at the sheer number of products that were designed for sleeping. What perhaps is even more astounding, however, is that all the products were slightly different. No two products were exactly alike. Even if two white noise machines were standalone, plug-in devices, there were always some slight differences. Maybe one had an option to play a recording of a heartbeat, while another had more lullabies. Each manufacturer seemed to know exactly what made its product different from the competition, and that’s what they capitalized on. One might focus on the benefits of having a newborn hear a gentle heartbeat while trying to sleep. Another might talk about how lullabies have been used for generations to soothe.

Like these manufacturers, your company must be able to show customers exactly how your products are different than the competition and why those differences make your products better. It does no good to duplicate a competitor’s product, as that niche has already been filled. Think about what makes your product superior, and use that information to mold your marketing campaign.

Show the product providing the solution

Any product that’s supposed to help babies sleep will include pictures of peacefully sleeping newborns right on the box. Such imagery expertly taps into the fears of potential customers (having a baby who won’t sleep) and offers them a solution (use our product, and you’ll have a peacefully resting infant). Your marketing campaigns should make it obvious to customers exactly how the product you’re selling is going to help them.

Customers want to know exactly why they should do business with your company. Taking the time to develop a marketing plan that shows how your products address specific needs will pave the way to marketing success.

If you’re looking to get started reworking your campaigns, give us a call today at 847.768.2679.

Planning a Meal, Planning a Marketing Campaign

Imagine planning a special meal. You start by thinking about the different dishes you want to serve and how well they’ll go together. You try to choose flavors that complement each other and fit well with the occasion. You hope to create a delicious feast people will love and remember for months to come. The same should be true of your marketing.

Understanding integrated marketing

Planning a successful integrated marketing campaign is a lot like planning a successful feast. Just as choosing various dishes that complement each other helps to create a memorable meal, using a variety of marketing platforms to create a single campaign will help to capture the story of your brand.

Too many companies try to create different marketing campaigns for each platform. The result is like a meal of random dishes that have absolutely nothing in common. Separately, each might taste good and draw compliments, but together they seem confusing and fail to provide the lasting impact you hoped to create.

The importance of audience

It’s also important to consider the desired audience for an integrated marketing campaign. When you plan a meal, you carefully think about the atmosphere and what people will expect. Similarly, when you plan the various aspects of your integrated marketing campaign, you need to consider who you want to reach. If your audience consists of largely retirees and empty nesters, focusing a large part of your campaign on Facebook might not be the best use of your time and money. The same way you think about the types of dishes people would expect and appreciate, you want to maximize the reach of your marketing campaign by thinking about where people are most likely to appreciate your message.

Planning a large meal requires careful preparation to ensure that each dish fits together well to accomplish the desired final effect. Similarly, your integrated marketing campaign must combine various marketing elements into a successful, incredible campaign that attracts the right attention.

4 Ways To Boost Your Email Success Rates

Email can be a powerful tool for reaching potential customers. After all, about 91 percent of customers have an email address they check at least one time per day. It’s a consistently reliable way for getting in touch with people who might be interested in what your company has to offer.

Unfortunately, often one of your biggest hurdles is simply convincing people to open your email in the first place. You have to battle against being perceived as spam and being overlooked to attract the attention of your intended audience. Here are some tried-and-true techniques you can use to boost your email open rates and find success with your next email campaign.

Personalization

Do you like to open emails that come from impersonal companies or unknown senders? Neither do your customers. Make sure the emails you send are personalized for your recipient. A personalized email will include a specific person at the company as the sender, such as Janet Smith from XYZ Marketing, instead of just XYZ Marketing.

You’ll also want to personalize the information within the email. Carefully store the information you have about your leads, then use that data to personalize your message and make it relevant to the recipient.

Segmentation

As you gather email addresses through your website and other interactions with potential customers, you’ll find there may be large differences between your leads. One person might be researching for their office but have very little decision-making power, while another might be CEO of his company. Segment your email list based on criteria such as location, job title, budget, or other important factors. Then tailor your messages to each of these groups you’re trying to reach.

Quality headlines

When convincing people to open your email, few areas matter more than your headline. Headlines that are excessively general, use too much punctuation, or otherwise look like spam are going to be ignored. Write headlines that capture the essence of your message and make your email look appealing. Pique your readers’ curiosity and offer them a small taste of the value they’ll receive when they open the email.

Value

Above all else, you want to make sure your email provides real value. Your message should offer your customers a clear return when they open it. Just like the rest of the content you create for your company website and marketing materials, your emails should provide useful information people can use, forward, and share with others.

When your emails clearly show their own value, you build your relationship with readers. People come to trust the emails they receive from your company even more. As a result, you’ll get better open and click-through rates. On the other hand, if your emails repeatedly show little value, customers will begin to disregard them, and your messages will be relegated to the ‘junk’ folder or trash.

Email can be a fantastic tool for communicating with potential customers and building relationships. The key is to use this method correctly. If you’re interested in boosting your ROI from your email lists, make sure you’ve implemented the above ideas. If you’re interested in beginning a new marketing campaign and have questions, check out our webpage at www.copyset.com┬áto get started.