5 Creative Ways to Use Customer Insights Beyond Reporting
Most marketers put a ton of effort into generating and nurturing promising leads and then passing them to the sales team when the time is right. While growing new business is obviously a crucial component of any effective and sustainable business plan, it’s easy to lose sight of another prime revenue stream: existing customers.
Understanding how and when to use customer insights to your advantage is essential in today’s competitive landscape. If your clients aren’t happy and willing to preach about the value of your products and services, not only do you run the risk of losing them to your competitors, but you also lose the opportunity to tell your prospective leads an irresistible story.
Here are just a few of the most useful and actionable customer insight types:
- Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
- Google Analytics
- Website Visitor Tracking
- Case Studies
- Event/Trade Show Attendance
- Competitive Research
- 3rd-Party Review Websites
In a vacuum, using only one or two of the methods for gaining customer insights above probably won’t provide the information you need to tell a compelling story. If you have the resources, you should attempt to do at least several of them to paint the most accurate and complete picture of your client base, their use cases, and their overall satisfaction with your products and services.
Today, we’re going to delve into five ways you can use customer insights beyond basic reporting to help evangelize existing customers and attract future clients.
1) Build Better Customer Experiences
For too long, companies have failed (or not even bothered) to deliver exceptional customer-centric experiences, but as consumers now have more choices and information than ever before, that’s no longer going to cut it. Customers will not remain loyal to businesses that don’t take their needs and wants into account at every turn.
Conversely, when businesses understand how their customers perceive and interact with their brand, they’re able to deliver a mutually beneficial experience. That is, the consumer will come to trust and respect your organization because they know they can rely on you to deliver, which should lead to further business in the future.
For instance, if you’re falling short of your NPS goals, you should review your customer feedback on third-party review websites like G2 Crowd, Yelp, and Trust Radius. Customers often leave in-depth reviews of products and services, so listening to what they have to say can help you diagnose and treat any problems you’re having with your offerings, customer support, or marketing and sales efforts. Additionally, a quick phone call to customers who have given you a low NPS score can also help you collect valuable feedback.
Like most marketing initiatives, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it exercise. You should be reviewing your customer feedback regularly and adjusting your campaigns and offerings based on the data you collect.
2) Personalize Your Messaging
Successful marketers personalize their marketing campaigns to deliver messaging that is tailored to their target audiences. In fact, according to HSO, a Microsoft Solutions managed services partner, “74% of consumers become frustrated when content seems to have nothing to do with them personally. (1)” According to Forrester, however, only 23% of senior-level marketers feel they have a customer-centric organizational structure (2). So, given the wide discrepancy between what consumers want vs. what they’re being delivered, you have a great opportunity to fill this gap and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Leveraging your customer insights can be instrumental in helping you create more personalized experiences. By reviewing their feedback and behavior, you can deliver better content and product recommendations.
When crafting your messaging and offerings, you should first determine:
- What are your customers looking for and what are they buying?
- What sort of content are they consuming and through which channels?
- Which webpages are they viewing and how long are they staying on the page?
- Survey results of previous vs. ideal web experiences
This sort of information is a veritable goldmine for more personalized marketing campaigns, so make sure you’re tracking the right metrics through the proper channels to put the data to work for you — and for your current and potential customers.
3) Increase Brand Awareness
Data alone isn’t going to help you solve your issues. You have to learn how to interpret that data into actionable insights to get the real payoff, especially if you want to leverage this information to increase brand awareness.
Developing a strong brand presence requires you to stand out from your competition and appeal to your target audience. To achieve the latter, you have to first understand their desires. And to achieve the former, you have to conduct in-depth competitor research. Once you’re able to check both boxes, you’re in good shape to leverage this information into successful brand awareness campaigns.
This can be especially helpful when it comes to your social media marketing efforts. For many consumers, viewing your organic and paid social media posts will be their first introduction to your brand, so it’s important to understand how your ideal personas engage on social media. And, as usual, a great way to do that is by investigating previous behavior and turning that into useful insights.
To conserve resources, focus on the platforms that provide the most referral traffic. So, for B2C businesses, you might have a strong following on Instagram that you can leverage with special promotions based on your most successful product or service lines. If B2B is your game, providing great thought leadership content via Linkedin that focuses on the most relevant themes and topics might be the best way to go.
As with all things data-related, let the numbers guide your decision-making process — not your intuition. And if key stakeholders object, simply show them the numbers… they never lie.
4) Improve PPC Campaigns
When done right, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to increase brand awareness, drive site traffic, and generate conversions. When done wrong, however, you can run through a lot of your budget with very little to show for your efforts.
Customer insights are an invaluable piece of the PPC puzzle — with crystal clear metrics like click-through rate, cost-per-click, and cost-per-conversion being among the most important benchmarks of success.
If you notice that certain campaigns have high click-through rates with a high cost-per-click but very few conversions, that’s a good indicator that you’re not delivering what your users are expecting. So you should pay close attention to your most successful campaigns, content assets, webpages, landing pages, and emails to try to harvest and replicate that success. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and there’s no law that says you can’t repurpose good content — just don’t duplicate your previous work verbatim, as that can wreak serious SEO havoc.
You can also use customer insights to your advantage by conducting thorough keyword research. No doubt you can hazard a guess as to what your potential customers are searching for, but helpful PPC research tools like Moz and SEMrush can help you challenge those assumptions and build effective root and long-tail keyword lists that align with your users’ search queries. Additionally, you should review your most successful webpages and blogs and mine the target keywords on those pages to use in your PPC campaigns. If they’re working well in organic search, it stands to reason that you might also find success using them in your paid initiatives.
Lastly, and maybe the most effective use of customer insights on this entire list, you should set up remarketing campaigns to automate relevant ads wherever your users are online. Ever wonder how the internet seems to know you just a little too well? And have you ever found these constant reminders of your previous browsing history to be just enough to motivate you to revisit your online shopping cart and complete a purchase? Well, that’s because some savvy marketer out there has created remarketing campaigns to keep their brand front and center as you browse the internet.
Setting up remarketing requires a minor lift at the outset, but Google Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn all do a tremendous job walking new PPC marketers through the process. Choose your ideal users and budget, place a tracking cookie or pixel on your preferred digital properties, and watch the leads come rolling in! Remember to check your progress at regular intervals and update your campaigns accordingly.
5) Retain and Evangelize Existing Customers
Using customer insights to create more satisfied and enthusiastic customers… what a concept! It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many good marketers don’t realize how powerful this information can be in retaining and evangelizing their existing customers.
For example, if you notice a correlation between poor performance and negative reviews, that’s probably a pretty good sign that something’s got to change. Follow up with reviewers (negative and positive) to thank them for sharing, get more detailed information about their experience, and ask where and how you can improve. After you make the recommended adjustments, reach out again to get their thoughts. If they’re happy with your improvements, ask if they’d be willing to update their review or act as a brand advocate with new prospects. Customers love when companies are willing to go the extra mile to improve their experience, so be sure to take advantage wherever possible.
In many instances, even though a customer might be getting good use out of your products and services, they might not realize their full potential until you’re able to highlight additional use cases. Showcasing how and when to use your offerings to the fullest extent is an excellent way to retain customers who otherwise wouldn’t have known just how powerful and dynamic your products and services truly are. And what better way to do that than by leveraging existing customer feedback!
Whenever we have clients with great NPS scores or who are frequently singing our praises online or directly to our account management team, we reach out to schedule a success story or case study. By creating a simple questionnaire designed to elicit the best responses and conducting a brief 30-minute overview, we’re able to create great content that we then promote on our website, social media channels, automated email nurture programs — pretty much everywhere we can to drive home the value of our platform and the satisfaction of our customers. Best of all, our sales team then uses these success stories to prove our value to high-intent buyers, and they frequently make a big difference when it comes time to close the deal.
Grow Customer Relationships With Marketing Automation
Keeping existing customers is easier than acquiring new ones, and it also requires less money and fewer resources, so it’s important that you continue to build these relationships past the initial sale.
Act-On’s marketing automation empowers marketing teams of all sizes, experience levels, and skillsets to maintain and grow their existing customer relationships through powerful customer marketing campaigns. For instance, with Act-On, you can:
- Onboard and educate new customers
- Help customers expand their use of your products and services
- Upsell and cross-sell customers when the time is right
- Identify happy and at-risk customers to take appropriate action
- Properly score existing customers for brand advocacy
To learn more about using marketing automation to improve the customer experience and build better and more sustainable relationships, please download our eBook, “Optimize the Customer Journey.” It’s full of great tips and tricks to improve customer engagement, retention, and growth!
Or, if you’re ready to learn more about how Act-On might be a good fit for your organization, click here to book a free demo today!