Posted 10 January 2013

What do you want for your business in 2013?

What do you want for your business in 2013?

If, like so many other people, you are asking yourself what you want for your business in 2013 then you’re asking yourself the wrong question. The question should be what do your customers want in 2013?

Business owners sometimes speculate that customers have no idea what they want until they’re shown; Henry Ford once said if he’d have asked people what they wanted they would have said ‘faster horses’. However, in this day and age, people have more choice than ever in what they buy and where from, and more access to information on the best products and deals out there. In fact, research from the Kelsey Group stated that 97% of consumers either always or sometimes carry out online research on products before buying them, whether they’re planning on buying them online or not. With this level of customer awareness you have to consider what your clients want.

This is equally true of your marketing. It could be seen as very arrogant to assume that you know the sort of advertising and deals that your customers want, yet a study by Pivot showed that 70% of marketers feel they know what their customers want but only 34% have actually asked them. The study also showed that their perceptions were actually very off base. It stated that 83% of customers are actively seeking deals but only 53% of businesses think that that’s what customers want. On the other hand 45% of marketers thought that loyalty programs were important to customers but 70% of social consumers totally disagreed. With this level of discourse it’s important to find out what your customers, both current and potential, are actually responding to in terms of your marketing.

One way is to ask people enquiring about your business what they thought of your advertising and how they found you. The major disadvantage of this is that on receiving a sales enquiry, you want to be focusing on turning this lead into a sale, not evaluating how you got the lead, so how can you ask, without asking?

There is a huge amount of data that online retailers can gather without actually physically asking for it by using the extensive range of analytics technology out there built to help businesses assess and evaluate marketing and the effectiveness of it. A call tracking service combined with web analytics can show you how people are finding your business right down to the keyword they search or the advert they see. This can enable a marketer to see where a telephone lead or sale has originated from both on and offline, and web analytics can show you the amount of online sales you achieve as well, including there they originated from too.

Call tracking technology enables you to see what a viewer was looking at when they rang you as well. This can give you an idea of where you are not giving a customer what they want. For example, if a large number of customers are going to buy online to the point of putting an item in a shopping basket and then calling you to complete the sale, you might want to ask yourself why. It could be that like 22% of consumers they are happy to shop online but not buy, but it could also be that a majority of them are asking how long the product will take to arrive, or whether it’s possible to customise an order. If this is the case, then a website could be adapted to answer these questions.

By knowing which marketing your audience is responding to, you effectively know which marketing your audience is looking for, whether it’s more information on your website in places, competitions on social networks, special offers in newspaper adverts, or more printed material. You can then distribute your marketing spend to maximise your ROI, reach more people and get what you want for 2013; more customers. Happy New Year!

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