There are, pretty much, never been an easier time to start a business. The internet has made it easier to trade with people anywhere in the world, while digital payment services like cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and card processors like Stripe have made it much easier and cheaper to accept payments.
Perhaps most pertinently, the internet has removed the need for large sums of startup capital for many businesses since there’s no longer any need to invest in the stock, a large premise, or expensive machinery. Instead, it’s possible to use services that can provide dropshipping and even manufacturer your products as you sell them.
But with so few barriers to entry when starting a business, it is much easier for people with no experience at all to begin trading. In many respects, this is great, but it also means they haven’t got the knowledge or expertise that would come from working a job in that field for a while first.
It means that many more business owners are relying on their intuition to make decisions because everything is completely new to them. However, there is a great way to make decisions about your product offering, pricing, and your marketing that is much better than relying on your gut.
Simply by gaining a better understanding of your customers, you can learn about their preferences, why they buy (or don’t buy) your product, what they did to find your business, and even how they move around your website.
Once you’ve gained this better understanding of your customers, you can use the data to drive your marketing decisions. This is something that PokerStars did before launching its I’M IN campaign. Through its research, the company learned that its customers were people that enjoyed the adventure and that they use its software because they felt it was a safe environment to play poker. Armed with this knowledge, PokerStars designed the campaign to portray these qualities about itself through TV and online ads.
Formula 1 did this too. In 2018 it launched F1 Fan Voice to provide the sport’s owner with better insight into what fans enjoyed about it and what they wanted to see changed. Based on this, it has begun to make changes to race weekends, trialing sprint races, removing “grid girls”, and providing more access for fans.
You don’t have to be a big company to better understand your customers though, there are some really simple steps you can take.
Get Website Analytics
Most people install Google Analytics on their website as it’s a great way to count how many visitors you’ve received. However, this is where most people stop, meaning they miss out on some of its more powerful tools.
Google Analytics can be used to show you the pages people most frequently land on first, the path they take through the site, how long they spend on each page, and whether they convert into leads or sales.
You can also use it to learn the sources of your traffic, what people are searching for to find you, their approximate age, location, gender, and the device they’re using.
However, tools like Mouseflow can provide you with even more data on how your users interact with your website by showing you where they move their mouse and what they click on. This will give you the opportunity to optimize each page on your site to increase conversions by removing distracting elements that your users aren’t interested in.
Another great way to better understand your customers is to simply ask them questions. Surveys are easier to conduct than they ever have been thanks to tools like Survey Monkey, and they provide you with the ability to understand things like “how did you find us” and “what made you choose us”.
It is particularly helpful to understand what your customers’ “pain points” are. These are the problems that they have that make them go out to find a product or service that addresses that metaphorical pain.
For example, a person who has a drain that regularly gets clogged (the pain) may be searching online for products that can prevent that from happening (the solution).
By understanding this information, you can adapt your products and how you market them to address these common problems that your customers may be experiencing.