How to Find, Target and Engage Your Customers Effectively

Most businesses already have at their finger tips a free source of customer data which is either under-used or not used effectively. This includes data from both sales and enquiries that have been made. Other sources of free data include suppliers and business contacts from events attended, such as networking meetings, trade fairs etc. While many companies may retain this data in simple spreadsheet form it is not always used to best effect.

Third party data, for which there is normally a charge, can also be a useful source. Some organisations when you join, like the local Chambers of Commerce, will provide you with a list of their current members with their contact details, which can be a relatively inexpensive useful source of data. Other sources of third party data, such as market research data, segmented lists from specialist data suppliers, can be more expensive to purchase but depending on your target market may be a useful source of potential customers.

In order to find your ideal customers for your brand you need to first break down your different contacts into groups and sub-groups in order to better target them.

Target your Customers

To better target your customers you need to segment and enhance the data that you have gathered. You can go about this in a number of ways, for example:

  • Existing Contacts and Customer information - segment your customer contact data into groups based on geographical, location, area and gender; then look to enhance that data from other records you may already hold about them - age group, customer transactions- purchase/returns records, frequency of purchases etc;
  • Your website is a valuable source of marketing information - visitor stats, business data, digital media channels used, how they found you etc - use it to identify trends and enhance your existing customer data.

According to Experian's The 2014 Digital Marketer Report 'Create intelligent interactions with your customers. Every time', the top smartphone Website categories are Search and Social with 65 percent and 56 percent of smartphone owners visiting a site in each of these categories, respectively, at least once a month. However, Experian found that there were large differences in the mobile websites used by different smartphone users groups.  Smartphone users being just one of your potential groups/sub-groups.

Engage your Customers

Having the right content in the right place, when a target customer needs it, is key to successfully engaging your customers and developing brand loyalty.

Brand experience can make or break you when it comes to engaging with your customer. This experience includes attitude, convenience, expertise and service.

Communicate in a personalised fashion through personalised thank you emails or welcome emails or e-newsletters via a loyalty campaign, which offers exclusive deals. The Key to Successful Internet Marketing is make sure any link in your promotional material, be it an email, e-newsletter or online ad, takes them direct to the product mentioned in the article/ad, as you are more likely to gain a sale.

Only send out information by e-newsletter that is relevant to specific customer groups/sub-groups. In other words, engage your customer with a proposal that will appeal to that specific group. Sometimes all that is needed is to reword a specific offer to make it more appealing to one group/sub-group or another - for instance BOGOF, 50% off or a free gift.

Allow new mail list subscribers to pick and chose which types of content they want to arrive in their inbox. This will benefit you as you can then also analyse which areas of your content are the most appealing to website visitors. This can then help you with forward planning of future content not only for your website but also for your e-newsletters and what special offers to run.

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