13 Jul Consumer State of Mind

Every year, a new set of marketing trends surface with surefire strategies for attracting consumers. With the goal of viral potential, marketers set out to differentiate themselves from the competition to generate as many likes, shares, and online conversations as possible. While engagement is fantastic to see in your analytics report, the real question is whether the content you’ve created has resulted in increased success for your business. When the digital dust settled, did you sell more products and services? Amongst all the reactions and retweets, did you actually connect with your target audience? If not, it may be time to start thinking less like a marketer and more like a consumer.

What does that mean exactly? Every second, people around the world are having organic online conversations about every topic imaginable. The words, images, platforms, and communication style they use are all a reflection of the consumer mindset. Often times as marketing professionals, we don’t spend enough time interacting with consumers in the same way they engage with one another. We speak in brand voices with corporate catch phrases that stand in opposition to the casual and authentic conversations happening amongst consumers. In other words, brands are talking at their audience when they should be talking with them. To turn clicks into conversions, you need more than just your audience’s attention. You need their active, consistent engagement with your product or service. Attaining that requires an understanding of how your target demographic thinks and the ability to communicate with them in their own language. Here are a few ways to make the right connections with your audience:

Poll your audience/Ask for feedback: The easiest way to get what you’re asking for is to, well, ask. Take a survey of your current customers and see what kind of content is most meaningful to them. Allow their answers to help shape your strategy and show them that their experiences with your brand matter.

Study your audience online: You know who your loyal customers are from their purchase history. But other than buying your product, what else do they do online? Researching the platforms your consumers use and how they engage with brands and friends alike will tell you a lot about how you should adjust your strategy. Do they use hashtags? If so, what phrases do you see consistently? What kind of content gets the most engagement? Studying your audience will enable you to answer these questions and more.

Pinpoint your successes and replicate them: Once you’ve developed an understanding of the what and where of your audience’s online behavior, you can then create campaigns reflective of their interests. After your content is published, take the opportunity to analyze your successes and failures. Which campaigns generated the most engagement and led to the most customer action? Use that data to replicate the best strategies for your brand.

Getting to know your consumers through feedback, research, and analytics is an integral part of capturing an engaged and action-based audience. You want an audience that will not only like your content, but will feel moved to engage with and invest in your products or services. That requires an understanding of what makes your audience tick. If you are having trouble making the connection, put down the marketing buzzword list and use these tips to start thinking like a consumer.

Bruce Freides