5 Ways To Get Inside The Mind Of Your Ideal Customer (and it’s not just about data)

Do you know the “one thing” stressing her out during the day and keeping her up at night? Do you know what motivates her? What are her biggest challenges and desires? What is she unaware of that could save her time and make her job a whole lot easier?

How do you answer these questions about your ideal customer?

Yes, it’s get true insights.

Data gets a lot of attention in marketing, but don’t forget about combining face-to-face interactions. True insights gleaned from these interactions can be powerful, as can be the connection you make with your potential customer.

Did you know that out of all the different types of content marketing tools available, in-person events are still the most effective? Results of the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark, Budgets and Trends Report by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, revealed that 67% believe that in-person events are effective.

5 Ways to Get True Insights:

1.  Just Ask. (Nothing could be more personal or engaging.)

Talk with your current customers. Meeting customers face-to-face to see how they work will unearth a gold mine of information. Ask them what their biggest challenges were and why they decided to choose you. Find out how they’ve embraced and integrated change.

Listen to their stories. (These can later be repackaged into customer case studies highlighting their success with your solutions.)

When I was in product development I used to take tours of a company’s work space and environment. I would also sit with managers and users of software to get the scoop on their workflows, issues, likes and wish lists. And yes, I got an earful of good stuff as well as challenges to take back to the office. The information I gleaned from these one-on-one meetings was invaluable in producing successful products, services and content to go with it.

Equally important, I started building trust with the people I spent time with.

Invite buyers to a personalized face-to-face session.

Why not invite some of your best prospects or customers to a personal think tank or mastermind session. Pick their brains for insights you can implement. They may be more open to expressing how they feel in a smaller, more intimate setting.

2. Meet with your sales and support teams.

You can find a wealth of knowledge from your colleagues who have direct interaction with current customers on a regular basis.

Ask your salespeople, customer service reps and even trainers about their conversations with potential and current customers. They get to see, hear and feel the experience firsthand. Find out how they engage with customers and what reactions they get to issues such as content effectiveness, pricing, challenges, wish lists, etc.

I’ve spent time in all three positions. The experience in each one offers a new set of variables to consider.

Review customer service logs and online forums comments. Find out the hot issues on these lists.

 3. Read what your buyers read and go where they go.

Peruse industry publications your customers read, for instance BtoB Magazine, Marketing Sherpa or FastCompany. Pay attention to hot topics and who is being interviewed. These are great places to identify what is important in the eyes of your B2B readers.

Attend industry events, conferences or trade association meetings. People may be more willing to discuss things in an open forum, and face-to-face. You can schedule intimate meetings. Be sure to take notes as questions pop up.

4. Listen instead of talking.

Be a listening agent on social networks, groups and forums.

For example, on Twitter you can track and schedule tweets in your niche and add multiple social networks using tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck. Set up Google Alerts to get the latest scoop on topics and companies you choose to stream into your inbox. Join Newsle and get an email about your contacts that are mentioned in any news article or blog post online.

Pay attention to what people are saying and writing about, so you can be more prepared to craft and share content while the interest level is high.

5. Observe Their Actions.

If your site has a search box, find out what your visitors are searching for. By the way, where is your search box on your site? It should be highly visible.

If you have a contact us or questions section, find out what people are typing in there too. If you have a blog, track the comments on your blog posts.

I have a comments section on my free eBook and newsletter form. I get feedback all the time. I find there are people who love to express their opinion or just say thanks. It’s a great way to get people to interact with you.

To Wrap Up

These are just a few ways you can get insights from your prospects and customers. Take action and gather all the answers you need to craft content that provides a personal experience for your desired audience.

Do you have any other ways to get people to open up and talk about what’s important to them? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.

Here’s an article you might like to check out, “5 Tips to Create Appetizing Content From Ordinary Ingredients for Buyers Short on Attention.”


Speak Your Mind