How to Learn More About Your Customers


We endlessly market to the void. The abyss. And mostly, not a lot comes echoing back. We hear from our customers when they’re really mad about something, but we don’t hear much about the everyday stuff.

Time to stop marketing as if it’s a one-way conversation. Time to invite your beautiful, human audience to holler back at you. It’s time to learn a bit more about your customers.

What’s good to know:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship status
  • Kids
  • Education
  • Income
  • Interests
  • Brand loyalties
  • Favourite devices

“You want to choose the segment that will visit your site with the most frequency and be most likely to compensate you in some way for your service.”

Joanna Wiebe

By finding out this information, you can build some ‘ideal customer’ archetypes that will help you craft efficient marketing. Some of these are covered by your website analytics but there is a lot of information you’re not going to be able to find out without asking your customers themselves.

Website popups

For the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with popups.

Not the scary payday loan popups of the early noughties, that multiplied on your screen like a swarm of cockroaches while you were doing something important like presenting at a PTA meeting. No, popups that are more of a polite “Excuse me?” than a NOTICE ME CLICK ME.

The popups I’ve been working on are little and appear a bit like a chat box on the bottom right of your screen. Right now they’re calls to action that aim to progress people through the website but I really want to use them for collecting snippets of fairly abstract information about customers’ hopes, dreams and fears.

Things like:

  • What’s the biggest deal breaker when you’re looking for [product]?
  • What do you think about [recent news]?
  • If we could offer any service, what would you like it to be?

I can get DATA from Google Analytics. Faceless, soulless data. What I’m after is a lot more personal and I think that will actually help get people to fill in the information.

People like to share things about themselves – it’s how those Which Member of Take That Are You? quizzes are so popular on Facebook. I anticipate a lot of rubbish. I anticipate some downright offensive responses. But even if I see just five valuable pieces of feedback a month, that’s five customer opinions I didn’t have before.

Email list survey

There’s no better way to find out how to please your customers than asking them. Write a SHORT survey and email it to your list of customers. Loads won’t fill it in – most won’t even open the email – but the ones that do are gold dust.

If you get particularly great responses, you could even get in touch to ask if they’d like to be a case study.

Go analogue

Go to meetups and talk to people. My boyfriend is going to vape (e-cigarette) meets at the moment because he’s just started an e-liquid company, making crazy flavours for ex-smokers.

His aim is to get to know the community before he launches his product range. He’s learned little things like which freebies people freak over, which nicotine levels are most popular and most importantly – what kind of people his future customers are.

To get going with the face-to-face, human stuff, get on Twitter. I say this all the time but Twitter is where your people are. Find hashtags that are being used in your sector to connect. Join Twitter chats (an arranged time when people use a hashtag to have a big group conversation). These often lead to opportunities for an offline meetup. And then – humans!

Efficient marketing demands that you know your customers so you can target everything you do at the right demographic. Stop wasting money and get niche.

Get to know your customers better with email, popups and face-to-face meetups. I know - scary! Click To Tweet