Week 2: Marketing to Users

The digital marketing space is changing. 

Marketing in general is typically associated with spammy tactics that just annoy the buyer in the end.

These spammy tactics are all about making money for the person or company, and never really caring about the customer.

In this week of the CXL Institute course, we went over how to make your marketing efforts focused on your users.

We would go over the importance of focusing on your users and workshops/techniques to make it user-centric.

Why we need a user-centric approach to marketing

Growing up, I’ve been able to experience the evolution of the digital age and how more people are migrating to the Internet versus offline marketing.

The beauty of digital allows us to make changes to a campaign quickly if there was an issue or a new angle that we’d like to try. 

Also, digital gives us data. This is something old traditional marketing efforts have been lacking (the TV commercials, billboards, flyers, etc)

Some of the data we’re allowed to get from our users allows us to listen and respond to users and questions. Having a focus on user-centric marketing draws on user research and user experience design.

How do we start to adopt a user-centric approach

To develop a user-centric approach to marketing starts with really understanding your personas. Unfortunately, traditional personas aren’t enough. 

Traditional personas include information like age, interests, demographics.

The better approach is to understand what are they looking to achieve and what are their goals. Understand their questions, tasks, objections, and feelings.

The better you know someone, the easier it would be to persuade them.

Throughout this section, we went through several workshops that can help us better understand our users.

How to better understand your audience without spending a cent

For most companies, they already have a lot of data that they can use to better understand their audience. 

You should always start with your customer-facing staff, those who are interacting with your customer daily.

Some staff that you can talk to:

  • Sales teams: They are always talking to your customers and hearing their objectives/concerns
  • Customer support team: These employees are constantly hearing the problems with your product/service and finding out how to make them happy
  • The person running social media on a daily basis: The social media manager is always hearing what your audience says about you or your competitors. 

You can also check your Google Analytics. There’s so much information that you can find in your GA. You can find how your audience is finding your website online and what pages are the most popular ones.

Building a picture of your audience using surveys

This is something that I’m excited to try about. Especially now that I’m working on pivoting Hidden Link Studios to a new niche.

So to build a survey, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to know going in.

For example, the first survey that I plan on running is understanding what offer will my target audience more interested in between two options.

If you’re looking to put a survey on your site, the best time to put a survey is in front of people when they’re about to leave the site (exit intent).

Another way you can get more information from your users is actually asking them or doing workshops.

Some workshops that I found were interesting:

Top Task Analysis

A top task analysis was originally used to identify what tasks users most wanted to complete on a website. 

To run a top task analysis:

  • Start by brainstorming every question, every objection that a user might have about your product and service.
  • Once you have a long list, you begin combine any questions that are very similar to one another.
  • You can also remove anything that is too specific
  • Once you’ve narrowed down the questions to roughly 60-100 elements, you simplify those questions down into just a very simple statement
    • Ex. Anything to do with pricing, you group together, and call it Pricing.
  • Then you run a questionnaire through your website, your social, or wherever and ask people to rank that list of items by one to five.
    • 5 being most important, 4 being fourth, 3 is third, 2 is second, 1 is the last in your top 5. Leave the rest of the options blank.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of top task analysis.

Meet your audience in person

I thought this section was an interesting idea and something that I’m excited to give a try. To get someone to purchase, you need to persuade them. To persuade them, you actually need to know they are.

For example, the instructor had gone and met with them at their home. He walked through their home, saw what was in it, and how they used computer devices to make a purchase. 

Something metrics won’t be able to tell you. You get unique insights when you’re actually with someone.

Customer Journey Mapping

This was probably my favorite workshop because this is something I can do immediately and benefit from the quickest.

A customer journey map is a visualization of the journey your customer goes through when interacting with your business

A customer journey map contains two components:

  • Steps in the journey
  • Information about the user that you want to gather at each step of the way

To run a customer journey mapping workshop, you need to invite:

  • Ideally you would like to have users there, if you can’t ask them to validate the journey map with users after
  • People who work with the users every day
    • Sales, customer support
  • Social media person
  • IT – they typically have data on the users
  • Ideally, someone from the senior management team

The reason you want to invite senior management is because they don’t really deal with actual users anymore. This allows them to see who the user is, think about the user, and provide some buy-in on the journey.

When doing customer journey mapping, you should map out 5 or 6 steps in the journey.

There are two ways you can map out the journey:

  • Map out the entire journey from start to finish
  • Understand the journey in one of the phases of the customer’s journey. Example, journey mapping the making of a purchase
    • i.e. Journey mapping the making a purchase portion

Overall, this week covered a lot of information that I already knew. I’ve always been a firm believer in focusing on the user. Focusing on the user builds trust and more loyalty with them so they can become recurring customers.

It’s similar to going to a restaurant with decent food, but amazing customer service. You go because they treat you right even if the food is only okay.

However, the workshops and tactics were all completely new to me. 

I’m excited to give this a try with some client projects and getting to know more about my clients’ users.

I’ve already begun using user surveys to get a better understanding of the new niche that I’m looking to target with Hidden Link Studios.

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