What to ask for an effective market research questionnaireAs marketers we spend a lot of time wondering what our customers think about our brand.
Marketing is about driving sales.
Yes, brand building, promoting culture and getting to play with all kinds of new technology are all fun parts of the job.
But at the end of the day, how our marketing activities impact the bottom line is what we’re ultimately judged on.
That doesn’t mean we should all take to the streets begging for the sale.
Far from it.
Instead, we should be focussing our marketing and sales on where it will make the most benefit.
Any good salesperson will tell you sales only come from building relationships and earning trust.
And building these relationships and earning that trust will earn us something much more valuable than a single sale.
A loyal customer who keeps coming back to us again and again.
Earning that loyalty doesn’t have to be complicated.
We get it by adding value to the customer before we dive in and ask for the sale.
By the time we ask, the customer trusts us, knows what we’re about and is ready to buy.
So, here’s 5 easy to implement things you can do or give away to attract and earn loyal customers in your marketing strategy.
Obviously, this isn’t easy for every business to offer services for free.
If you’re in the SaaS space though, free trials are a common way to earn trust and loyalty with customers who aren’t ready to pay.
Don’t just offer it to everyone.
That’s just going to waste everyone’s time.
Start by asking questions, figuring out how your product can fit into the solution your customer needs and then help them set up to get the most of your product.
We do this a lot when it comes to HubSpot and our marketing tech stack.
By starting customers on the free versions of marketing software we can demonstrate value to the customer.
You could also offer to audit your customer’s business for free (ideal if you’re service-based).
By providing an overview of their marketing activity for free - as an example - you can show them where they’re going wrong and how they can fix it.
At the very least, consider creating some high-value pieces of content that customers can use to self solve issues - and then let them come to you if they need more expertise.
This doesn’t have to be a step-by-step insight into all your secrets.
In trust, most customers will use your content to get a better understanding of their problem and what they can do.
But most will realise they don’t have the expertise to actually do the job themselves.
Having said that, don’t use ‘valuable’ content to simply get your customer’s email address or contact details.
You’ll instantly break trust and reduce any chance you’ve got of turning them into a paying customer.
Partnering with other brands can offer great value to customers because it gives them insights into other services and products they could use that aren’t just yours.
It shows them that you’re not just there to push your own products, but that you’re open to putting other opportunities in front of them too.
These partnerships can be co-promotions or you can simply launch co-events or webinars and give customers the chance to find out what’s available to them for free.
They might not need your product right now, and your partner - and customer - might see the biggest benefit in the short term.
But when that same customer comes to need a product or service like yours, who do you think they’re going to think of?
Whether you’re creating written content, hosting events or meeting customers face-to-face you should always approach your sales and marketing with the mindset to educate your audience, rather than selling to them.
Your customers are more than capable of deciding if your product or service is right for them, what they’re looking for is more information about the problem they’re having and how they can solve it.
If solving it means they buy your product or service, great.
But before that, you should aim to educate your customer on the things they should look at to solve their problem.
It might be that they've got everything they need, they’re just not using everything properly.
If that’s the case, show them how to make the most of what they’ve got.
Eventually, your customer is going to need expertise that they simply don’t have, or can’t hire in-house.
When that time comes, they’ll know and trust you - and you’ll be top of their list.
The easiest way to lose customer loyalty is to treat them as one of a crowd, rather than one of a kind.
Personalisation has never been easier in marketing and sales, so there’s really no excuse.
Obviously, if you've got 100,000 customers, you can’t get to everyone individually.
But you can segment your customers into smaller groups based on the problems or challenges they have, or which of your services they’d most benefit from.
By segmenting your audiences as much as possible, you can be more specific with the advice and guidance you give.
This way, you’re more likely to speak to an individual's problem than you are if you lump everyone into the same pot and hope you hit the mark eventually.
Customers used to base loyalty on things like geography or proximity to a brand.
Then it was based on which product they liked, or which business offered it at the best price.
Today, they’ve got so much choice over who to work with or buy from, that they look for a business that can offer them value before they’ll consider parting with their money.
In B2B, that value comes in the form of education and treating customers like a valued partner, rather than a line on a spreadsheet.
If you’re there for them when they need help, you can be sure they’ll be there for you when they’re ready to buy.
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