As marketers we spend a lot of time wondering what our customers think about our brand.
We’re like the shy, nervous one in the relationship rocking back and forth asking “do they like me, do they not like me”.
Maybe not that bad, but you get the point.
There is an easy way to find out what your customers think about your brand.
But in reality, it’s a bit more complicated to do market research to figure out what your customers think about your brand.
Mainly because you don’t want to lead them on the answers. Especially when what they tell you is likely to form the basis of your marketing strategy.
You want answers that will help you improve your brand and provide data that you can use.
So, to help, here’s the key questions you should ask to figure out your place in the market.
You might think customer research means just asking your current customers.
First, many won’t have the time.
And you want to make sure you get a good cross-section of opinions.
As in don’t pick the clients you know love you - this won’t give you a realistic overview.
Instead, go for:
3-5 previous/ current customers (pick a mix of the best, average and worst customers you’ve had to get a more realistic response).
2-3 customers who didn’t convert with you.
You’ll benefit from this second group because the ones who got away are the ones you’ll be trying to attract.
This can help you get an idea of where in the buyer journey your product starts to come into the buyer’s mind.
From a marketing standpoint, it can help you create pre-awareness content to put in front of similar prospects to get them thinking about their challenges - maybe even before they do.
This one might seem obvious to you, but what you think your product does and what your customers use it for might not always match up.
This can also help you figure out if you’re positioning yourself properly within your market.
An essential question for your marketing. Finding out what content and which channels your customers are finding you through will help you target your marketing more effectively.
Again, another critical thing to know for your marketing. By understanding the concerns and objections your prospects might have you can get ahead of them and answer those objections in your content.
This can help you get a better idea of what your customer thinks about the market you're in, not just your position in it. What do they think about your kind of product and what’s their perception?
For example, do they think marketing automation is too expensive or complicated?
If they do, you can help educate them
This will be essential when it comes to positioning yourself as an actual answer to your customer's problems.
While you might not want to hear it, how you can improve your product or brand can help you improve your position in the marketplace.
Understanding where your lost leads were in the buyer journey when they thought they needed your product is good to know.
Maybe they were early in the process and didn’t understand the challenge well enough to know where your product fit in.
Understanding when your product starts to occur to prospects and the challenges that prompt them can help you target your marketing in the right ways.
Again, if the customer came to you thinking your product would solve one problem, only to find it wouldn’t, this points to a serious flaw in your brand positioning.
Or at least a misunderstanding about what you can do.
Not only is this a problem because of the leads coming to you thinking you can do things you can’t.
There’s also the lost business from customers who don’t know you can help them because they have misconceptions about your brand.
Was it price? Was it the product? Was it brand?
You need to understand the objections of those who chose to go somewhere else.
If you start to see consistent themes, you’ve got a real problem with your positioning and place in the market.
It may have been forces beyond your control that stopped a customer from coming to you.
Maybe they had their budget cut. Or the market took a dive.
You need to know the external factors that stop people from coming to you to get a real understanding of your brand positioning.
Understanding your place in your market and what the perception is of you is critical to improving your sales and marketing.
And it’s something you can’t figure out on your own.
Your customers (and lost customers) are your best source for understanding your brand’s identity.
And the only way you'll figure this out is by asking the right questions.
Hopefully, this will help.