Creating a marketing strategy on a budget

Business Hack 2

So you’ve discovered our 6 tools for kickstarting your customer research, now it’s time to discover the three-step marketing plan that will help put them into practice.

Key sites you will need:

YouGov Profiles Lite – Learn who and where your customers are

Google Trends – What they want and when they want it

Consumer Barometer – How they buy online

Facebook Audience Insights – The best ways to reach them

Survey Monkey – ask your customers questions so you can learn and improve.

Now we know what each tool can do, let’s look at how they can work together to create an overall marketing strategy.

Who is your customer

Who is your customer?

Tools: YouGov Profiles Lite/ Consumer Barometer/Facebook Audience Insight

It sounds simple but it’s a question that the biggest brands spend a lot of time and money researching. The good news; it doesn’t have to cost millions to get some of the essential information on how to work out what your ideal customer profile is or to how to help them discover your products or services.

  • For example, if you have a new product for dogs, you’ll want to work out the customer profiles of where the biggest dog-lovers in the UK are. With tools like YouGov Profiles Lite you can take a look at your customers’ lifestyle and personalities – including what they read and watch and the current brands they like and buy.
  • Now you have a customer profile, you can take specific points from it and use them on Consumer Barometer.
  • Use the Graph Builder feature to follow up on hunches and follow trends in the data. For example, you know that there’s a trend of female dog-lovers who enjoy reading Chat magazine in Yorkshire. They prefer a quiet night in to a night on the town, so you could make an educated guess that these women might prefer to shop from their mobile phones in the evening. Just plug this in to check who uses their mobile to shop for your product and verify your scenarios.
  • You can then take these verified customer profiles and explore them in Facebook Audience Insights. Just plug in the age, gender, location and interests of your group, which will reveal how large the potential audience is and what forms of advertising they respond to – i.e. how often they access Facebook and on what device.

How to talk to your customers

How to talk to your customers

Tools: YouGov Profiles Lite/Google Trends/Consumer Barometer

There are two parts to deciding how to talk to your customers:

  1. Your tone of voice – for example, does your brand have a friendly voice? Or is it more formal?
  2. The types of content you use and what platforms to deliver them on.

Tone of voice

  • If we return to our dog-product example, on the YouGov Profiles Lite, go to the Media and Entertainment section.
  • If it shows that your customers love shows like Great British Bake Off and Paul O’ Grady: For the Love of Dogs then your tone of voice should be light, humorous and genuine.
  • Not only that, other insights from Google Trends will help you to find out how your customer views products and what phrases they search and respond for. i.e. if more of your potential customers are searching for “healthy dog treats” than “dog treats and toys”, you’re potentially missing out on a larger audience due to using unpopular phrases.

Types of content

  • Content covers literally any type of marketing communication or advertising – from the website and videos you make to the images you use on tweets and Facebook adverts.
  • Using Consumer Barometer helps you to create different types of content that line up with what people are currently talking about and which website they are most likely using.
  • This is where your creativity can come to life. Think of ways to match your product with the trending topics that your audience cares about. Think about posting a picture of a cake in the shape of a bone on Instagram or Facebook for your dog-loving Bake Off audience.
  • The trick is to discover where your customer likes to read and watch content and make sure yours is ready and waiting for them to engage with.

How to get your customers to come back

How to get your customers to come back

Tools: Survey Monkey

You’ve worked out who your customers are and have started to sell to them, but what’s going to keep them coming back? Receiving customer feedback is one of the most useful sources of data out there.

  • The strategy with this is very simple: discover what people dislike and change it or discover what they like and do more of it.
  • To encourage your customers to participate, try offering them an incentive like 10% off their next purchase or free shipping to boost engagement.
  • Ask honest questions to find out what people really feel about your business. You want to find out whether customers like what you do and how you do it, which is where Survey Monkey comes in.
  • For example, ask your customers questions about what they like or don’t like about your store, website, a product, a service or your brand as a whole. You can also ask them questions about how effective your ads are or even get their opinion about a potential new product before you launch it.

And now you know how to use free tools to create your first customer research and marketing plan. Look out for next month’s guide to the best social platforms for your needs and how to create killer content for each of them.

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