There’s never been a better time for marketers to see, understand and respond to the customer journey.
Not long ago, effective marketing and product development was based on highly subjective analyses of customer feedback. Fir example, brands gathered feedback using the forms of surveys and focus groups coupled with primitive sales trends.
How to Use Social Intelligence
Current data available online allows businesses to know their customers better than ever before. They can now understand their complex nature on a real-time basis.
We no longer have to try to get inside the heads of a target demographic. And it is not necessary to rely on notoriously unreliable self-reported data.
Today, businesses can use social intelligence to see how customers behave in a completely natural environment.
By analyzing user behavior data collected online in real-time, businesses can better meet the needs of their customers and increase their lifetime value.
Understand the behavior of your target demographics
Data shown online can be invaluable. It is one of the few opportunities businesses have to potentially identify and correct a simple missing link that prevents sales from closing.
For example, basic data analysis could suggest that a website would have unbelievable conversion rates if shopping carts were not frequently abandoned.
More advanced shopping carts and mobile-friendly features could make impulse purchases easier and bring back the intrigue of the online impulse buy.
Other meaningful user behavior includes the amount of time spent on your landing page and the amount of time spent browsing.
Know what marketing channels drive the best site traffic
In general, driving site traffic is positive. However, it is best to drive more of the right customers to your website.
Focus on conversion rates instead of a specific number of unique hits.
The best kind of customer is the customer that is genuinely interested in your product or service and ready to buy.
Initially, it is important to test what marketing channels drive your customers to your website. For example, the number of social media sites can be dizzying. Instead of choosing all or only one, see which ones work best for your demographic.Take a systematic approach to find which marketing channels work best, and focus your time and energy on those.Click To Tweet
Periodic reassessment of efficacy and re-evaluation of data
To optimize ROI, it is important to periodically re-evaluate what your business needs. In one hypothetical scenario, a business might have invested in an aggressive PPC campaign to get noticed.
The business was noticed, and the right customers chose to participate in independent brand advocacy.
People interested in the brand and industry as well as influential online bloggers or social media leaders could do a better job of increasing your overall market visibility than the PPC campaign.
In this situation, resources might be better allocated to promoting a positive public perception of the brand instead of fine-tuning the extensive PPC campaign.
Know what is going on with your target demographic and industry
It is important to use social intelligence to draw further inferences about user data and how to change it. Perhaps your target demographic found a comparable product to yours for less money.
You need to track social behavior to identify growing competition and stay a step ahead.
Rather than doing damage control, be prepared to continue to differentiate yourself from competitors. Don’t only think about what makes you better.
Read reviews and stay in the loop on social media sites to find out what your target demographic thinks about your competition.Find the thing that your competition is missing that your customers say they want, and figure out a way to provide it.Click To Tweet
An intelligence impact
As described above, social intelligence is multi-faceted. Not only can you track user behavior in real-time, but you can also read what real people have to say without being prompted to give their opinions.
By hiding the market researcher behind the mask of the Internet, market researchers can better understand users without unwittingly altering behavior.
Social intelligence gives marketers the rare and valuable opportunity to have a holistic picture of their ideal customers and target demographics to ultimately drive future sales.
The widespread popularity of search, mobile search, and e-commerce can help businesses know what people want based on big data instead of drawing subjective inferences. Also, geographic and logistical barriers are a non-issue when analyzing user data online.
By mapping the process by which a customer connects to your website, views products, and makes a purchase, you can improve the buying process and sales overall.
Originally published Jul 13, 2013; updated 6/21/21 to make it more current, improve formatting and readability.
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