How do you know if your customers and/or target audience like your brand (product/service). Are they in love with you, do they just like you a little, are they trying to escape you, will they continue to buy, recommend? So many questions, just one simple answer- assess them ongoing!
Let me just get straight to the point in this roll- You are doing your customers, clients and target audience a grave disservice if you are not assessing their behavior categories ongoing to shape your outreach and marketing programs. More specifically- engagement, share, brand sentiment and ultimately- YES…buying behaviors. And while we are talking about assessing, let’s add in preferred method of contact. First, let me break these categories down for you, then I will give you some approaches/resources to start checking out and hopefully actually start implementing. We all know that I can talk about this, share data, show you how etc.. but if you do not put a plan and/or assign resources on this, you might as well skip over this post to your next read (I would like to thank you for your time, I appreciate your unique visit click as well as the 1 minute time on my site thus far).
Before I dig into this I have to add a quick side note. It completely blows me away when I am contacted by a new client or brought in on a project/campaign just how many brands do not assess what their client/customer/audience behavior categories, let alone what their brand sentiment is online….and yes offline as well. How can you even plan properly without this data? Let’s think about this for a moment. How did brands do this prior to social media channels and the Internet? Well, there were many ways- 1) Originally travel across country- door to door selling and assessment, 2) Surveys, census, follow up sales reps and customer service agents, 3) Nielsen ratings, audit bureaus etc… and now voila- social!
1) ENGAGEMENT: How often your customer not only engages on your social and domain channels, this also includes email, sales returns, inquiries in person, purchase funnels (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy etc…)
Suggested Approach- Set up monthly reporting systems and include online and offline data. Assign resource(s) to consistently deliver these reports to applicable teams. Make sure your behavior reporting includes data/insights as well as gaps, current and future opportunities. Ask these type of questions- how often does my core customer/audience engage, what is their channel preference AND more importantly- how likely are they to advocate for our brand?
Resources to Consider- (From pricey to free)- Engagement/advocacy monitoring- Zuberance (pricey buy great program), HeartBeat , Meltwater, Social Bakers to name a few.
2) SHARE: How likely are your customers going to take the extra steps to share content that you are putting out there? If your share ratios are low or non existent then ask yourself (and/or your marketing team) are we entertaining and informing or posting and boring? Would I read this? Would I post this out on my own page? Would I send this to my mentor, an influencer or even a family member?
Suggested Approach- Check social mentions share results to see how often your content gets shared. There are many more programs that can assess this, however what you are looking for are your share ratios. If you posted 15 things in 30 days, how many times (on average) did the content get shared? This includes blog posts, links, tweets, Linkedin group discussions, and on domain to name a few. When I set up assessment systems, I analyze every single channel online and off that outputs and inputs information to help me assess this category ongoing.
Resources to Consider- Implement Share buttons (Simple Share Buttons, add this etc…) on your domains/micro sites, blogs, utilize programs like Social Mentions or Social Bakers to start checking out select social channel shares. Make sure all links that you publish have trackable assessment either through bitly or custom programming and analytics such as Google.
3) BUYING: What are they buying, where are they buying it from, how many clicks to purchase- what is their purchase path AND after they purchase are they leaving reviews (Are they reading reviews to make their purchase decision?)
Suggested Approach- First list all purchase access points (Amazon, Your domain, 3rd party reps etc…) as well as all review sites that you are being talked about on (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, Ebay etc…) Once you have that list monitor monthly number of sales, test how many clicks until purchase and whether or not they left a review. To streamline this if your sales are high in volume, implement one of the following automated resources. These resources take some brains to get set up and program/customize but whoa are they worth it.
Resources to Consider- There are many excellent customer relationship mastery programs (CRM) available in a variety of investment ranges. From your basic Constant Constant to Infusionsoft, and of course the ferrari of CRM programs- SalesForce (my Fave!) and Exact Target.
4) SENTIMENT: aka what the conversations on or about your product, service, brand, competitors, service, employees overall tone is ex: negative, neutral or positive? Tip- when you monitor competitor’s sentiment (which I know you are, right!) and you see mostly neutral, that is a gap filled with opportunity for you my friends.
Suggested Approach- Focus on pushing the needle from neutral to positive first, negative gets attention second and last but not least positive. Make sure you have a social playbook designed for each of these categories- how will you respond and reward positive sentiment, address negative and move the needle in neutral.
Resources to Consider- Brandwatch, SalesForce Cloud (my Fave1), Google Analytics, HubSpot. Baute is a great purchase app- check them out!
5) PREFERRED METHOD OF CONTACT: This is simple- just ask! Email, text, mobile phone call, home phone call, video, social channel, snail mail, through a friend or relative, on horseback, singing telegrams??
In closing, if you would like to see a sample of my monitoring reports, systems and/or social play books- you will have to send me $199 (Just kidding), email me. Starr@starrhall.com
As always, thank you for stopping by, feel free to add resources, suggestions, comments etc…
Off to assess,