If you’re running a business then you have something to sell. Whatever the industry you work in, whether your business is based on physical products, downloadable software or consulting expertise, success comes from selling your offering to consumers. In some cases it’s most effective to directly sell the benefits of your products, emphasising function and value, while, depending on your industry and customers, other businesses may find it more effective to sell the lifestyle attached to the product or service in question, suggesting that ownership of what you have to offer confers access to a higher, more desirable social strata.
Selling successfully means understanding consumers – knowing what they value, and what they respond to, and building that into all of your advertising and marketing materials. A marketing campaign that doesn’t communicate with your customers is more than a one-off waste of resources – if they respond negatively, that negative association will remain, and you’ll need to overcome it with every future advert, poster and product. It puts you at a permanent disadvantage.
Getting it right first time is important and to do that you need to understand consumers. It’s hard to do this from a standing start: as a first-time business owner you don’t have experience to fall back on. Even established businesses need outside help to get the insights they need into customer thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
If you’re looking for an insight into consumer intelligence, London plays host to plenty of market research firms that can help you. They have the ability to poll sections of the market that you can’t reach alone, giving not only hard facts and figures, but also doing the hard work of interpreting those facts into ‘insights’ – nuggets of guidance that you can actually act on to improve your offering for customers.
Learning how customers will react to what you have to offer lets you tailor your offering to ensure you’re communicating what you need to, and a good market researcher has more tools than simple surveys to help you achieve this. One of the more complex ways they can help is with what’s known as A/B Testing, where two competing designs for your marketing are launched to small, select audiences. The differences between the two launches could be very small, using variant text to encourage consumers to click through, or putting images through a different filter, but you can track how customers react and see which version engages best with your audience, helping to inform your entire campaign!