With Social Media being the over exaggerated terminology this millennium, most companies have looked to Social Media for a remedy by which they will create new and formidable revenue streams.
For most Social Media is a confusing area and businesses are constantly asking questions to their staff or their agencies as to how they can utilise their Social audience for monetary value.
For me; if you want to create new revenue streams using social media, you need to ask questions. The first being: ‘how much do we know about our customers?’
When our customers interact with our product online, they leave a trail of clues as to who they are. The more we understand about these clues, the more we can learn about our customers.
Businesses appear to be diving into projects with no clear understanding of who their customer is and thus are not developing products, or campaigns, that suit their target audience.
You know you want to create vibrant engaging campaigns that raise the awareness of your brand, and ideally you want to build new revenue streams and conversions too. But before you achieve all this, you need to attend to some simple fundamentals about your customers.
Ask the following questions about your customers and see what you come out with:
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- How did they find out about us?
- Who are their friends?
- Why are they interested?
- Do they spend with us?
- How often do they spend with us?
- What have they bought?
- What do they say about us?
- How did they find the whole experience?
If you managed to answer all of these questions effectively; then great. Now go and develop what your customers really want, not what YOU THINK they want.
If not, then you clearly need to do your research into your customers.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone
Within Social Media particularly, plenty of companies will avoid research and detailed audits and focus on the bright and shiny development work that makes the most profit. Clients generally don’t demand said research and in some cases don’t even require mid-campaign/post-campaign reporting. (Insert blank stare).
I wouldn’t see it as a negative that as a brand you don’t know much about your online customer base, generally because the way in which your business operated for the last 10-20 years has done you very well. But take note, your consumers are online and their expectations have changed.
What consumers wanted from brands over the past century was based primarily around what they were told was the only option available from traditional media outlets.
Unfortunately for brands and advertisers, there are now multiple options for everything they could ever want. Mix this with the fact that these options are easier than ever to find, you now have a highly demanding, impatient customer who doesn’t have the time to listen to your waffle if you don’t know what their needs actually are.
What is expected from you as a Brand?
As a brand you need to work out what it is that you can offer as a reason (a why) into what your product can do that others cannot. You need to be able to tell a story into what your brand believes, because consumers are seeking trust and relationships, loyalty and rewards. You have to be able to give consumers not only what they want, but also what they need (or in most cases, what they think they need).
The only way you can do all this, is by understanding the trail of data clues your consumers leave behind, of which you can find out if you can effectively answer the questions above.
What is expected from you as an Agency?
As an agency, you need to develop new products for your clients. You are expected as an agency to not only develop brilliant products, but also to be able to develop a clear rationale as to why you created it, who the core customer is, how you expect to grow traction and how you expect to gain conversions.
Yes we expect the client to provide some data into their consumer audience to us an agency beforehand, but I’d also do my own research and audit into the brand, their audience and their current range of products.
It baffles me how commissioned development projects can go ahead without deep and clear insight into the clients target audience. Yes, it takes time, and time is money, but if you expect to deliver results, you need to have a clear strategy; a strategy made up of rationale, data and analysis.
Having worked both client and agency side, I’m able to work in a way knowing what a client expects from an agency, and also what an agency expects from a client.
Now running an agency that has this same formula for progress is a breath of fresh air. From the first point of contact, to client brief, to pitch and then campaign development; we’re fully able to work knowing what the clients issues are and how we can address them, who their customer is and how we can converse with them and, ultimately, what their objectives are… and how we can meet them.