Every business leader wants to move their team from ‘we think’ to ‘we know’. Do you know the difference between what you think your customers want vs what they actually do want? Your business must learn to know your customer intimately.
What are their buying habits? What kinds of keywords do they search for? What would make them change their mind from one product to another? When you understand these things, it will help you sell more effectively. Here are tips to help you collect the information you need!
Collect the Right Information
The amount of data we produce every day is truly astounding. There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day. This number is expected to continue to grow rapidly. In fact, in the last two years, 90 percent of the data in the world was generated.
Here are some interesting daily statistics:
- 500 million tweets are sent
- 294 billion emails are sent
- 4 petabytes of data are created on Facebook
- 4 terabytes of data are created from each connected car
- 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp
- 5 billion searches are made
It is estimated that by 2025, 463 exabytes of data will be created each day around the world. This is equivalent to 212,765,957 DVDs per day!
With so much data out there, how do you know which is relevant to you? It is easy to get lost and go through “paralysis of analysis.” Here is where you should start. It begins with asking the right questions:
- What are the global and domestic trends in your industry?
- Are trends changing dramatically?
- If they have, how have they changed, what are the results, and why did the change occur?
- What are your top competitors doing?
- What are they investing in?
Competitor analysis can give you important insight. It can help you set benchmarks to track your progress and understand best practices. While you want to focus on your mission and not get distracted by the competition, researching the competition can help you more than you realize.
The results of your market and competitor research may be eye-opening and show you are behind the curve. Hiring a business consultant to help you with strategic planning can be an effective way to formulate a realistic plan of action.
Knowing your competition helps you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages. This can help you target your audience more effectively, giving you a greater return on your marketing investment.
Consumer Culture and Data
Knowing which way the technological wind is blowing can give you a leg up against the competition. In the previous decade, we came to realize that the majority of people were performing searches using their smartphones. Google updated its algorithm to penalize websites that were not mobile-friendly.
Another big shift is utilizing payment apps to conveniently pay for items. If your business isn’t accepting Apple, Google, or Samsung Pay, it will be important to do so for future growth. More and more customers use mobile apps to shop. Depending on your business, look to either create an app or partner with one so you remain relevant.
Get feedback from your employees. They see things management often do not. They are in the trenches and have a different perspective, one you shouldn’t ignore. Create a safe environment where your employees feel comfortable constantly encourage employee feedback so you can gauge employee sentiment.
What trends do managers absorb when speaking with employees? What has caused the most non-blameful employee faults? What holds them back from achieving their potential at work? When the C-suite better understand this, your top team will become more focussed on internal improvements.
We often focus on customer, market and competitor analysis and not so much on employee feedback. Improve your business from the inside out so you understand what is going on externally. These data sources will help you focus on the right type of information you need to grow your business.