How to Stay Up to Date with the Latest Consumer Behaviors
In the age of digital dominance, trends, prices, services, business visibility is constantly changing. It can be stressful to stay ahead of what consumers want when it feels as though you just nailed the current trend. Especially when you consider a unique situation like a global pandemic.
In general, the behavior of today’s consumer is both encouraging and frustrating…what they may want now, may not be what they want at all a few months down the road. That’s why businesses face the constant challenge of staying relevant.
COVID-19, for example, will certainly provide a unique case study for business owners to learn from years from now on how consumer behavior changed during a pandemic.
Every consumer’s purchase is either one of demand or desire, however, during times like these, their demands or desires may shift drastically.
Will business owners look at marketing as a non-essential expense and cut back? Will consumers continue to purchase products or services that they did before? Will a shift in previous consumer behavior over an extended period change how they make purchasing decisions in the future?
While COVID-19 definitely presents an extreme example of consumer response and behavior, these are the types of questions business owners have to ask all of the time. As a business, your goal is to ensure that you are fulfilling purchaser demand, yet adding just enough flair that your product or service is the one they desire.
So how do you find what your specific audience is looking for?
Promote Customer Engagement
There need to be multiple avenues through which your client is able to access some form of communication with you or your business. This communication comes in many forms such as email, office phone, message box, chat feature, etc. What is important to note is that customer engagement leads to customer feedback.
To be a successful, relevant company, you need to be constantly asking your purchasers if they are happy with the product or service they received, why, and what would make it better? The simplest answer to staying current with the latest consumer behaviors is really just to ask them.
Furthermore, you can provide them with resources such as surveys or a paid focus group session in which you can gather dense information about how your business is perceived by your audience and what you can do to further optimize that perception.
Do Your Research
While your consumer is your greatest asset, the second-best resource for finding current trends in your industry is research. One of the first things marketers look at is your businesses’ digital landscapes. For example, a marketer will most likely look at your website to determine if it’s mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendliness has never been more important than now as most consumers make purchases using handheld digital devices. If your website looks great on a desktop but is hard to navigate on a mobile screen, your business is already losing money. Without doing the research, or trusting a marketing partner to do the research on your behalf, you could be missing out on an opportunity to further develop your brand as modern and credible.
Analyze the Competition
Thirdly, a great way to gauge what you should be doing is to look at what your competitors are doing. While this wasn’t advised in grade school, in the business world, competitive analysis is strategic and wise. If you love the website or marketing of another business in your industry, take some pointers and morph them into your own style and voice. This is not cheating! You are allowed to learn from others.
By gathering intel on the competition, you can easily compare your strengths and weaknesses. Especially do this if a competitor has the money to gather the data and hire the people to modernize their business. That way you can take notes on what they are doing without having to pay the big bucks.
Get on Social Media
Finally, the last tactic you can use to stay up to date on consumer behaviors is to get on social media. What’s great about today’s consumer, is that while they may be indecisive, they aren’t shy. You can pretty easily figure out what they want and when they want it if you check the news, talk shows, publications, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and various other platforms on which the latest and greatest products or technologies are promoted and discussed.
Look for platforms that cater to your industry-specific audience and then simply listen to what it is they are saying, or if you have a question, put it out there and get the valuable feedback you want (without having to pay for it).
Don’t let your brand get bogged down with the stress of keeping up, rather, keep an open eye and watch for anything that could spark a transition. As long as you stay aware, you will stay current. Who knows, your business could be setting the next trend!
Need Help? Turn to the Marketing Experts.
If you’re not sure where to start, the good news is you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. At TalenAlexander, we’re proud to partner with small businesses to help them navigate the landscape of the marketing world. Rely on decades of experience developing brands and growing businesses to help you take yours to the next level.