The shiftThe shift

The 'know your customer' toolkit

Introduction

New channels come and go. Technology delivers faster speed, efficient scale, and shed loads of new data. But the need to know your customer never changes.

2020 was a wake-up call to many marketers, highlighting how quickly demand and purchase habits can change. The pandemic was, by no means, business as usual, but it did teach an important lesson in being agile. You can’t always predict behaviour, but you can adapt your marketing to respond efficiently.

COVID-19 created rapid short-term fluctuations,where we saw home gym equipment and grocery delivery slots become rare commodities. It also triggered longer-lasting effects. McKinsey & Company reported a drop in brand loyalty as consumers prioritised more flexible and efficient delivery, while online shopping intent increased.

Chart: More people expect to make a portion of their purchases online post-COVID-19 than before.

Tracking these types of trends is important. When you take that insight and apply it, it not only leads to improved results, but also provides a rewarding level of creativity for marketers.

In this toolkit, we’ve shared several easily accessible, yet powerful tools and techniques you can adopt to build a better understanding of your customers. Keeping this guide close will help you move from assumed knowledge, to up-to-date understanding.

While the opportunities below will help you identify trends, topics, and behaviours, we’d always recommend following a more robust process when basing strategic marketing decisions on insight. Your business is unique, and Crafted consultants can discuss how we would approach an insight project based on your needs. If you’d like more detail, drop us a line.

Tools

AlsoAsked.comAlsoAsked.com

AlsoAsked.com

Visit website

As ‘people also ask’ becomes more prevalent in Google, AlsoAsked.com helps you understand what those related queries are.

How to use

When people search for information, they can often have several questions on their mind (particularly for more complex queries). The ‘people also ask’ box is a prime opportunity to gain SERP visibility, but also to develop more informative content. By reviewing the well-displayed related queries, you can quickly create a content blueprint.

Watch out for

Questions and queries will change overtime, so don’t be complacent with the content. Be sure to keep it up to date and as relevant for the users as possible. It’s also worth remembering that it doesn’t include search volume, which makes it challenging to understand the true value of the content opportunity.

Expert tip

Use this insight to create your structure for key pages. Clearly marked-up questions and answers will give you the opportunity to improve visibility and become the best source for both Google and most-importantly, users.
Site searchSite search

Site search

Visit website

The most direct data-feed of customers telling you what they are looking for.

How to use

Site search data can highlight potential issues with site navigation. If certain products have a higher volume of site searches, review how easy it is to find those through the website. It can also indicate opportunities to expand your product range where consumers may expect you to stock certain products; an empty site search results page is often a lost conversion opportunity.

Watch out for

Some consumers will naturally turn to site search to find specific products. It doesn’t always mean there’s an issue with site navigation, so combine it with user testing to get an accurate understanding.

Expert tip

Periodically review site search conversion values. These can provide the evidence to push certain products or content on key pages, improving ROI across the site.
Google AdsGoogle Ads

Google Ads

Visit website

PPC provides more than just conversion value. Don’t lock your insights away in the Google Ads interface.

How to use

Use search query data to understand search behaviour and intent. Smart features like Dynamic Search Ads allow you to discover a broader range of relevant queries. Reviewing the language and phrasing of search queries can inform your onsite content and SEO strategy.

Watch out for

It’s worth reviewing the types of queries Dynamic Search Ads are appearing for to ensure budget isn’t being attributed to irrelevant searches.

Expert tip

CRM dataCRM data

CRM data

Visit website

Before you start surveying your customers, you may already have the answers.

How to use

Review what customer information you collect and think about how this could be used to gain insights. For instance, postcode data can reflect how far consumers are willing to travel to physical stores or attractions.

Watch out for

When using or sharing data with partners, make sure the correct steps are taken to ensure it’s GDPR compliant.

Expert tip

Ticket sales data can also be compared against third-party feeds such as weather. Armed with that insight you can create your rainy-day strategy, whether that’s prioritising advanced ticket sales or creating automated bid modifiers on paid activity when the weather changes.
Wikipedia LabsWikipedia Labs

Wikipedia Labs

Visit website

Wikipedia achieves over 21 billion page views each month and it shares its analytics data publicly.

How to use

Wikipedia’s online dominance, hosting over 6 million articles on the English Wikipedia alone, means it has a wealth of insights on what your people are interested in and searching for. Use its Labs feature to compare trends and inform content strategy and seasonal messaging.

Watch out for

Just because a topic area spikes in interest, purchase intent may not follow the same trend.

Expert tip

Facebook Audience InsightsFacebook Audience Insights

Facebook Audience Insights

Visit website

Facebook has around 2.5 billion monthly active users with Instagram having 1 billion monthly active accounts, its dominance provides audience insight at a very granular level.

How to use

When creating ad campaigns, you can see this information without having to run activity. It can help you learn about interests across different demographics, understand your own fans and look for new audience segments. You’re also able to upload your own customer data to see insight on those too.

Watch out for

There’s lots of useful information available but only go as granular as you need when creating different audience segments.

Expert tip

Google Consumer SurveysGoogle Consumer Surveys

Google Consumer Surveys

Visit website

Simple, easy to run, fast and relatively low-cost consumer surveys.

How to use

Before plotting out questions, set your goal for the survey. What is it you want to know, what insight do you need to test your theory or support a campaign idea?

Watch out for

Don’t over complicate the survey. Ask what you need to know and keep it concise for improved accuracy.

Expert tip

AnswerThePublicAnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic

Visit website

One keyword delivers a goldmine of insight and content ideas.

How to use

Add a simple keyword and it will provide an extensive list of popular ways consumers ask questions around that topic. From what, why, how queries to an alphabetic list of related keywords, there is a huge amount of insight to be gained.

Watch out for

While it provides extensive content ideas, you need to be able to analyse which ones would be relevant for your business.

Expert tip

Think about Google’s E-A-T principles when reviewing these content opportunities. Do you have expertise in this subject area? Are you an authority? Are you a trustworthy source for information? If yes, then it may be worth adopting those topics as part of your content strategy.
Google trendsGoogle trends

Google trends

Visit website

An insight into what the world is searching.

How to use

Over time peoples’ interests change. During pivotal lockdown updates in the UK, there were huge swings in product demands and search behaviour. From how to bake banana bread to home gym equipment, the trends caught many marketers off guard as they couldn’t be predicted. Google Trends, provides some level of insight into how things are changing. Use it to look for long- term trends over time as well as reviewing short-term spikes of activity.

Watch out for

You can only see a relative search volume factor ranging from 1-100. It doesn’t show absolute search volume. This means that upward trend that looks like the next best opportunity could actually be insignificant when reviewing search volumes. Cross-reference with search volume tools such as the keyword planner tool, which won’t be 100% accurate, but will provide a better insight into the opportunity size.

Expert tip

Don’t only use it for product or purchase-focused search terms. Informational searches can often lead to a following purchase demand. For instance, ‘how to entertain kids at home?’ could soon be followed by ‘craft kits for kids’.
Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics

Google Analytics

Visit website

One of the most universally used customer insight tools.

How to use

Your GA data is only as good as the setup. Make sure you’re correctly using views, event tracking, goals, and filters. For instance, filter out any obvious bot activity in your standard view to improve accuracy. Once you’ve done that, expand the audience and behaviour tabs for extensive options for analysing your customers.

Watch out for

Keep an eye on the shield icon, which when yellow means you’re only seeing sampled data which could be inaccurate.

Expert tip

Use advanced segments to create segments based on any pre-defined audience groups you may have. This will help you easily compare the different groups when using the tool.
Quantcast MeasureQuantcast Measure

Quantcast Measure

Visit website

A powerful alternative to Google Analytics. Audience insights based on your visitors, delivered by Quantcast.

How to use

Signup for free and add the Javascript tag to your website. Within as little as 1-2 days you can learn more detailed information about your audiences, from demographics to psychographic information related to buying habits, media interests and occupation.

Watch out for

Following setup, the initial insights and projections may be inaccurate without a full 30 days of data.

Expert tip

TreendlyTreendly

Treendly

Visit website

Get a head start on the competition by monitoring key trends that you already know of and, more importantly, ones that you haven’t.

How to use

This tool is packed with helpful features to build up an understanding of how certain topics and keywords are performing over time. It can provide alerts and help you monitor changes as well as providing monthly search volumes.

Watch out for

The tool uses data supplied by Google (as well as some other sources), so expect the findings to correlate with Google Trends. This won’t provide more evidence to support your findings in Google Trends and the traffic available is an estimate.

Expert tip

Conclusion

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas, as in escaping from old ones.”

John Maynard Keynes.
British Economist.

Customers change. It’s easy to become complacent and make decisions based on subjective views, rather than data-led insight.

Using these tools correctly can help you break away from preconceived ideas, help you to discover new opportunities, and create more effective marketing campaigns.

But these are just the start. To really outperform, insight projects should become a dedicated part of your ongoing marketing strategy, with specific budgets to support them.

At Crafted, our insight and online marketing teams benefit from the highest tier of partnerships, with companies including Google and Facebook. This, coupled with software partners, unlocks more insights and supporting data for our client’s campaigns. paving the way to the most effective marketing.

Let's talk

Insights tell you what you need to know about you customers' needs and behaviours. Endlessly fascinating and always useful. If you want to know more about our in-depth insights projects, get in touch to speak to one of our friendly experts.

Contact Us