If you want your digital marketing efforts to be successful, you’re going to want to talk to your customers about the technology they use and how they use it. It’s never safe to assume anything about your customers’ use of technology: seniors, for example, are often as adept with their smartphones as their grandchildren.
Talk to your customers about their tech use. You can do this in person, through in-store surveys (people will tell you almost anything if they’re getting a price incentive in return), or via your website and social media. The most valuable questions to ask are:
How do you get on the Internet? Computer, Smartphone, Tablet…
You’ll hear a wide variety of answers to this question depending upon your audience, from people who have dinosaur-era desktops (complete with tower!) right on through the tech-geeks who will proudly show you their wristwatch computer. For your purposes, you want to know what the majority of your customers are using. Understanding what tools they use will help you make better decisions about what to do when redesigning your website. You should follow up this question by asking:
Do you use different tools based on where you are or what you’re looking for?
This is an important question because more people than ever before use more than one device to go on the Internet. Personally, I reach for my iPad or phone when I am traveling to look for restaurants and things to do, but I prefer to do focused research on my laptop.
What’s Your Favorite Web Browser?
There are a number of web browsers, with the following being the most popular: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Knowing which type of web browser your customers use most, along with the versions they are on, can help you plan your website browser testing. I feel pretty strongly that your website should be compatible with the current version of each of the browsers we have mentioned, as well as with one version behind. For example, Internet Explorer 10 & 9. However, this is where you need to know who your audience is and ask this question regarding their favorite web browser and version. In a recent review of one of my business-to-business client’s analytics, more than 30% of their audience was still on Internet Explorer 8. When noticing this issue we added Internet Explorer 8 testing to their updated website project.
What Social Network Is Your Favorite?
Knowing what social media networks your customers are on makes it easier to create efficient, effective social media marketing campaigns. The answer to this question will vary based on your audience and market. Depending on these variables, you may hear Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn. As you may well know, Facebook is the most popular social media network, but it’s by no means the only one. It is a time consuming and often an unfocused effort to try and be on all platforms. Asking your customers which they prefer will help you make a decision on which platform to put extra efforts into. Be sure to take the time to understand not only which they prefer, but also why they prefer that particular social platform. This will also help you plan out your content to the interests of your audience.