Everyone thinks they are a walking, talking, one-person focus group on just about every topic. And that personal perspective can sometimes be helpful.

But what about when it comes to your own industry, your own company, your own products?

Digging into customer data helps media companies tell a better, more tailored story.
Digging into customer data helps media companies tell a better, more tailored story.

You need some perspective outside of your own personal experiences. You need to take a fresh look through the eyes of your customers.

There are two things you really need to know about your customers to have an effective marketing strategy. I recently wrote about understanding your customers’ motivation to use your product or service. This blog post will focus on the second type of customer information crucial to your marketing strategy: understanding your customers’ diverse interests and habits.

What interests your customers?

  • What are the recurring interests or interest combinations that appear within your existing customer base? Within your target growth audience?
  • What media channels do your existing customers and potential customers spend time on? How much time?
  • What types of activities do your customers perform on those media channels?
  • What types of content are your customers passionate about?

Don’t be limited by surface data.

Maybe the customer you thought of as just a sports fanatic is also really into business trends and food, and happens to be a woman.

Knowing more about what your customers are interested in can help you understand how they use your product or service, and even how to more efficiently target your marketing budget.

Leverage data for better marketing.

By examining data about your customers, you can not only develop a more well-rounded understanding of who your customers are, you can also apply insights toward predicting where your customers will be online and why.

There are a bevy of data marketing and insights companies out there that provide useful information offering a better understanding of both your existing customers and potential customers. You can even find aggregated reports and survey data on all manner of media consumption habits.

Many companies also offer the ability to append this data to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Through that CRM append, you can start to build a better picture of who your customers are, and how to best reach them based on their media habits.

In the United States, Nielsen Insights is a heavyweight in marketing and media data. USA TODAY NETWORK leverages Nielsen and other marketing data and media insights resources to help our own advertising clients better understand and reach their target audiences.

Apply data insights strategically.

When you gather data from credible sources, you can find insights that will help you set a more focused marketing strategy. Customer insights allow you to be more efficient through targeted advertising tactics informed by data about where your customers spend their media consumption time.

A strategic examination of data can also help you be more effective by reaching your customers when they are most engaged, and, in turn, tell a better brand story about how you make their lives easier.