Aren’t there some sort of statistics you can Google for that?

“Aren’t there some sort of statistics you can Google for that?”

I was stunned to be asked that question. I know Google is the font of all knowledge, but come on.

I’ve been working with a particular small business and helping them with some improvements to their web site and the establishment of better practice in their social media, which isn’t working.

I had raised a question about their customers, particularly in light of what THEY wanted from the business. The question, specifically, was “When it comes to your industry, what are the three things that customers want?”

Then I got that answer.

The answer then – as it will be now and forever – is NO.

There are two things you can learn from this brief exchange:

  1. There is no substitute for knowing your customers, as closely as possible. Not in a stalkery kind of way, but in the context of you knowing why they do business with you, why they perhaps don’t, why they don’t do more business with you or even how they relate to your brand beyond the product or service you offer. This information drives the posts you write, the pics you share, the content you develop … even the site map on which you build your web site.
  2. There are no shortcuts to finding this information. The question my client asked was at best naïve and at worst lazy. I’m always amazed at clients who tell me their social media program didn’t work but then when I ask them how much preparation they did before embarking on it, their response is almost none. “Join Facebook, starting posting” isn’t a communication strategy.

The more work you put into understanding your customers, the better your communication will be. It will be tailored to their needs, answer their questions and deliver value to them that they’re looking for.  It will sharpen your work, save you time and focus your business communication.  The better you aim your online communication, the better your results will be.

Or you could Google. And because you’re aiming at nothing, you’ll be guaranteed to hit it.

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