Whether you are starting the journey of crafting your company’s buyer persona or simply need to reconnect with your target audience, interviews are the most effective way to accomplish these important tasks.
Face-to-face communication always nets the most valuable information. Interviews minimize distractions, eliminate groupthink, and foster deep thought. Although the benefits are appealing, you may be thinking, “Is the time and effort really worth it?” Read this insightful excerpt from Adele Revella’s book, Buyer Personas:
Companies tend to start out with a fairly clear picture of their buyers. Entrepreneurs are usually prompted to start a company when a personal experience reveals a need that isn’t being met. For a while, their knowledge of that problem fuels the small team they build to bring the solution to market.
But as successful enterprises grow, their employees begin to specialize. Gradually, internal dynamics begin to impact decisions. Marketers, in particular, are likely to be cut off from the customer interactions that would help them to understand their buyers and what affects their decisions.
It is essential to get to know your customers, so your company is adequately meeting their needs. Let’s dive into how you can get to know your customer through interviews:
Step 1: Choose Your Interviewees
Choosing the right interviewees lays the foundation for the most accurate information. There are three routes you can take to accomplish this:
When you select clients from your sales database, you can find out why they chose your company and what products they prefer. Plus, these contacts are the easiest to reach and they’ll feel appreciated.
Tip: Make sure you use a variety of people (the decision maker, the one-time client, the long-time client, etc.) to get a range of accurate information.
Ouch – you may want to run from this suggestion, but it will produce the most well-rounded data. By interviewing lost leads, you will receive different input and discover how you can improve your company.
Lost leads include people who chose a competitor instead, chose to do nothing, and those who never considered you.
Using an external database is the most unbiased approach. You won’t only receive heaps of praise or comments of dissatisfaction.
Step 2: Schedule the Interviews
Now that you’ve determined who your interviewees are, you need to get the interviews scheduled. Yes, there is an art to scheduling interviews! Consider these tips:
- Schedule closely after your interaction. This will help them recall the most accurate information.
- Don’t apologize for calling. If they think you’re wasting their time, they’ll be hesitant to help.
- Be persistent! Call, email, and follow up until the interview is scheduled.
Step 3: Conduct the Interviews
After you’ve scheduled the interviews, it’s time to prepare! Bulk interviews are best because you get into a rhythm and learn from each one what to do (or not to do) for the next interview. Try to schedule 8-10 interviews back-to-back. During the interview:
- Ask questions that demand in-depth answers. Don’t ask the basics.
- Take notes and record. (Pretend you’re a journalist.)
- Don’t be afraid to say, “tell me more about that.”
- At the end of the interview, ask them if they’d like to say anything else about the subject matter.
We are confident that once these interviews are complete, you will know more about your target audience and be able to use their valuable feedback to transform your marketing strategy!
Team Up With M&R Marketing for Your Marketing Needs
Your business has the opportunity to thrive when it has an effective marketing strategy as its foundation. M&R Marketing excels at creating and implementing a marketing strategy into a wide variety of businesses! If you’re unhappy with your current strategy (or don’t have one at all!), we would love to partner with you. Reach out to our team with questions: 478-621-4491.
Stay tuned for parts two and three in our informational-gathering series:
- Part 2: How to Reach Your Target Audience through Focus Groups
- Part 3: How to Reach Your Target Audience through Social Media