5 Unique Ways to Learn More About Your Consumers

Cowley Associates Consumer Insights
Apr 28th, 2014

By Zachary Clark, Account Coordinator

The world around us is always changing and staying on top of trends in any industry is extremely important. The consumer mindset within those industries is constantly evolving and adapting in accordance with what is happening around them. As businesses, we must stay out ahead of these trends and dive deeper into consumers’ brains so we can make informed decisions about how we reach them and what we say to them.

Here are 5 unique ways you can start learning more about your consumers and the trends they’re following:

#1: Discussion Boards

Every industry and niche out there has a discussion board on it. These are where the people who live and breathe your industry spend their time online. As an organization, you don’t have to join these discussion boards, but you should observe them. Find a few to follow and check in on them once or twice a week to see what people are saying. You’d be surprised at the amount of information you can gather from reading the thoughts of your consumers.

#2: LinkedIn Groups

If you’re selling anything B2B, LinkedIn groups are the best place to start for gathering information. We live in a world of over-sharers, and people love to tell each other what they think, especially those with corporate egos. By finding, and joining, LinkedIn groups, you will quickly see the topics of interest to consumers in your industry. You’ll also see how people feel about those trends making it easier to engage when talking to prospective clients of your own.

#3: Magazines or News Sources

Trade magazines have been around for ages and may not be unique, but how you look at them should be. Be sure to look at each article and search for commonalities between them. Are there certain topics being covered more than most? Who is being successful at doing what? Also, don’t be afraid to add people who are featured to your contacts list. You never know what can happen with a friendly email or call…you may just get some new business.

#4: Blogs

Blogs are generally written by people who want to over-share their thoughts on a particular topic. By identifying people who are leaders in a product category or industry, you can quickly stay up-to-date on where your market may be going and how people feel about it. Blogs may be some of the best ways for information to get circulated, especially in a viral context.

#5: Google Trends

Searching Google will allow you to find many of the above mentioned, and it’s also a fantastic information resource when used correctly. But, have you ever thought about searching Google for what’s being searched on Google? That’s what Google Trends is. Take some time to play with it the next time you get a free minute. You can easily search your industry and find out pertinent information about how many people are looking for it, what they’re looking at, related searches they’re using, and a whole slew of other data points. It can help with your SEO efforts, but also general consumer insights as well.

 

If you have other ways you find your information, please comment below so we can all explore and learn more about our consumers!

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