The greatest influencer of your next marketing strategy isn’t the shiny new piece of technology, webware or filming equipment you just acquired. It isn’t the demographic or psychographic information available to you. It is influenced by past performance and shopping trends, but even that is relegated to data reporting and year over year comparisons. The greatest influence on your next strategy is what you know of your customer’s needs.

When Netflix offered a simple, “always in the queue” method of movie delivery, you thought it was easy. The envelope into which you placed that DVD came posted—and you slipped it into the outgoing mail. If you knew yourself well, how many movies you had in the hopper at any given time worked pretty perfectly, and was progressed by the preferences and titles list you’d made. At the time, it was genius: anticipating consumer annoyance around physically returning a rental at a brick and mortar store.

But even that amount of activity was cumbersome. We’d become spoiled by the propulsion forward, effectively generating the crises for big name movie rental places overnight. And Netflix wasn’t finished.

Enter, video streaming. Real time selection and real time watching. I can choose my movie and watch it immediately. Instant gratification was the key to anticipating and answering the customer’s changing needs.

While an often-cited example, Netflix did what we all wish we could do: anticipate and deliver the answer before the question was posed by the audience. While few of us can do this as effectively as Netflix, you can think about your user experience and begin to pivot to accommodate needs before they emerge.

Reviewing Your UX (User Experience)

Your consumers are always looking to solve something, be informed of something, or inspired to do something.

What Exactly Are Your Customers Requiring?

Look no further than search. Keyword frequencies, particularly when reviewed by smaller geographies, are telling. The Midwest US, for instance, has a 16 week window for summer. Searches for decking, deck accessories and the like obvious tick up dramatically as the weather breaks. If you are watching search behaviors and applying your findings to your content strategy—especially video—you’re learning in real time the exact question asked. It may be too late, but you know more than from other testing.

What Are Your Customers Consuming?

A review of your Google Analytics will describe what is most influential to your audience. You’ll know based on the time spent with certain content types, the number of those returning to similar pages, and the number of shares. If you have a video content stream/strategy and use YouTube, Vimeo or another tool to house that content, you’ll likely better understand the “browsing” that your audiences are doing to reach your content. In YouTube, the community tab is even allowing creators to ask fans what kinds of content they want, and which are their favorites.

How Are Your Customers Interacting?

If you have a nice blend of “give versus ask” on your social media feeds, you have already made the effort to minimize intrusive calls to action, opting instead to relegate milder versions to your paid rather than organic channels. But what can be gleaned by a review of post interactions and shares, video views and the like can’t be understated. Define what worked—and make future content decisions based on what garnered the greatest response.

In 2019, the path to conversion is no longer a straight line. Reaching the audience and influencing them is no longer a one-and-done methodology. Video, the most actively consumed advertising content type, has emerged as the champion of brands for consumers and an anomaly for marketers: appearing in every place within the decision journey.

Evaluating your User Experience as a whole, while noting content around where the largest interactions took place and aligning these with what the user is seeking on your own site and searching for, will serve you well. Repeat this activity at regular intervals. Netflix may still hold the first place trophy, but you’ll be making wiser marketing decisions as a result.

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