Module learning outcome
This module will provide you with an understanding of the research approaches used to determine the characteristics and buyer behaviour of consumers who use new media.
What's in this Module?
This module will develop your understanding of the 'digital customer' based on a wide variety of data sources, techniques and approaches.
Understanding the needs, attitudes, behaviours and desires of your prospects and customers is a fundamental tenet of marketing. It is vital if you are to improve your ability to sell your organisation's products and services.
In one sense 'digital' and 'non-digital' customers are essentially the same.
A multi-channel retailer will have individual customers who both shop online and visit its stores and who visit its competitors1 stores both online and on the high street.
These customers do not necessarily think or behave differently when they are online or in the high street store (though sometimes they can).
Individual customers will communicate with you through off- and online channels. On the other hand, you will find the profiles, characteristics and needs of customers preferring to interact with brands via online and other channels are often different and distinct. It is vital to gain insight on each customer group to guide your digital marketing communication tactics.
However, you will find that the overall mix of people choosing to do business with you online will differ from the profile of those who prefer traditional channels.
Online marketers have an unrivalled range of tools and approaches by which to get under the skin of their digital customers, in order to understand "what makes them tick".
The online environment is data-rich - your challenge is turning it into an information rich environment that delivers true insight to how customers think and behave.
You will find that the profiles, characteristics and behaviours of your online and offline customers differ.
It is helpful to compare the profiles and characteristics of your customers who may prefer to interact with you through other channels (such as meetings and congresses).
The insights you derive will guide your tactics - for example, you might find that online customers are typically a younger age group, and that they spend more time online. The type of information they seek may vary as well.
The module begins with the basics of the different ways in which data about online users and customers can be collected.
You'll then explore research techniques that give an understanding of what digital customers do and why:
- Online surveys
- Focus groups
- Site analysis using web analytics systems
- Third-party data sources