January 05, 2022
Case Study

5 Best Marketing Questions to Determine Your Customer’s Needs


Successful marketing begins with the customer.

To keep your marketing laser-focused on your company’s customers, read on for examples from an online fax service, a software company, and an online digital tool.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

5 Best Marketing Questions to Determine Your Customer’s Needs

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

Marketing – and all of business – really just exists to fulfill a customer need. So, the better you understand your customer needs, the better you can serve those customers. And the better you can serve those customers, the better your marketing and business results will be.

In Session #4 of MECLABS’ online marketing course, we teach five powerful questions to ask about your prospect (before you design a webpage).

To get an in-depth understanding of these questions, watch the FastClass video on the above-linked webpage.

Then read this article – we bring you three quick case studies to give you ideas for answering those questions for your own customers.

Quick Case Study #1: Online fax service increases conversion rate 65% with A/B test on landing page

Question: Justification – Why should this person choose my offer over every other?

A/B testing can help you answer the justification question. Here’s an example.

iFax is an online fax service owned by Amplify Ventures, a SaaS (software-as-a-service) lab. The company ran an A/B test on its pricing page to determine the most effective subhead below “Pricing.”

Creative Sample #1: Pricing page for online fax service

Creative Sample #1: Pricing page for online fax service

The control subhead – The world’s most popular faxing app.

The treatment subhead – The lowest-cost fax service you’ll find.

The treatment increased the conversion rate by 65%.

“I am also a consumer, so when I first ran the A/B test, I thought about myself, I placed myself in the customer position and ultimately I've found out that the best headlines tend to be specific and a little emotional. But if the headline was too emotional, then it wouldn't match my company’s image,” said Adam Korbl, Founder & CEO, iFax and Amplify Ventures.

Quick Case Study #2: Software company experiments with more relevant drip campaigns, increases open rate to 40%

Question: Selection – Who can I serve better than anyone else?

Question: Orientation – Where is this person in the Micro-Yes Series?

Surveys in content marketing can help you answer the selection question. And experimenting with your drip campaigns can help you answer the orientation question. Here’s an example.

The team at Encharge launched a new email nurturing campaign in 2021 that generated an almost 10% higher total open rate and a seven percent higher click rate across all emails.

The previous lead nurturing campaign was getting 30.2% open and 2.8% click rates, while the new one has brought 40% open and 10% click rates in the most recent quarter.

Here’s what the team changed.

Before, they had a single one-size-fits-all lead nurturing sequence of seven emails that go out to all email subscribers, regardless of how they end up on the list.

With the new campaign, they created five unique lead nurturing sequences that get sent based on what lead magnet the subscriber downloads or what they indicate as their biggest marketing challenge.

For instance, if a person downloads the eBook about onboarding emails, they will receive a personalized and relevant series of emails focused on user onboarding alone.

Moreover, the team asks blog visitors about their biggest problem with marketing automation. The sequence is then personalized based on their answer.

Creative Sample #2: Personalization question on marketing automation software blog

Creative Sample #2: Personalization question on marketing automation software blog

“The hypothesis that we started this iteration with, that personalized relevant drip campaigns are more likely to be opened and engaged with, has proven true. We are excited and looking forward to new marketing experiments in 2022!” said Kalo Yankulov, CMO, Encharge.

Quick Case Study #3: Digital online tool adds visual, value-communicating element to homepage, increases CTR 7%

Question: Direction – What does this person move towards / away from?

Question: Stylization – How can I best communicate to the person?

Experimenting with the value presentation on your webpages can help you answer the direction and stylization questions. Here’s an example.

Five months ago, PhotoAiD added the box with a timer showing that converting regular photography into an official biometric photo takes only three seconds with the company’s digital tool.

Creative Sample #3: Imagery to help communicate digital tool’s value proposition in its homepage

Creative Sample #3: Imagery to help communicate digital tool’s value proposition in its homepage

This simple change to communicate the product-level value proposition of the digital tool increased the click-through rate on the call-to-action (CTA) “Choose document” by seven percent and the conversion rate by three percent.

“I am not surprised because this element answers the subconscious question of the user, which is ‘How much time do I have to spend in the whole process of uploading a photo?’” said Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD.

Featured Resources

The Psychology of Blue Jeans: What marketers can learn from 150 years of Levi Strauss customer letters – Podcast Episode #4

5 mini case studies about understanding and serving the customer

Marketing Research: 5 examples of discovering what customers want

3 Case Studies for Marketers: The specific questions businesses asked to get results

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