21 October 2017

Why Customer Research Is a Priority for Me At Dreamforce

Conducting customer research is an essential part of understanding your target market. Unfortunately, too many of us let it slide. We know we should do it but we simply don’t make the time or put in the effort to make it happen. Or we don’t know where to start when it comes to conducting customer research.

Sound familiar?

I run a small B2B SaaS content creation studio and my ideal customers are marketing directors and managers of large SaaS companies. They are typically in charge of content marketing strategy and content creation. This could include creating case studies, eBooks, white papers and thought leadership articles.

What questions do you have for your ideal customers?

For me, I have so many questions I’d love to ask. For example, what’s keeping them up at night? What are the biggest gaps they need filled? What are the biggest obstacles to working with freelancers or agencies when creating content?

As I pondered customer research and how I could get to know my ideal customer on a more personal level, I realized that my opportunity is right around the corner. I’ll be attending Dreamforce this year. Dreamforce is the world’s largest software conference, held in San Francisco in the fall each year.

With over 170,000+ attendees and 2,700+ sessions, there will be no shortage of people to talk to and learning to be had. I’ve set a goal for myself of chatting with 5 of my ideal customers each day at Dreamforce.

Yes, I’m a bit nervous

I have to be honest and say that networking (and customer research) is something that’s outside of my comfort zone. But by approaching it with a mindset of curiosity and learning, it helps me get over my nervousness and say hello. Once the ice is broken, I have no problem talking to just about anyone. I love learning about people, their stories and how they got to where they are now.

How will I find my ideal customers?

I’ve heard there are line-ups for just about everything, so I’ll likely have the opportunity to chat with my ideal customers while waiting for lunch, waiting for sessions to start, waiting for a drink at a social event…you get the picture. And no, not everyone I speak with will be my ideal customer, but some will be.

And when I’m fortunate enough to speak to an ideal customer, I’ll have a few things in the back of my mind that I’m interested to find out, like:

  • who within the company (job title) is in charge of creating what kinds of content
  • what their day to day looks like
  • biggest pain points in general
  • biggest pain points when it comes to content and content marketing
  • what kind of gaps they have and how those gaps can be filled
  • aspirations (personal and professional)
  • whether they use freelancers or content marketing agencies
  • how they make decisions around which freelancer or agency to partner with
  • challenges of working with freelancers or content marketing agencies

But really, my ultimate goal is to get to know my ideal customer on a personal level and make a real connection. This doesn’t mean pitching my services—it means teasing out their story.

By getting to know my target market more personally, I’ll be better able to tailor my services to meet their needs. I’ll know what to say and how to fill gaps they are likely having. I’ll know what kind of messaging will resonate when meeting them for the first time. And at the end of the day, by knowing my ideal customer more deeply, I’ll be better able to help them reach their goals.

Are you going to Dreamforce? Tell me about how you plan to conduct customer research.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

Emily leads teams in creating strong content marketing strategies and relevant, valuable content that cuts through the noise and lifts your company to a position of authority.

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