Tips for Managing Business and User Needs
Being able to control consumer behavior (or at least predict it) would be a dream come true for most businesses. However, that’s not reality. Instead, businesses have to adapt to balance their own objectives with those of their users.
Now, more than ever, people crave relationships with their chosen brands. They value the human experience, and connection— especially when it comes to marketing. The days of traditional advertisements that aren’t backed up by fostering connections are long gone.
It’s important for businesses to strike a balance between their own needs with their customers’ objectives. If your brand can strike that balance and center your marketing efforts on user needs, you’re more likely to experience success.
Let’s take a look at some examples of that balance, how certain industries are making it work, and how your business can implement this mindset no matter which sector you’re in.
Long-Term Relationships Are Better Than Short-Term Success
It can be difficult for businesses to focus on fostering relationships because it takes time. It’s easier to put your energy and effort into a quick campaign that will allow you to see results quickly. However, businesses that rely on that strategy often quickly fade out. Going that route focuses solely on the needs of the brand, and not the consumer.
You have to be willing to humanize your business to find a balance between user needs and your own success. Thankfully, doing so can actually be a lot of fun, and it gives your marketing team a chance to be as creative as possible. Some of the best ways to make your business more “human” and to foster healthy relationships with your customers include:
- Engaging with your audience;
- Sharing valuable content;
- Letting consumers behind the scenes;
- Establishing and staying true to your brand identity;
- Utilizing social media to improve UX.
The more your brand values fostering relationships and showing your human side, the easier it will be to collect useful information from your users, so you can use that to better cater to their needs.
Understanding User Needs
If you’re not sure how to get started when it comes to understanding user needs, collect data. Gathering as much information as possible about your target audience will give you a better idea of who they are, what they want, and how your business can help. Diversify your data inputs as much as possible so you’re getting a crystal clear picture of consumer habits.
Once you’ve collected, organized, and segmented your data, you can start to hone in on what your users truly value.
There have been some great examples of an ideal balance between business and user needs in recent years. For instance, the rise in fitness and mental wellness apps, as well as wearable health technology have been huge for the businesses involved. These products have provided information to improve health literacy — an issue many struggle with, especially those in underserved communities. This can include citing doctors or studies, giving comprehensive information and examples, or leading users to an accessible website where they can get more information. Meanwhile, businesses can use the data gained from wearable health technology for future product optimization and even marketing efforts.
Areas like fitness, finance, health and beauty, and self-care need to pay special attention when it comes to managing business and user needs. The more you’re willing to put your audience first and truly establish an understanding of their basic needs and wants, the more success you’re likely to see.
Boosting Accessibility for All
Trying to meet the needs of every user is impossible if you don’t consider the fact that not everyone uses the Internet the same way. Approximately 54 million Americans have some type of disability — including those with vision issues or hearing loss. Millions more are considered neurodivergent, which encompasses different diagnosable neurological disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and more.
With these disabilities, some people may experience difficulties navigating the web unless sites make their interface more accessible. If you run an e-commerce business, accessibility needs to be at the forefront of what you can do to meet user needs. Some of the easiest ways to boost accessibility on your business’ website include:
- Utilizing alt text for images;
- Using headings the right way;
- Using descriptive titles for links;
- Implementing closed captioning or transcripts for videos;
- Focusing on color patterns and fonts.
If you’re not sure what else you can do to improve your site’s accessibility, run an audit on the things you’re currently doing to determine what you can improve. Boosting accessibility will expand your audience, give you a better understanding of user needs, and increase conversion rates.
As a business, if you want to connect with users and find continued success, meeting their needs should be a top priority. There are plenty of factors involved, and those needs are ever-changing, so keep your finger on the pulse of what consumers really want, and don’t be afraid to humanize your business to offer it. You might be surprised by the business benefits that come from putting your users first.