Do you want to know what the biggest secret to successful digital marketing is? Listen closely because we’re only going to say it once: Knowing your customer.

We sense your disappointment. You were probably waiting for some eye-opening secret that would change the fate of your company. Knowing your customer is, well, predictable. It’s one of the first pieces of advice you read in every blog regarding digital marketing. Know your audience. Learn about your audience. Understand your audience.

OK, you get it. So what’s the big deal this time around?

We encourage you to fully understand what this concept entails. How well do you really understand your audience? When was the last time you asked them questions or engaged them in feedback? Are you certain that their needs are the same today as they were six months ago? A year ago? Do you think you could answer what they would be doing on a day like today?

Many businesses claim they know their audience, but they only know them on a superficial level. It’s time to take the brand-customer relationship to another level and really get to know your target customer just as you would a friend or acquaintance. This is what will ultimately help you corner your market.

Let’s talk about 15 helpful tips that can be applied to your own digital marketing strategy to help you better understand your target audience.

1. Millennials are the most affluent marketing demographic.

Millennials can give off the wrong image when it comes to money and how they spend it. Some predict that Millennials will be the first generation to do worse than their parents. But there are certain things Millennials don’t mind spending money on. While they aren’t keen on making big purchases like cars or homes, they’ll gladly spend money on online purchases and same-day delivery.

2. Millennials are good influencers.

Because Millennials do a lot of shopping online, other generations turn to them for advice. And Millennials are happy to give it. In fact, 76% of them say that they are depended on for their opinions. Not only should you be marketing to Millennials but also giving them positive experiences that will make them happy to recommend your brand.

3. Consumers like getting text messages.

Text messages are easy to consume, and they can be read at a time that is convenient for the customer. Plus, they provide immediate value for both the user and your company. If you send a discount code to use in the next 24 hours, the customer is encouraged to act right away, and you see boosted sales. Many people are also more active on text than email.

4. People have their phones on them almost 24 hours a day.

Amazingly, 79% of 18-44 year olds have their smartphones on them 22 hours a day. Yes, people are connected to their phones in ways we never dreamed possible, but this is a clear advantage for you. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile and that the shopping experience is positive, including the mobile checkout process.

5. Brick-and-mortar shopping isn’t dead.

With all the shopping done online, one would think that brick-and-mortar stores wouldn’t stand a chance. Surprisingly, many customers prefer this intimate style of shopping where the customer experience is always put first. If you’re a small business dependent on local traffic, you can’t ignore the power of SEO.

6. Your customers want you to vie for their attention.

It’s a thin line between tasteful marketing and downright begging, but you’ll have to find it because your customers want you to pursue them. Don’t hesitate to send them emails or text messages. Find them on social media and ask them questions. Thank them for subscribing to your blog.

7. Outbound marketing definitely raises eyebrows.

Traditional marketing efforts may demand attention, but they don’t do much justice for the customer-brand relationship. Be sure to use traditional marketing carefully, and when you do, be confident that you can back up your claims. This way, your outbound tactics will be an extension of your overall marketing strategy.

8. Online information is trusted.

We’re living in an era where if something is posted online, it must be true. This will probably change one day, but today, you can benefit from it. Well, most of the time. This is why it’s important that you monitor your online reputation because people believe what they read about your brand. Encourage positive ratings, testimonials, reviews, blog comments, social media comments and more.

9. Your customers are looking to see where your products are made.

People prefer to shop local, and they do take note of where your product is made. Give attention to the materials and resources you use in your products. If you can align with local suppliers, do so.

10. Corporate social responsibility is a good thing.

Your customers will feel more connected to your brand if you demonstrate the importance of social responsibility. You need to be more than just a business doing business. Show how your brand betters the community as a whole and thinks beyond your money-making framework.

11. In fact, saving the world is a great first step.

A great way to show that you are a responsible and ethical company is by making the world a better place both socially and environmentally. Make sure that your claims are supported, however. If you say that your product is locally made but actually does include some parts from overseas, your customers will not like you.

12. You should support nonprofit charities or organizations.

Supporting charities and organizations is another way to earn brownie points with customers. Plus, it’s just a nice thing to do and part of the responsibility of giving back. People are more likely to shop with a brand that uses some of the money to support charities in need.

13. Good experiences are reported more than bad ones.

Contrary to popular belief, people are more likely to share their good experiences than their bad ones. Part of this reason is because it’s easy to tweet, check-in or post something positive about the place they’re at or the service they receive. Give your customers something to tweet about!

14. When people find a brand they like, they won’t switch over.

Eight-nine percent of people who find a brand they like stick with it. People find comfort in familiarity, so use this to your advantage. If you can earn a customer’s trust and wow them with your product or service, they are likely to stay with you through thick and thin.

15. Many sources are involved in a purchase decision.

Online shoppers won’t make a purchase decision until they’ve looked at several sources. So if a customer buys from you, they’ve likely already checked out your competition and read online reviews about your brand.

Well there you have it. Fifteen great insider tips to help you better understand your audience. Use them to your advantage – and take some time to court your customers!