Recently, I have had several discussions with people about how to make their business (or themselves) successful in today’s market and economy. It seems like people have forgotten a basic concept that we were all taught back in school about business…know your target market.
The concept of a target market is not a new concept at all. In fact, I feel like it is one of the oldest business concepts out there. The American Market Association defines target market as “the particular segment of a total population on which the retailer focuses its merchandising expertise to satisfy that submarket in order to accomplish its profit objectives.” However, the target market is beyond the retail industry. It is for ALL businesses. By being able to specifically understand who your target market is, you can focus your promotional marketing efforts more effectively and efficiently. Continue reading “Targeting For Business (And Personal) Success” »
I always enjoy the opportunity to spread the word of how market research can help any business. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to do it again.
During the conversation I was having, we started to talk about a restaurant that my friend is currently working with that is trying to figure out what kind of food the restaurant should serve. The discussion quickly turned to the conversation of who lives in the area, in other words the demographic profile of the geographic area. Continue reading “Looking Beyond Demographics” »
Businesses need to understand their customers. Now I know this is not an Earth shattering concept. However, a number of businesses do not know who their customers are. And, in turn, they do not understand how to attract their customers. By segmenting your customers, you can learn more about them and how to attract them.
I tell my retail and restaurant clients and potential clients that “birds of a feather tend to buy together.” But in order to grow your customer base, you need to get a good understanding of who your core customers are. To do this, you need to understand not only the demographic components of who your customers are, but also the psychographic components of who your customers. Here are examples of each.
- Marital status
- Age group
- Household size
- Location of residence
- Types of magazines read
- How news is received
- Activities participate in
- Types of vehicles driven
Once you are able to understand your core buyer in both demographic and psychographic components, then you are can start to develop strategies to find more similar potential customers.
How have you segmented your customers?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at email@example.com.
Back in my early professional days, I worked for a very large national retail company. As I was learning the systems of the company, my boss, the store manager looked over at me one day and said, “Let’s go comp-ing.” The puzzled look in my face forced the explanation. “Competition shopping,” he replied. After gathering some paper and pen to write things down, he said something to me that has forever stuck. “The competition is always doing something right, or they would not be is business. We just need to know what it is.”
Ever since then, I have used that as a mantra when talking with marketing and sales people about competition. They are always doing at least one thing right.
Also, when thinking about competition, you also need to look at what you are doing right, and wrong. What is your true competitive advantage? You need to have more than just one. Imagine your competitive advantage as legs of a chair. Having only one or two will not give you a lot of stability. Three starts to do so. However, the more legs, the stronger the foundation of that chair.
You need to research your competition from your customer’s perspective. By looking at the competition, and objectively evaluating those areas in relation to what you have to offer, you can see where your business is better and where the competition is better. But then, you can understand that disadvantage and work to rectify it or mitigate it as much as possible.
What are the ways you shop your competition and how do you compare yourself to your top competitors?