One Man’s Perspective on Why Innovate Raleigh Is Important

Innovate RaleighLast Thursday afternoon was the latest installment of Innovate Raleigh, Innovate Raleigh 2013: Building on the Past, Creating the Future.  If you are a newer reader to my blog, or just not sure what Innovate Raleigh is, you can get an understanding of it from previous post here and here.  Although I have been to several of the meetups over the past year or so, this event was, in my opinion, something special.  Most of the previous meetups were evening affairs that informed the community about some industry or something specific that is going on in Raleigh that is innovative in some way.  Typically before and after the main event, there was open networking and some good food and drinks as well.

Well, this one still had a great session of open networking and some great food and drinks from Bolt Bistro & Bar.  But that was the only thing that was the same.

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What Will The 2013 Economy Be?

Note: This is part 2 of a 2 part series looking back at the economics of 2012 and projecting the economics of 2013. Part 1 can be found here.  Also, look forward to the Triangle predictions coming up on Thursday.

With the year ending and all the talk about the “fiscal cliff”, there has been a lot of talk of what will happen during the next 12 months.  I feel like everyone can agree that the economy has seen better days and there seems to be indications that things are getting better.  Here is what I think the economy will be doing over the next 12 months.  Now as I stated last year, I am not by any mean the Oracle at Delphi, but this is my opinion based on a lot of reading and research by experts in their areas of expertise. Here are some areas of interest, including some not specifically discussed in Part 1 of this blog.

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What Was The 2012 Economy?

Happy New Year 2012

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series looking back at the economics of 2012 and looking projecting the economics of 2013. Part 2 will be released on Monday.

Last year I wrote two blogs about what happened in 2011 and provided some projections for 2012.  I got a fair amount of feedback from those post so I figured I do it again this year.  I started last year’s blog with Sir Winston Churchill’s quoted of  “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  I continue to believe that this is true in every facet of life, including business.  This information is based on factual information.  There are no politics, no opinions.  It is what it is.  The purpose is to understand what happen in 2012 to set the stage for 2013. Read more of this post

Targeting For Business (And Personal) Success

Targeting For SuccessRecently, 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. Read more of this post

The State of Downtown Raleigh

Downtown RaleighWant to get nearly 300 business people, executives, and politicians in one place on a Wednesday morning?  Do an official “State of the Union” type forum and invite a Senior Director from a tech savvy company,an Executive VP, for a large hospitality group, and a newly appointed Economic Development Manager.

Well, that is exactly what happened yesterday at Downtown Raleigh 2012: An Economic Forum held by Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Read more of this post

Segmenting To Understand Your Customers

segmentation 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.

Demographic Components:

  • Marital status
  • Age group
  • Children
  • Household size
  • Location of residence

Psychographic Components:

  • 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 jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

What Was The 2011 Economy?

2011 Economy

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series looking back at the economics of 2011 and looking projecting the economics of 2012.  Part 2 will be released on Thursday and can be found here.

Sir Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  This is especially true in business.  This was a blog I thought about writing back nearly 2 months ago, but felt it would be better to write and post it now.  This information is based on factual information.  There are no politics, no opinions.  It is what it is.  The purpose is to understand what happen in 2011 to set the stage for 2012.

Stock Market:

  • 12/31/2010: DJIA closed at 11,577.51, NASDAQ closed at 2652.87,  S&P 500 closed at 1257.69
  • 12/31/2011: DJIA closed at 12,217.56, NASDAQ closed at 2605.15, S&P 500 closed at 1257.60
  • Change: DJIA  +640.05 (+5.5%), NASDAQ -47.72 (-1.8%), S&P 500 -0.09 (-0.00007%)

Labor Force (actual people wanting to work, Not Seasonally Adjusted, CPS based)

  • December 2010: 153,156,000
  • November 2011: 153,683,000 (December not reported yet)
  • Change: +527,000 (+0.34%)

Employment (actual people working,  Not Seasonally Adjusted, CPS based)

  • December 2010: 139,159,000
  • November 2011: 141,070,000 (December not reported yet)
  • Change: +1,911,000 (+1.37%)

Unemployment rates (Not Seasonally Adjusted, CPS based)

  • December 2010: 9.1%
  • November 2011: 8.2% (December not reported yet)
  • Change: -0.9%

US Economic Growth

  • Q4 2010 (Billion): $14,775.4
  • Q3 2011 (Billion): $15,176.1 (annualized)
  • Change (Billion): +$400.7 (+2.7%)

US Retail Sales

  • 2010 Top 100 retail store sales (,000): $1,559,183,000
  • 2011 Top 100 retail store sales (,000): $1,614,320,000
  • Change (,000): $55,137,000 (+3.5%)

US Building Permits

  • 2010
    • Total Permits (Thousands): 604.6
    • Single Family (Thousands): 447.3
    • Multifamily (Thousands): 157.3
  • 2011 (through November)
    • Total Permits (Thousands): 561.2
    • Single Family (Thousands): 384.3
    • Multifamily (Thousands): 177.0
  • Change (YTD through November)
    • Total Permits (Thousands): 4.2 (+0.8%)
    • Single Family (Thousands): -32.4 (-7.8%)
    • Multifamily (Thousands): +36.5 (+26.0%)

Was there something I missed?  Let em know what you think.

–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 jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

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