Five Reasons To Do Market Research

Research DefinedThere are many reasons to conduct market research.  It is mainly completed on the basis of services and products that the company is offering.  Although the number of reasons are literally limitless from broad position projects to determining the best version of a logo, there are five main reasons: Read more of this post

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Eight Things I Learned About Business At The Masters

The 2012 MastersDon’t be jealous sports and golf fans, but I had tickets to Wednesday’s practice round to The Masters.  Although I am a self proclaimed hacker, I truly enjoy playing as much as I can.  It is never enough, though.

Afterwards as I reflected on the day, the sights, and the sounds, I realized that my day was a lot like a typical day at work.  There are things I saw and experienced there that can be applied on a daily basis in a business.  Here are 8 things I learned about business at The Masters.

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How To Use Market Research To Improve Your Marketing

so what's all this new marketing stuffEverybody wants to improve their marketing efforts. Improved marketing and promotion leads to more customers and better retention of your current customers.

However, many businesses spend thousands of dollars every year on a variety of marketing tactics without a lot of success. This is mainly due to the lack of understanding how to marketing and advertising in an effective way. If these businesses a little research before they develop their marketing, their messaging would be more effective. Although each business is unique, a few basic market research strategies can help. Here are two:

Determine a concise target market

Before you start any business or marketing campaign, you need to learn about who is the intended target for the business or marketing campaign. This can be done through either primary or secondary research. Before launching a new product, service, or campaign, you need to know:

  1. Who wants or needs the product or service I am selling?
  2. How many potential consumers are out there?
  3. Where are my potential customers located?
  4. How much are my potential customers willing to spend?
  5. Why will they buy my product or service?

By identifying your target market, you will be able to evaluate the viability of your business, increase its visibility, and make the necessary changes to increase sales. By developing a target market you are less likely to waste your advertising dollars on promoting to the wrong group of customers.

Develop a database

It is surprising to me the number of businesses, large or small, that do not have and maintain a database. By developing and maintaining a database, a company can get a full understanding of their customers’ profile. By using your customer data more effectively, new products can be developed more efficiently and a more cost effective direct marketing campaign can be achieved.

Many businesses do not truly conduct market research. They probably see it as too difficult, too expensive, or not a perceived value. However, the value of doing it ahead of time can prevent a considerable waste of money on products and services that potential customers may not want and marketing campaigns that they may not respond to.

–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.

Everyone is NOT your customer!

Target MarketWhether you like it or not, everyone is not your target market. 

This is true even if you sell something everyone needs, like water, clothing or food.  If you think everyone is your target market, we need to talk.

Now this does not mean that you will turn away a customer that is outside of your target market who happens to walk through your doors and hands over their business to you.  However, by targeting your customer, you are focusing your time, efforts, and your marketing dollars in a way that is most effective and efficient to grow your business.

The best example I use is McDonald’s and Hardee’s.  For both of them, especially Hardee’s, their primary target market is 18-25 year old men.  Because they know that a large percentage of their customers fall into this category, a large percentage of their advertising is directed at them.  However, if a 35-year-old “Soccer mom” appears in the drive thru at the local Hardee’s, the order taker is not going to tell her to move on.

Have you defined your target market in a broad sense?  If you have, you may want to reevaluate it based on your best customers. 

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their 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 customers, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Using Customer Information to Keep in Touch

Customer At RegisterI find it fascinating (and nerve racking) how companies do not have any form of customer database.  This is especially true of small retail stores and restaurants.  “It is always easier to keep a customer than get a new one,” is an old saying.  But even with this maxim, a majority customers do not do a good job by continuously keeping in contact with their customers and the data provided by them. 

First, you need to capture just the most basic of information.  Make sure that when you collect it, your customer is for your purposes only to keep them aware of upcoming events and that you are not selling it to others.  Make sure you get:

    • First & Last Name
    • Full Address
    • Phone Number
    • E-mail Address

Once you have this information, look into a system like iContact or Constant Contact to easily touch base with them.  Here are two quick and easy ways to stay in contact with them. 

  • E-mail Newsletter
    • Sending a regular newsletter (not an advertisement) about something related to your business. For example, if you have a nursery, send a newsletter about great colorful plants or how to use fall leaves in art projects. You could also include a map of when the peak color changes happen in the United States. Ideally, make this a regular (monthly/quarterly) send out.
  • Announcement & Specials
    • Coupons, specials, and unique events are all great draws for customers.  Make the campaign relevant to your customers at that time and always have a “call to action”, an opportunity to buy.  These can be infrequent and varied on timing.  Just do not overload the email boxes as your customers will trash them immediately, or worse yet, unsubscribe to all your mailings.

How do you keep in contact with with your customers so that they keep coming back to you?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their 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 customers, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Understanding Your Customer Is Key To Growing Your Business.

“I work with businesses to help them figure out who their customers are and how to market to them better, and in a more effective and efficient way.” 

This is a part of how I introduce people and potential clients at what my business is all about.  Most of the time, it captures their attention.  However, when I am in a conversation with a small business owner, it, too often unfortunately, is vague and generic.  This was epitomized at a recent networking function where a small business owner who is involved with a network marketing company stated that his target market was anyone wanting to detoxify their body.  When I talk to someone regarding their target market, I am looking to see if this is someone I can identify if I am sitting at the mall or some type of eating establishment.  I cannot easily identify someone who want to detoxify their body, he might be able to.  I am just not sure how he would market to them. 

Being able to find your customer is just as important as knowing who your customer is.  The ways of doing that are based on your business.  But that will be another post.

Do you know who your target market is?  Remember, if it’s not specific, it’s probably not a true targeted market.

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