Let me guess, everyone is your customer, right? Sorry, nope on that one. You may think you can appeal to many types of customers but not having a clear focus is your first step to a doomed business.
How do you decide who your targeted customers are? Spend some time and truly pay attention to the people walking in to your store or calling you for services. Do they always ask for the same things? Are they the same kinds of people needing the same products?
An easy step to start taking today is to write down a brief customer profile for each person that walks in your store or calls for a service. Include demographics, (gender, family members, general income level, etc) what they asked about, what they purchased, if anything and how their experience ended. This is a great way to have a conversation with your customers and learn more about them. While this is a cost effective and quick way to start researching your market, it can take a long time to get the answers you need.
Market Research Campaigns
A quicker method to help you understand not only who your customers are but what they really want or why they would buy from you over someone else is to conduct a market research campaign. This includes the use of surveys and focus groups. These resources are becoming more and more popular among small businesses as tools for researching your market. Many firms can charge in the tens of thousands to put a research campaign together, which is why most small businesses have never made this a part of their marketing efforts. Until now, larger corporate companies have taken advantage of this option, but, now, you can too.
A small business can effectively conduct a research campaign without hitting the $15K mark to make it happen. While these efforts aren’t free, consider the costs that are involved to provide you with unbiased information you can actually use. Some costs involved can include rental space for a non biased facility (usually a conference room or hotel space), compensation for survey takers or focus group participants (in the form of a gift card or cash), compensation for a non biased group facilitator (it really shouldn’t be you!), promotional expenses to encourage surveys to be completed or to locate focus group participants.
These costs don’t have to be tens of thousands but can get costly if not prepared properly. That involves making sure you keep the bias in your company out. You’ll never get the answers you need if you sway survey takers or focus group participants to answer questions the way you want them to.
Downtown Marketing Group can help you generate a survey and/or focus group campaign for a fraction of the traditional research company costs. We’ll work together to create a plan that works best for you and provides answers you need to improve the foundation on which your future marketing efforts are based.
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