Marketing allows you to place your service or product in front of your customers in a way that the customer is motivated to take it. But how you can motivate a human being to make that purchase. For your business to survive you need to know about your customer. There is a little thing that is called “segmentation” in the marketing world. Segmentation helps you sort out the segment of human beings your business will cater to. The key question is why you want to segment your customers? Here is an example, if you sell luxury cars; you already know that only a certain segment of the population will buy luxury cars, simply because not everyone could afford such luxurious automobiles.
Once you have the segment in front of you, then you can easily ask questions like, where do these customers live? When do they shop? What media attracts them the most etc. Doing a detailed business market analysis to find the most appropriate customer segment.
- Find about who your customer is?
You are just starting your business for a product or a service; you cannot just go about chasing everyone, because everybody has their own needs and will not be interested in your business. This will help you recognize your present and future customers. You have to be as detailed as possible, it might be possible that you do not have access to big marketing data but there are few strategies that will help you in profiling the customers. You could always rely on old strategies of surveying, asking questions, visiting other business houses and reaching out through internet. These are all time tested strategies that will help you design your marketing campaign. Learn and apply the knowledge you have gained from profiling.
- Find out what motivates your target customer base?
There are two things to remember “What” and “When”, the “What” will tell you the trigger that motivates the client to attract towards your business and “When” will tell exactly the time the client has its wallet out. Sometimes gaining insights will help you decide the location of your business. For example you are a book seller; you may decide to open a store near a university or near a school. You have a touring agency you want to sell cruise plans; you may target the corporate workers, as they are more stressed and needs some quality and fun time out from their busy life. The stress in their life is the trigger that will give an opportunity to sell you your luxurious cruise plan.
- Find out are they repeat, steady or one-time customers?
If your business has a continuum that is offering a service which will engage the customers for a long time, then plan ahead for the up-gradation of the services you will offer. You may be in a software business where you plan to upgrade the software each year with newer versions and more facilities. Sometimes you may be selling a product that is used for daily good then you may plan ahead of keeping the inventory to the fulfill the demand.
- Know ahead how long you want to stay in this business?
If you think selling to your friends and family is enough to keeps the revenue coming then think again. Give it a thought and research, how will you survive in the longer run, how are you going to find new customers to keep the business floating. Answer to these questions will help you design marketing campaign, search for new locations for your business, advertising etc. Is your service or a product seasonal? Which will last only at a specific period of time? Sometimes in the excitement we forget about ourselves and the survival of our family, we need food, shelter and clothing. Till the time the business is ready to sustain ourselves, we may want to cut down on some luxuries.
- How you stand out?
How do you plan to standout in the market which is imitating and competitive, even if your product is unique, soon you will have competitors, who will imitate your service and you’ll be facing competition in your own business. Are you planning to compete on value or on cost? This will make a difference in your business and when you will face the real competition then you have something to hold on too. A combination of both experience and research will help sustain in any circumstances.
Establishing a business is all about planning, research and resilience. There are no magic pills or magic cures. However with conscious choices and experience you can build your business upon.