How you market yourself depends on who you are and the product or service you provide. If you are selling a specialty item like luxury cars, furniture, or lavish entertainments, you want to communicate with the people who will be your most likely prospects. Businesses that cater to other demographics will want to select completely different media and messages.
Research helps organizations determine who their customers are and where they can be found. Why do they want your product or service? What communication channels do they use? Where do they live?
Market demographics are essential. You need information that is customized to your market and tells you about your competition.
If you are a service business you need to know who your primary and secondary competitors are and what they are doing. What are the differences between what you each offer? How do they promote themselves? What are people saying about them? What advantages can you provide?
Decide several ways to communicate with your best prospects. On average we know that it takes seven touches to get a conversion and that those contacts have more impact if they come from several sources but support the same brand identity. Are your customers electronically savvy or are they more traditional? If they are affluent and educated they will use more sophisticated technology. Working class people listen to the radio and read their mail but may not spend much time on computers.
To find out more about your competition, visit their business locations to pick up collateral and observe, check out their websites, find business information about them and read online evaluations. Learn from their marketing approaches as you formulate yours. Access industry information that is available from government and trade sources.
To find out about your patrons, talk to them individually or in focus groups, send them questionnaires, and ask your customer service employees about them. Where do they live? Where do they work? Where do they get their information?
Once you know what you want to say, marketing research firms can show you where your customers live and give you contact information so you can reach them efficiently. Using a consultant who specializes in market research will help you get the information you need to market your product or service to the right people in the right way and get the biggest bang for your buck.