Business marketing research that makes sense for your business
Perhaps you’re new to business, or you’ve decided that the time is right to grow your business – or maybe you want to try out some new business marketing options. In any case, you have a budget for business marketing, and your business marketing budget probably has some limits. With so many options, how can you pick the best ones for your business?
If you’re starting from Ground Zero, the first thing to do is plan. The good news is that planning costs nothing, other than the time it takes to do a little business marketing research. Even if you’re not starting from Ground Zero, going back there can be beneficial. If your current business marketing plan isn’t working, or is based on faulty (or just outdated) assumptions, then starting from scratch might be a good idea. Looking at your situation with fresh eyes can also help you understand how best to reach your desired target market.
So what do you want to get out of your business marketing research? Your research should help you identify your target market, and how best to connect them with your products or services. Who are they? What media do they use? What do they find “irresistible?” For current customers who are already in your target demographic group, how did they find you?
Your business marketing research can also show you how your current customers see your products or services. Do they see your business the same way you do? If there’s a big disconnect between the way you see your business and the way they see it, resolving that disconnection can help clear the way for your business to grow, and may open up new markets. Ignoring the disconnection could be a disaster!
The best way to get the business marketing data you need is to conduct surveys. Surveys allow your customers (and prospective customers) to talk directly to you. Their input is invaluable when it comes to figuring out how they see your business today, what they want from your business today and what they wish your business could be. Believe it or not, your customers are in your corner. They want to see you as a valuable resource that improves their lives, and more often than not, they can tell you how to get there!
You can also mine other sources of data when doing your business marketing research. If you’ve kept careful business records, you can use sales data to spot trends in product or service sales. If you see a constant upward or downward trend in your sales, that tells you something about what customers see in your products and/or services. Take advantage of upward movement and take a serious look at downward trends. Perhaps that signals a market shift away from overall demand for the product. It may also signal that your customers have found a more preferable source. In either case, you should act quickly to reverse the trend or find replacement products or services.
In my next post, look at ways you can effectively reach out to your customers and reap rewards cost-effectively. If you’d like more information regarding business marketing research and effective small business marketing, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: Elvis Santana, via FreeImages.com