If there’s one thing you need to understand as a business owner, it’s your market. If you don’t understand who you’re selling to and why they’re buying then you’re decision making is arbitrary: not guided by anything, it’s simply shot in the dark after shot in the dark and eventually that ends in closed businesses – sooner rather than later.
You’re going to need to learn to listen to your customers, and learn from them just how you can target them most effectively, in your stores, with your products and with your marketing. Working with a market research company will help you out here: they can provide not just the work of surveying customers but expert interpretation that turns that raw data into insights that will drive your business forward! Click through to find out more about working with market research firms.
The first thing you need to look into are your demographics. Who are these people who are shopping with you? Who makes up your market? Learning about the demographics of your market will tell you about the age of your customers, where they’re from, where they get they news, where else they shop and perhaps most importantly, how much money they have to spend!
A handy way to get hold of a demographic breakdown of your market is to pay for a question or two in what’s known as an omnibus survey. This collects questions from dozens of different brands for a relatively low price. It’s not a good way to get deep answers from your customers but it’s a great way to find out who they are! Even if you’ve only got one question in there – to help you pick out relevant customers from the great mass of respondents – you also receive the full demographic dataset! If you can interpret that, you can learn a great deal about your market.
Your brand is one of the most important assets you have, but it’s a complex issue. A brand is your customers’ understand of your business, built from all the different ways they can interact with it. You can’t affect that directly. You can try to influence it with adverts, with sales, with designs, but to make sure all your efforts are having the desired effect you need to check in with your customers.
Brand tracker surveys are a good health check for your brand, and if you keep up the research effort throughout the year, you’ll find you’ll find you can start to predict which choices have good outcomes and which ones bad, so you can optimise your marketing for your market and meet with success just when you need it!