Identify and name the broad market
You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.
The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.
Identify and make an inventory of potential customers’ needs
This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.
What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.
Got yourself stuck in …
If you want immediate results, you need to have a strategy to create sales consistently. Thus, you avoid the need all together to market for immediacy. I would rather have immediate results happening all the time, wouldn’t you? So how do I continually grow sales? Here are my Top 5 Ways to Market for Immediate Results:
- Network – Be involved in industry organizations, referral-generating organizations, and show up at networking events where your clients are. There are many good organizations that may be a fit for your business. Test them out before joining, and then make a commitment to participate at a level that positions you as the expert in the group for your field. Referral groups are much more valuable than groups that meet just to pass leads. Referrals have a much higher rate of converting to customers than leads do. Networking has to be a key part of
Well run surveys are still vital to those companies who wish to research a market and obtain feedback on particular products or services. Many people are willing to express an opinion, and a small incentive like a chance to win a prize or a small payment is often all that is required to encourage people to give up their time and participate.
For years market research companies have assembled groups of participants into survey pools or survey panels, groups of people willing to provide an opinion on a range of subjects. Often incentives of nominal value were offered as a ‘thank you’ for the participant’s time; however the explosion of ‘paid for taking surveys’ websites has spawned a new profession – the professional survey participant (PSP).
For companies that are relying on market research generated by panels of PSP’s the question they must ask is how flawed is the data …
Printing Postcards is Easy and Inexpensive
You can print postcards with your own computer for about 1 or 2 cents each …or have them printed professionally for about 4 to 8 cents each.
There’s a Special Low Postage Rate for Postcards
You can send any quantity of postcards by First Class Mail in the US for only 23 cents each. The only requirement is that your postcards must be at least 3 1/2 x 5 inches but no larger than 4 1/4 x 6 inches.
Postcards Nearly Always Get Read
Because postcards are delivered “ready to read”, almost everybody will read it – even people who usually throw out other types of direct mail without opening it.
Postcards Produce Fast Results
Because postcards are simple and easy to use – they produce results fast. You can mail postcards within a few days of deciding to use them …and you’ll start …
That is a hell of a lot of potential customers, isn’t it? You could actually have a business and only cater to the Hispanic Crowd to stay in business, think about it?
There are Women only clothing businesses, then there are businesses that only cater to over weight women, with large sizes, which you may say limits your market, right? Is it just that we in the automotive business are so darn lucky to have a business that has more cars than people in it?
Did you know in some states there are 2.2 cars for every man, woman and child? CA is one of them. For every kid there is a police car, school bus, Fed Ex van USPS jeep, think about it. Cars, boats, motor homes, motorcycles, etc. everywhere on every street all needing oil changes, wow. There is an interesting book that you should read if you …
Attend organization meetings
Where do people in your target market hang out? Research this, and then plan to attend a meeting or two to mix and mingle. What better way to meet and get to know these individuals while learning more about the market?
Offer to speak at a meeting or conference
What do you have to offer that you feel could be of value to those you are trying to reach out to? Present a short talk or slide show on a helpful topic. Be sure you present something of value to the group. What helpful tips or other material would hold ther attention, and entice them to learn more about you and what you do? Just give them a small taste of your skills and knowledge. Chances are, they will want to talk to you after the presentation.
Advertise in publications your target market reads
The Internet is …
A little research into the demographics of a market can save researchers more than a little money, and get better research. Take for instance…The State with the most Dentists per capita – If you said Arkansas, you would be right. The City with the most new homes built in the last year – If you said Las Vegas you would be right. The City with the highest incidence of coupon clippers – If you said Buffalo you would be right. The City with the most new Volkswagens sold per capita – If you said Minneapolis you would be right. But how do you know?
Let’s take Las Vegas; bright lights and a City that truly never sleeps. Most focus groups are conducted there in concert with the world class convention center. It’s a great idea. Go where folks from all over the country or even the world converge for days …
Big businesses lose money in different ways.
For example, one company that I was familiar with had a brainstorm in the boardroom. They could protect themselves from fluctuations in the gold market by buying and selling gold futures. They practiced right there in the boardroom and lost several hundred thousands dollars in minutes. They said, “So much for that idea,” and went back to what they were good at, which was marketing their products.
Now a loss of several hundred thousand dollars would wipe out many small businesses. A big company takes such losses in stride. Of course a persistent loss would cause heads to roll.
Young marketers with fresh ideas are often sought out by big companies. If they replace old marketer because of salary limitations, then trouble can be at the door. It’s best to work young marketers into the system gradually and let normal retirement situations gradually …