Tag Archives: Market Research

How to Reach Your Target Market

How to target a market is one of the most common questions we get from clients. We all know that our product or service (in most cases) is not for everyone, but how do we clearly define who the target market is? Once we know who they are, how do we go about getting ourselves in front of them?

This post will help you identify your target market, understand targeted reach and give you 5 tips on how to reach your target market.

Identify Your Target Market

Many new products and services are born from an idea, a passion or sometimes just by accident. Usually it is to answer a consumer need. Maybe you have had a personal experience where something was lacking from the market, or you have a talent that can be easily turned into a business or maybe you see a service and think “I can do it better!”

Naming that consumer need is our biggest clue in being able to identify our target market. If we are answering a consumer need, we can then look at the characteristics of those who fit into that group of consumers.

But what if it is unclear what this consumer need is? Or if you aren’t sure which consumers would be interested? We can look to identify our target market by utilising market research (see our post on Market Research). We can survey groups to quantify who our offer appeals to and then look at the characteristics of those groups, or we can review research that has been done before (for example www.abs.gov.au) to analyse who our target could be based on the data that has been collected.

We can also identify our target market by looking to our competition. Who do they target? How do they target them? You may even want to begin to think about why they target them? Understanding your competition can give you ideas by observing who they are targeting and also by analysing who they are not, which may represent an opportunity for your business.

Once we have identified our target market we can begin to classify them based on (see our post on Analysing Market Research):

  • Demographics
    • Are they male or female?
    • What age bracket do they tend to fit in?
    • What is their income?
    • What level of education do they have?
  • Psychographics
    • Personality factors
    • Lifestyle Factors
    • Interests
  • Behaviours
    • Brand loyalty
    • Value of Quality
    • How they shop
  • Geography
    • Location in relation to our service or producttarget reach

Our aim is to have a picture of a typical consumer or consumer groups. Clearly understanding your target market is the first step in planning how to reach them.

Magazine publishers are probably one of the best practice industries for identifying and communicating target markets. See in this example how NME clearly define who reads their magazine.

Understanding Targeted Reach

Understanding targeted reach is being able to identify how many people in your target market are going to see the marketing or promotional opportunity you are offering. Many clients send us emails offering them advertising space in a magazine, online directory, goodie bags and more; they all want to know the same thing “Should I do this?”

When you know your target market, it is much easier for you to assess these opportunities, because what you are now looking for is the reach; that is the percentage or number of your target market that will see your message.

For example, when you are told an online newsletter goes out to a subscriber base of 50,000, you are immediately impressed. That is a large number of people to view your offer. But, without being able to estimate how many readers are in your target market, the number has no relevancy.

You need to ask questions based on what you know about your target market: “What percentage are women?”, “What percentage live in Adelaide?”, “What percentage have a dog?”. The questions you ask are dependent on your business and the consumer you need to reach.

Use the answers to reassess the original number and then assess your targeted reach and cost per view (see our post on Calculating your Cost per View). Do you now deem this a suitable insertion to reach your target market?

5 Tips to Reach your Target Market

1.       Connect with those that already reach your target market

When you have a profile of your target market, you can then start to research the types of media they interact with, look for

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Blogs
  • Online communities
  • Facebook pages
  • Newsletters
  • Radio Stations

Approach these media outlets and find out what advertising opportunities are available. If they have already captured the attention of your target market, you can then reach out with your marketing message.

2.       Connect with complementary, but not competitive businesses

We can’t very well ask our competitors to promote our business, but we can look for complementary businesses.

If you make artwork for children’s rooms, consider contacting other businesses that target your market, for example children’s clothing, children’s furnishings, or children’s toys. Approach these businesses and suggest exchanging advertising on each other’s websites or in each other’s newsletter, helping you both to reach more of the target market.

3.       Improve your SEO

Another way to reach your target market is to ensure you are there when they go looking for your product or service online. Understanding the keywords that your target market use when searching (see article on keywords) will help you create your website, to ensure you match your content to how they describe your product or service.

4.       Talk in the language your target market understands

Looking at the profile of your target market, make sure you talk in a language that they understand. Only use jargon or complex words if it is appropriate to your target market.

Appreciate what motivates them to purchase; is it price? Is it quality? Is it service? Then ensure you write your marketing message to match.

5.       Utilise PR

In our first tip we talked about looking for advertising opportunities within the media that your target market is connected with. Another key way to reach your target market within that media is by undertaking public relations (PR) strategies.

PR is a very broad area of marketing and for the purposes of this article; we are only going to discuss a narrow segment.

You can engage media to talk about your product or service by writing (or having written on your behalf) Media Releases (Check out Handle Your Own PR). If successfully pitched, these Media Releases can lead to articles in the newspaper, in magazines and more. these are at no cost to you and often hold more power with your target market, as they are not seen as marketing messages and gain the credibility of the source they are published in.

Also subscribe to media callout services such as www.sourcebottle.com.au to keep on top of any PR opportunities that you could use to promote your product or service.

Making a consistent effort to reach your target market will ensure over time you grow your business and also maximise your marketing spend. Do you know who your target consumer is? How do you communicate this to others?

Until next week, R is for Reaching your Target Market and also for finally resuming the A-Z of Marketing.

Mary-Anne

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Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Market Research

Market research doesn’t have to be a pesky phone call during dinner; many of your customers would love to tell you what they think (if you’re willing to listen).

This post will outline how to ask the right questions to ensure your market research effort helps you with the planning and development of your business. The consideration of questionnaire design and its mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection will easily give you the insights you need to grow your business.

How to Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research can be as simple as posting a series of designs on your Facebook page and asking people to vote for which they like the most, to more in depth methods such as emailing your recent customers with 5 questions about their experience with you. It can also be  quite complex, by designing a multiple page survey through a survey interface and sending it out across multiple networks to measure attitudes and perceptions about the category you operate in.

Our first post on the Wise Up Marketing Blog was 5 Steps to host your own Census! (Or Market Research for Small Business), after being unnaturally excited by completing the 2011 Census. Here we explored 5 steps from defining your problem to designing your questionnaire. We followed up a week later with the post Turning Surveys into Solutions which gave an overview of how to analyse your responses and turn the data into answers for your marketing questions.

On reflecting on those two posts, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to define your problem before you start. Market research is like detective work, you have a hunch but you need to collect all the clues before you know if you are right; you might even end up finding a whole new case to work on.

What is Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data are the answers we collect from our market research that are open ended. They are the responses we get in the respondent’s own words, not constricted by scales or structure. Qualitative data gives us the “why”, not the statistics and numbers.

We use qualitative research to gain insights into people’s attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and motivations. We collect qualitative data by asking open ended questions

E.g. ”What do you think?” “Tell me about a time….” “Explain why…”

We often need to use explorative techniques to draw out more information from respondents, as such qualitative data is best collected in face to face interviews, focus groups and (the dreaded) phone interviews.

Although it is not common to see open ended text boxes on surveys we all complete;

E.gUse this space to tell us any other thoughts”, “Is there anything else you would like to add”, “Describe why you like the first design”

It is not possible for us to “flesh out” those answers or clarify comments that seem more valuable. Most small business will not have the time or resources to run face to face market research and we don’t recommend attempting your own phone interviews. We recommend however still including open ended questions in your survey, with strong prompts;

e.g. describe; in your words; what do you think about; if you could have any feature

What is Quantitative Data?

When we told you qualitative data was not the statistics and numbers we held back telling you that is precisely what quantitative data is. Quantitative data tells us “how many” people think, feel or act in a particular way.

We collect quantitative data as part of our market research by asking closed questions that limit the way in which people can respond. These may be yes or no (dichotomous), multiple choice, rankings or rating scales.

These answers give you the “hard facts” and statistics and also allow you to compare different groups of people directly against each other:

e.g. 30% of Men liked our new design vs 20% of women

With quantitative data it is important to ensure you get a large volume of responses, as we use these responses to make generalisations. You don’t want to change your strategy because 80% of respondents didn’t like your product range, if only 5 people responded.

Feel free to download this infographic that’s a quick reference on Qualitative and Quantitative data. Qualitative and Quantitative data in Market Research

Market research is a marketing activity that can be undertaken for free, costing you just your time, but the benefits of getting to know your target market ensures your products and services are meeting their wants and needs; and that can lead to a more profitable and efficient business.

Until next week, Q is for Qualitative and Quantitative data and also Questions; do you have any you’d like answered? Drop me an email at Maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au

Mary-Anne

P.s. This will be the last post for the year; we will come back to the A-Z of Marketing with the letter R on January 12. Have a happy and healthy break, see you in 2012.

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


How to Brand for Success

What is a BrandYou know the importance of brands, you see them in your everyday life however, do you realise how years of exposure and experience have built up your perceptions of those brands and have shaped the interactions you choose to have with them? This post will give you a greater understanding of what a brand is and how you can brand your business for success.

What is a Brand

A brand is the combination of tangible and intangible benefits that work together to create a value. That value is known as brand equity. Your brand encompasses your name, logo, colour and sounds. It distinguishes you from the competition and when successfully executed will foster positive connections to your consumer.

Brand Perception

Every time you see, hear, touch, smell or taste a brand, you are forming opinions and as those opinions are processed, you develop brand perceptions. Put simply, brand perception is how favourable or unfavourable a consumer feels about a brand at any point in time. Brand perceptions are constantly shifting; think of your experiences from being a child to now, how has your brand perception of McDonalds changed? As a child you probably felt it was the best place to go for lunch, as you got older you started to feel differently. You formed different opinions about the McDonalds brand and your perceptions evolved meaning you might not connect with the brand like you once did.

Building a Brand

Building a brand is not a short term strategy. To be successful, brands need a balance between time and investment to grow; limited time and high investment is one strategy but for most of us starting out we build our brand with limited investment and so we need to appreciate that it will take time.

With limited investment word of mouth becomes the most cost effective way of building a brand. The more people are talking about you positively, the more desirable your brand will become. Social Media has increased the simplicity of maximising word of mouth promotion, but don’t get caught up in the numbers game. Having 3,000 “likers” on Facebook means little unless they liked you to connect with your brand, not just to win a prize or to get a like back on their own page.

Just as people invest in property to build equity from its increase in value, we aim to build equity in our brand to increase its value to our consumers.  The equity comes from perceptions of trust, quality, reliability and value for money. As these
perceptions grow in our brands favour, so too does the value of our brand. The more valuable your brand is perceived as being, the more desirable it is to your consumers as your brand equity increases so too will demand.

How to Brand

5 Brand Strategy Truths

1. Stand For Something

What to name a new business seems to be one of the most widely debated topics during the start up phase, with everyone having an opinion and the business owner struggling to make what seems like the most critical decision. My advice is to take a breath and relax. Your brand name doesn’t need to be too clever, cute or catchy. Think about the brands you come in to contact with. The most traditional come from family names – Arnotts, Kelloggs, Myer while the modern seem to make no sense at first but over time they became familiar – Ikea, Apple, Nespresso. The most important factor for a brand is ensuring it stands for something, something you can explain and something that will make a connection to your customer, adding value.

2. Get To The Essence Of It

Brand Essence is a single statement that defines what your brand stands for. The Brand Essence will guide everything you do, from what you sell, to how you promote, to the tone of every message you send out. The Brand Essence will become the reason why consumers choose you instead of the competition. Crafting a unique, inspiring and motivating Brand Essence will engage your consumers and create loyalists. Your brand essence, if succinct, can become your tagline complementing your brand name and logo.

3.       Repeat Yourself, Repeat Yourself, Repeat Yourself

We all know that the more times our brand is seen the greater recall it will have. After all repetition goes a long way to developing memory (remember learning your times tables – we recited the same lines over and over again until we could sing automatically “3 times 5 is 15, 4 x 5 is 20”, along with some mumbling here and there). Brand everything you can. Anything that leaves your desk should leave with a brand on it, as every product is a mini advertisement for your business. If you make a product, ensure you attach a label with your brand on it (and your website if it will fit). If you import a product put a label on it “distributed by” with your brand. Develop a digital signature so every email goes out with your brand name and how to find you. Repeat it enough times and it will start to be remembered.

4.       Consistency Is Critical

Brand is King. All Hail the King. We must worship our brand identity and pay our respect to our brand with consistency. This means your logo should present the same across your business cards, website, flyers and beyond. Further than that, if you use a tagline then you need to consider when you will use it. It may not be practical to always use it, but as long as you keep it consistent e.g. always on printed materials, but not on your product you will still be maintaining consistency.  Develop a short brand identity guide and send it with your logo if someone else has requested to use it. Have your designer give you a version of your logo on a black background and one on a white background. Stipulate in your brand identity guide when to use each so external parties know what to do if your logo won’t work on their very dark website

5.       Brands can Evolve

In most big organisations, every 12 – 18 months they research the market and get a read on how their consumers feel about their brand. They compare this to the previous year and to the competition and create strategies to exploit their strengths and defend any weaknesses. This can mean a tweak to the logo to appear more modern, a change to the tagline to reflect a new brand essence or an update to the product mix to be more competitive, and so thereby evolving the
brand. Many small businesses worry about making changes to their brand, but it is important to remember that brand evolution is natural and is a sign you are shifting to remain competitive. Generally I would say any small change is
survivable. You can change an element of your business name but not all. Aim to think big at the beginning – will Julia’s Gifts for Girls service your business long term? Or are you better starting as Julia’s Precious Presents with a tagline “Girly gifts to treasure” that could evolve to “gorgeous gifts to treasure” if you decided to add toys for boys.

How to brand your business will depend of course on the unique factors such as your target market, your competitive environment and your offering. Get in touch today and tell us about your business and we can work with you on strategies to increase your brand equity or have a look at our current packages.

Until next week, B is for Brand and also for vanity.

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing Solutions


Turning Surveys into Solutions

Last week we took an in depth look at Market Research and how to hold your own census, and we promised to follow with how to analyse your results, so here it is!

In our discussion of the 5 steps to host your own census, the first step was to:

Define your problem We generally undertake Market Research to solve or shed more light on a problem e.g. “Why are our sales decreasing?” Or to prove or disprove a theory e.g We are losing sales because our prices are too high. So start by writing your problem down at the top of your page, as a nice big heading, everything from here has to help us solve that.

So dig out your piece of paper (which if its anything like ours now has coffee stains, phone messages and assorted flower doodles all over it) and refresh your memory as to why you went to all this trouble in the first place. What were you wanting to shed more light on? What question needed answering? Which theory needed proving? When it comes to analysis, this problem will again be the hero at the top of our page. By the time we finish mining the data we received, we want to feel informed and educated and ready to spring into action.

If you used Survey Monkey, take advntage of the inbuilt analysis tools or transfer your data to a spreadsheet. If you used email or a form, you will need to collate all your data into a useable format (If you are confident using a program such as Microsoft Excel or Mac Numbers, I would highly recommend it as this will allow you to evaluate your data and turn the responses into tables and chart,s bringing your findings to life visually).

When we designed our survey we looked into the importance of different question types. Now that we are ready to analyse, we need to consider how we asked the question, in order to decide how to analyse it:

  1. Qualitative answers are best typed as a list and read over a few times, before making generalisations, identifying themes and noting any key insights. When it comes to qualitative responses we have to think about weighting, not getting too caught up in what one person says and we need to think about responses as a whole in context of who our target market is this is. This is where our demographics help (more on that later…). With our qualitative data if we left an area for other comments, we would read over all responses and make generalisations like “most consumers think we are doing a good job and don’t need to change anything”, “when asked for any other websites they use often, a few responses mentioned eBay”
  2. Quantitative answers can be easily analysed by summing and averaging responses and also by comparing different demographic groups. The great thing about quantitative data is that you have set the boundaries of the response type in your inital question design, making collating the data and drilling down (moving from a top-level view to sub groups of respondents) much easier. If you click the image below, we have completed some examples of creating data tables to collate responses, and then using different charts to make the data come to life.
  3. The Demographic questions which we ask at the end of our survey put the responses into context. This allows us to break out each question into different groups, to look at how those groups differ and also discard responses from groups that we may not deem relevant to our survey. As an example of how the context will help ensure we make our decision based on relevant results, first consider the above graphic where we saw that 54% of all respondents liked our current layout a lot, initially this is exciting news, but, is it relevant? If we then look at the graphic below, and imagine our target market is Women aged 56-70, we can see how valuable splitting by demographic is, all of a sudden we are presented with the fact that of all women surveyed only 7% aged 56-70 like our layout a lot, compared with 20% aged 41-55 and 18% aged 26-40, this immediately puts up a red flag (where we thought we had a lovely green one). It seems as though our current layout is too young for our target market, we would then look at responses between these three groups to other questions to diagnose the specific issues, and then form an action plan.

Once you get started you may find analysing your data is a bit like falling down a rabbit hole. You start thinking of more and more questions and keep drilling down in different ways to get the answers. At the end you should hopefully have some very powerful insight to assist you with your initial problem, plus a whole lot of answers that you didn’t know you asked for.

So now you need to spring to action, but first a final thought:

  1. Reflect – take a moment to think about everything you have learned and consider are you looking at the good and the bad?
  2. Listen – what are the top 10 useful facts?
  3. Re-Confirm – clarify with your target market that you have understood ask another one or two questions let them know how valuable their input has been so far
  4. Act – take what your target market are telling you and implement and tell them you did it because of their input
  5. Start again – do it all again in 6 months. Look for the changes in responses and whether your action improved key areas

So how did your survey go? If you need more help with how to analyse, just let us know where you get stuck! Next week we will launch a 26 part blog, we are very excited about it… any ideas what it might be?

Mary-Anne

www.facebook.com/WiseUpMarketingSolutions


5 Steps to host your own Census! (Or Market Research for Small Business)

Being a passionate and dedicated Marketer, over the years I have become near obsessed with measuring; measuring results, measuring profitability and of course measuring the target market. To the average Australian the Census is 20 minutes of their life spent form filling, of which there seems to be no immediate benefit and no future return. For me, the avid Marketer the Census means the collation of data that will allow demographers (people who study the populations characteristics), students and marketers (and I am sure others), the opportunity to extract data, compare shifts, and come up with fantastic statistics – like “43% of Australians had Take Away for dinner on Census night” (Ok so maybe not that one).

So already on a Census high, when I came across a question about Market Research on a Motivating Mum Forum by Clever Mama owner Danielle, I decided the topic to explore in my first blog post was staring me in the face! Market Research for Small Business.

Creating a survey, sending it out and analysing the results is not new news in the Marketing World, however the digital age has certainly made it a lot easier. I personally recommend Survey Monkey, it’s Free (for a basic package), easy to distribute, it presents very well and most of all it has great in-built analysis tools, while still letting you download all the data to excel to really get into the nitty-gritty of it. Although if you don’t want to get that technical, you can make a survey in word, email it out, then collate the results in an excel spreadsheet.

So big or small,  here are the 5 Steps to host your own Census!

  1. Define your problem We generally undertake Market Research, to solve or shed more light on a problem e.g. Why are our sales decreasing? Or to prove or disprove a theory e.g We are losing sales because our prices are too high. So start by writing this down at the top of your page, as a nice big heading, everything from here has to help us solve that problem.
  2. Brainstorm your content Now start to brainstorm, write down words, sentences, thoughts, competitor brands, anything you think is contributing to your problem, anything you would like to know more about that would help. Imagine your ultimate consumer is sitting in front you, this is your chance to pick their brain, as at the end of all this we want to know our ultimate consumer inside out.
  3. Organise your questions Although it has been disproved that the attention span of a goldfish is 3 seconds, when it comes to Market Research it’s best to still think that is a fact, so less is best. We want as many full responses as possible, and to get this we need to maximise attention, therefore we need to minimise effort and time to complete the survey. There are two types of questions we can ask, as explained in the picture below. Using quantitative techniques will maximise completion as they are quick and easy to answer, and will also maximise your ability to undertake simple analysis.
  4. Create your Survey Organise your questions logically, so you uncover more at each question, use quantitative first, then finish with one or two qualitative so your consumer has a chance to tell you anything you didn’t think to ask . e.g 1. Select the brands you have heard of from the list below. 2. Have you heard of Wise Up? 3. On the scale below select how you feel about the Wise Up brand. 4. Rank the 10 characteristics below in order of importance when you are selecting a Marketing partner 5. Now rate out of 5 how you feel Wise Up performs on each Characteristic. 6. What services do you wish Wise Up also provided (please list below) 7. Is there anything else you think would help us improve? (please write in the box).
  5. Don’t forget the demographics It is important to end with some demographic questions (think of the Census!) it could help to know Gender, Age Bracket, Country / State of residence, Metro / Regional etc, these help in 2 ways, firstly we can make sure we only analyse relevant answers e.g If your product is women’s lipstick you might want to discard data supplied by Men, or females under 15 and secondly we can look for differences by demographic e.g 60% of Women 18-25 like our logo but 70% of women 26-34 don’t like our logo, depending on who we are targeting this is more valuable than knowing 55% off all respondents liked our logo. Demographics help us put our findings into perspective, and paint the picture of who our ultimate consumer is.

Now all that’s left to do is try your survey out on a few friends first, iron out any wrinkles, then take a deep breath and send en masse.

Next week I will do a post on how to analyse your survey responses, but in the meantime, have you done any surveys before? How did you design them? How was the response? Or are you working on one now, feel free to send your draft to me and I’ll help you iron out the wrinkles.

Mary-Anne

www.facebook.com/WiseUpMarketingSolutions

 


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