Being a business owner in today’s extremely diverse consumer-driven world can be daunting. How does one advertise successfully? The first step is identifying your individual market segments. How can a seemingly homogenous market be separated and categorized? Don’t worry, there are numerous, easily recognizable groups of consumers that tend to respond to certain marketing or promotions in predictable ways. First, you must learn to recognize and try to connect with each type of group, or segment. Let’s start with a few of the basics.
Demographics, Geographic Location & Financial Information
These three are the first and foremost important variables in market segmentation. From here, you can begin to break it down even further into highly specific groups.
Let’s say you want to promote your business to an area in Northeast America. Is it an urban area? Suburban? Rural? There’s your geographic location. Now, what is the average age of New Englanders? Most common race or ethnicity? Gender? Political orientation? Just a little research about basic demographics using a simple Internet search engine and you’re well on your way.
Now for financial information. This can be determined through some demographic digging as well. For example, what is the proportion of college graduates in your target research zone? This is just one way to find out what the typical employment and salary level of a specific research area.
Exactly how much more involved in this research process one gets is up to the individual business owner. A lot of time and money can be invested at this stage, and not all businesses have the resources and funds available. This is where your own intuition and judgment can become vital.
Why Is This Important?
Because once you’ve analyzed who it is you’re marketing towards, you can choose a marketing strategy that will prove the most financially efficient.
Everyone knows that old adage “Time is money.” If you take your time and study up on your potential market segments accurately and thoroughly the first time, your business will see the profitable results quickly. In plain English, if you know to whom you’re trying to sell, you’ll be rolling in the dough before you know it!
On the other hand, if you do your marketing research and narrow down your field of customers or clientele to a group you think is the most advantageous, but you don’t see encouraging results right away, don’t give up! There are countless, low cost ways you can adjust your marketing strategies or your intended clientele. This is where networking can come in handy.
Brainstorm your ideas with other businessmen and entrepreneurs. Ask questions. No one has all the answers. Owning your own business and conducting marketing and advertising is, just like life, a learn-as-you-go process.
What online tools do you use to analyze market segments?
About the Author
Mickie Kennedy is the founder and president of eReleases, the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998.
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