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Define Your Customer

Customers are the cornerstone of every successful business. But before you can start attracting customers, you need to know who your customers are.

That’s where market research comes in. Market research is an organized effort to gather information about your target customers. It’s the foundation of a good business plan, and a critical component of your overall business strategy.

Know Your Market

Market research is necessary not only to learn about who your customers are and how to best appeal to them, but also to learn more about your competition.

Effective market research can tell you how your target customers are currently being served, what works, what doesn’t, and what opportunities exist in your market for expansion and growth.

While conducting your market research, focus on answering the following questions about your customers:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Where is your target audience located?
  3. What does your target audience think about your brand?
  4. What do you want your target audience to think about your brand?
  5. How will you attract your target audience to your products / services?
  6. Who else is trying to attract your target audience?
  7. Are you targeting businesses or consumers?

Create a Marketing Plan

Developing a marketing plan will help you to strategize how you will get your service or products to your target customer base. It helps you to familiarize yourself with your typical customer and their patterns and tendencies.

The more closely that you can tailor your business to the correct customer base, the more successful your business will be.

In order to have an effective marketing plan, you need to have a clear idea of your business’s range of services and products. It is important to be able to articulate answers to the following questions in regards to the service or product that you are offering:

  • What is the purpose of the product or service that you are providing?
  • What need does your product satisfy?
  • How is your product or service delivered to the customer?
  • What is the cost to the customer?
  • What is unique about your product or service?
  • What benefit does your product or service provide your customer?
  • Why should a customer choose you over a competitor?

In addition, a good marketing plan should cover the “8 Ps” about your product:

  1. Price: What you will charge for your product.
  2. Product: What your product/service is.
  3. Promotion: How you will advertise your product.
  4. Placement: Where you will sell your product.
  5. People: Who you will sell your product to.
  6. Physical environment: The tone of the environment your product occupies.
  7. Process: The value-added services that differentiate your product from your competitors (for example, after-sales service, warranties).
  8. Packaging: How you will package/protect your product.

Understanding who your typical customers are will help you to better design your business. A marketing plan will equip you with the knowledge and information needed to help you reach your target customer base.

A successful business gets their product or service out to those who are interested in a precise and effective manner.

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