Marketing Research Know Your Customers

Marketing Research: Know Your Customers
Having a​ competitive advantage over other businesses targeting the​ same market as​ yours is​ a​ basic,​ survival must: many choose to​ develop longterm relationships with their customers,​ in​ an​ attempt to​ create such competitive advantage .​
Knowing your customers is​ crucial,​ and it​ is​ quite a​ different thing from knowing their buying behavior .​
It is​ every marketer's dream to​ have real,​ up-to-date information about consumers: their preferences,​ opinions,​ attitudes,​ beliefs,​ interests,​ education level,​ behavior are the​ base of​ understanding their needs .​
Businesses often employ Marketing research to​ determine the​ consumers' degree of​ acceptance of​ a​ new product,​ and the​ reason behind this is​ the​ fact that launching a​ new product without a​ real demand would involve much more costs than actual market research .​
Plus,​ a​ failed product launch is​ not only damaging for a​ business' finances but also its image and reputation.
Any marketing research upon consumers' profile should address at​ least the​ following questions:
Who makes the​ market of​ a​ product?
A company active on​ any given market must ask itself who its customers are .​
Are they mostly young people,​ or​ perhaps elderly? Women or​ men? What would their income levels be? This is​ the​ demographic information that can be a​ starting point in​ creating a​ customer profile .​
What do people buy?
Is there a​ certain product consumers seem to​ prefer? Can we detect a​ trend of​ migrating to​ a​ given product? Will the​ market accept new products or​ changes in​ existing ones? These questions could offer a​ perspective on​ the​ mechanisms triggering buying decisions; the​ answers could indicate just how open to​ changes customers are .​
Why do people buy?
Many businesses ignore the​ reasons why their customers choose one product or​ another .​
While we all know that impulse buying is​ a​ reality,​ most purchases are still made on​ reasons of​ benefits,​ value,​ satisfaction .​
Hence,​ we should ask ourselves Why certain products are more popular among consumers and are perceived as​ being superior to​ others?
Who takes the​ buying decision?
It is​ critical to​ know who is​ actively involved in​ the​ buying process,​ as​ the​ users of​ a​ product are not necessarily the​ ones to​ buy it .​
For example,​ food items destined to​ children are normally bought by a​ parent,​ which means the​ advertising messages should be aimed at​ parents and not at​ children .​
Identifying the​ real decision makers is​ an​ important part of​ any consumers research study.
How is​ the​ buying decision taken?
What are the​ reasons followed by consumers when making a​ buying decision? a​ marketer should remember that these reasons are likely to​ be influenced by a​ variety of​ social,​ cultural,​ economic factors .​
When do people buy?
Some products are requested and are offered only in​ certain periods of​ a​ year,​ as​ demand can be driven by social or​ cultural factors (think of​ seasonal holidays,​ for example) .​
Consumers' lifestyle might also dictate the​ day or​ week when shopping is​ done.
Where do people buy?
Identifying the​ preferred location for people to​ buy is​ yet another important task in​ researching consumers' behaviour .​
Where do they buy from? Supermarkets? the​ corner shop? New,​ creative venues can be employed,​ such as​ e-commerce web sites .​
Marketing research relies on​ other sciences as​ well,​ such as​ psychology or​ sociology .​
Being able to​ develop the​ products consumers need,​ and then market them in​ accordance to​ the​ consumers' behavior lay the​ basis for competitive advantages and shape the​ strategic decisions a​ business must make.

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