Why Targeting Your Market Is Essential to Your Business

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Introduction

Every business needs a target market in order to focus its marketing efforts effectively.

  • What Is a Target Market?
    A target market is a clearly defined group of people for you to direct your marketing efforts to.
  • Why Laser-Target Your Market?
    In marketing, you either hit or miss; there is no in-between. Defining your market gives you somewhere to aim.
  • Benefits and Solutions
    If you know your target market’s pain or problems, you can provide the solution they’re looking for.

Conclusion

Never make assumptions. Listen to what your target market says and base your marketing decisions on that data.

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The Essentials of Market Research

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Introduction

Market research helps you create a profile of your perfect customer so that you can formulate your business strategies with precision.

  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data
    Quantitative data looks at the big picture and yields statistical results that show overall trends. Quantitative data goes deeper and gives you more subjective data.
  • Your Target Market Profile
    The goal of your market research is to create a profile of one individual who is your perfect customer.

Conclusion

Marketing is a science and you should be ready to make discoveries. Some of what you learn about your target market will surprise you.

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The Top 5 Methods of Online Market Research

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Introduction

There are 5 great ways to research your market online aside from basic keyword research.

  • Online Surveys
    Online surveys allow you to ask your market questions anonymously and much of the process can be automated.
  • Blog Questions
    You can ask questions on your blog and encourage them to leave their input.
  • Your Email List
    Your list of email subscribers is a built-in, pre-screened audience that’s great for seeking feedback.
  • Forums and Q&A Sites
    Forums and question-and-answer sites offer data on all kinds of topics.
  • Social Networks
    Social networks are places where people openly share their likes and interests.

Conclusion

Even though you can discover lots of information online, don’t abandon your offline market research.

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How to Use Online Surveys to Research Your Market

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Introduction

To get the data you need to know, you have to create a survey that asks the right questions.

  • Stick to One Issue
    Each survey should be on only one topic.
  • What to Ask
    Your questions shouldn’t be open-ended, leading, or potentially offensive to your respondents.
  • Tools to Make It Easier
    There are a number of tools designed to make creating, conducting and analyzing surveys easier.

Conclusion

It’s good to offer an incentive or reward for taking the time to participate in your survey.


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Learn about Your Market through Your Blog

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Introduction

You can find out all kinds of information about your target market through your blog.

  • Ask a Question
    End your blog posts with a question and encourage your readers to give their two cents.
  • Always Answer Comments
    Reply to all comments, letting them know that you’re there and you’re responsive to them. Get a conversation going.
  • Email for More Info
    When you want to know more about a commenter’s opinion, email them personally.
  • Making Your Blog a Nice Neighborhood
    Make your blog a supportive place where people aren’t afraid to comment or ask questions.
  • Use Comments for Future Posts
    Turn your readers’ comments into future blog posts.
  • Spy on Your Competition
    Read your competition’s blog as well.

Conclusion

The same basic techniques can be used to engage customers and learn more about them on other sites as well.


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How to Use Email to Better Understand Your Market

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Introduction

Email is a cheap, easy and fast way to find out more about your target market.

  • Email Makes It Easy
    Email surveys are extremely easy for both you and your respondents.
  • Opinion Surveys by Email
    Opinion surveys require a little more from your respondents but can yield more in-depth information.
  • The Dreaded Delete Button
    Keep your respondents from deleting your emails by clearly stating what the emails are all about and what they can expect.
  • Spicing up Your Surveys
    Add images or other media to your email surveys to make them more interesting.
  • Take Advantage of Software Programs
    Software programs automate everything for you.
  • Share the Results
    Share the results with your respondents through email or your blog.

Conclusion

Before conducting surveys by email, make sure your target market is online. Some consumers aren’t.


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Fly on the Wall – Where to Go Online to Listen to Your Market

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Introduction

The Internet offers lots of great places to go and listen to your target market give their opinions and share their interests.

  • Forums and Q&A Sites
    Forums and question-and-answer sites show you what topics are hot and what people are saying about them.
  • Social Networking Sites
    Social networking sites allow you to interact directly with your target market and discover exactly what they’re into.

Conclusion

No matter where you go to listen to your market, the flow is the same: Identify your market, find out where they hang out, and use that site to gather information about them.


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Keeping Track of Your Changing Market

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Introduction

People’s tastes change and you need to keep researching your market.

  • Conduct Regular Market Research
    Make market research a regular part of your business’s operations.
  • Improve Your Offerings
    Use the data you gather to improve your products and services.
  • Keep in Touch Online
    Stay in communication with your market through the Internet.
  • Sign up for Alerts
    Sign up for alert services so that you’ll know whenever your business’s name is mentioned.

Conclusion

Never assume that your customers’ tastes will stay the same.


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Your Perfect Customer – How to Create a Target Market Profile

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Introduction

The goal of market research is to create a profile or your perfect customer.

  • Demographic Information
    Demographic information is data about your customer including age, gender, location, education level, income and family structure.
  • Lifestyle and Hobbies
    What your customers do on the weekends and their interests are also important.
  • Morals and Values
    Learn how they see themselves and how they feel about the world around them.
  • Pain Points
    Pain points are essential because you’re going to be offering your product as a solution.
  • Shopping Habits
    How they shop and use the products they buy is also key information.

Conclusion

You need as specific a picture as possible or you run the risk of casting your net too wide.


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Offline Methods for Conducting Market Research

This post originally appeared on CoffeeBreakUniversity.com

Introduction

You can do a great deal of market research on the Internet, but it’s no substitute for offline research techniques.

  • In-Person Surveys
    In-person surveys are usually conducted one-on-one in shopping centers or other public places.
  • Focus Groups
    A focus group is a small group of people from your target you can get together to discuss products and other things of interest to them.
  • Observations
    Marketers observe shoppers in their natural habitat and sometimes conduct follow-up interviews.
  • Live Events
    Live events allow your customers to interact directly with your brand and products.

Conclusion

The best practice is to use both online and offline methods to learn about your target market.


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