We live in a world where our customer can not only talk to us but about us, be it favourably or negatively. We can reach out and engage with them in conversation and gather information about their problems, needs, desires and opinions, either by directly asking them questions or by listening to them on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. We can draw them around us and form our own little tribe. Doing so provides us with invaluable information that can guide us in our business decisions whether we are just starting out in or are about to take an existing business to the next level.
Finding out what your target clients want is vital if you’re going to run a successful business. Whether you’re a solo service professional or running a small or medium-sized business, whilst you are probably already clear on who your target clients are do you really know what they want and what their buying behaviour is? Are you really sure you are providing the solution to their problems and in the way that they want?
Perhaps your products, programs, and/or services are not selling as well as you thought they would or as they used to do. Maybe there is a mismatch between what your market wants and what you’re providing them with. It might be that you are providing the solutions based on what YOU think the problems are rather than what your target market wants.
The only real way to find out is by doing some market research. This applies whether you are the proud owner of an on-line or a ‘bricks and mortar’ business; if you are selling products or your professional services; whether you are just starting out or you want to move your business up to the next level. It’s really foolhardy to not do any market research at all and just guess what your target audience wants. When you realise how much valuable information market research provides you with you may well find yourself getting really excited about doing it!
Researching what’s going on in your market should be a continual activity so that you are constantly able to provide solutions to your customers’ problems and to give them what they want. You may one day discover that your target audience is no longer the ideal audience for you and your products or services or that you need to totally restructure and reposition your business. So never stop asking your target market what they want. The survival of your business depends on it!
If this article was of value to you then you may be interested in the book Understanding your customer – a guide to doing surveys.