Why bother to Research your Customers & Target Clients?
There are numerous benefits to gathering information about your customers and target clients, for example:
- you can discover what your customers and target clients really want so you can provide the right products and services
- you can get insights into how they make their buy decisions – some people make spontaneous decisions; others gather information, evaluate it and then decide. If you knew where they gathered information from, whether it was customer reviews on websites selling these products, forums, social media, or by asking friends, family, colleagues you could ensure that your marketing message and information about your products and services were available in those places.
- it enables you to create a marketing message that attracts their attention – a message that resonates with them – that speaks to them in their language
- it can help you segment your market into target clients with particular characteristics or interests or resident in a specific area
- it can give you sufficient understanding of your market to determine your position vis-à-vis other players. This can help you to differentiate your offering or develop a unique marketing message.
- knowledge of where people buy. Information such as this enables you to select the best distribution channels for getting your product or service into customers’ hands.
- the ability to make a range of informed decisions about your business
- preparing key documents such as a feasibility study if you’re evaluating a new business idea and business plans when you need to raise financing
Research may seem like a lot of work but its importance to the success of a business should never be underestimated. It’s the foundation of sound business decisions and running a successful business.
Market research is one of the most important things you can do no matter what type of business you’re in and no matter what the size or location of your company. If there’s no market for your product or service or no longer a market, you’ll struggle to survive.
It’s essential that throughout the life of your business you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your market.
Starting a business
If you’re about to start a business you need to know about your target market and target customers. You need to be able to take an informed decision as to whether to proceed with your business idea, whether it needs modifying or whether you have to come up with something completely different. It may be that there’s limited demand for your product or service or the market is so saturated it will be hard to penetrate unless you’re really able to differentiate your product or service.
Expanding a business
If you already have a business you may be thinking about new products or services or moving into new markets – perhaps a new niche or a different geographical area. Again knowing what people want is essential. A survey also keeps the communication lines open between you and the people who’ve already bought from you – they know that you care about their opinion and their needs when you ask them to complete a survey. They’re also your ambassadors and are likely to tell their world about the new products or services that you’re planning or are about to launch.
Surviving in business
In any business it’s vital that you remain constantly up to speed about the market your business operates in, its suppliers and customers, your competitors – both direct and indirect, emerging and declining trends and so on so that you know the issues your target market experiences, the kind of subjects they want to hear more about, what products and services they need, how you can help them. If you fail to do this then you reduce your chances of survival. A survey is a great tool to help you to do this.