Who Are Your Customers?

Learning how to position a marketing ploy can be difficult at times because of the research involved to determine your target audience. Once you know your target audience and what drives them, then the rest is fairly easy. But, how do you get there? By doing some market analysis.

Determine Customer Groups

First, you should look at the product or service you are selling and determine what type of customer groups would be more likely to purchase that product or service. If you are in the gaming industry, for example, (and have done any market research) you would already know that “The average game player is 34 years old…” and “The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 40 years old” (Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 2011, p. 1).

Determine Target Customer Needs

Second, you need to determine what your target customer needs are. What genre of games do they play frequently? What are the most popular games? Learning this data can help you decide what type of games to put into your ads that will draw attention.

Competition

Third, you need to keep a close eye on your competition. What are they advertising? What is their position in the market? Is there something that you do for your customers that they don’t? Maybe you offer game rentals whereas your competition doesn’t, or maybe you offer longer rental periods than your competition.

Pricing

Fourth, determining pricing for your product or service is essential in determining your competitiveness in the marketplace. If your prices are higher than your competition’s, then you will price yourself right out of business. If your prices are too low, then you will get sales, but you will still probably go out of business because your cash flow will be compromised. If you are in an industry where it is difficult to determine competitor pricing, such as the service industry, you also have the option to ask your potential customers what ranges of quotes they have received from other companies providing the same products or services are. Please keep in mind that your customers may low-ball you a little, though. They obviously want to pay the least amount for the most amount of product or service. If you are in a service industry where you could easily add an extra item or two to the already robust (I am sure) deal that you have offered, I would recommend it. You can also ask your new customers to refer your products / services to new people or businesses they know. After all, word-of-mouth is king in marketing.

Determine a Tagline

Fifth, you need to determine your tagline. This is the call to action that you will use in most of your advertising, at least for a while. It needs to be something catchy, something unforgettable, something that will reach out and grab people and something that people will remember. If you are in the gaming industry you will most likely want to advertise the latest, greatest, and hottest games available. But what makes you stand out from the competition? What would make customers want to come to you for that product or service? Also, make sure that your tagline, or slogan, reaches the right target customer group.

For the longest time Verizon Wireless used the tag line “Can you hear me now?” Now, they use “Rule the air”.

Other slogans:

Nike: Just Do It

BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine

M&M: The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand

Apple: Think Different

Where to Advertise

Sixth, where to advertise is also important. Most companies are turning to online advertising because 1) more people are online (and shop online) today than ever before, 2) print advertising is generally tossed into the trash, 3) ad-clicks are easily traceable vs. trying to figure out how many people actually looked at that ad you put into the newspaper, and 4) it is much easier to get an online ad out into the world than a newspaper ad or flyer. While, I still believe in the personal touch with flyers and some print ads (where they make sense), using online advertising in banners and through social networking outlets can be much more effective. However, learning to use social networking as a marketing avenue can be tricky so that you don’t constantly throw ads into your customers’ faces. Please see my blog titled Facebooking and Marketing…Use it Wisely for more information. The trick, though, is to determine where your target customer groups are looking. Additional market research on your target customers could reveal some interesting information on this one.

What is the best tagline that you have ever seen?

Entertainment Software Association (ESA). (2011). Industry facts. Retrieved from http://www.theesa.com/facts/index.asp

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