Before you take on social media, advertising, or other marketing and promotions tactics, it's best to begin by identifying your overall goals and strategy. In this chapter, you will find tips on developing a marketing strategy for your business that will guide your day-to-day efforts.
Market research is essential to answer key questions about your market and make sure your marketing efforts are reaching the right prospective customers. You should conduct both primary research (gathering your own information from customers) and secondary research (using existing data from outside sources, such as government agencies and market research firms).
Identify key information about your markets by conducting market research. This typically includes:
a. Demographics: For consumers, demographics include age, race, sex, marital status and children. For business-to-business sales, determine factors such as the average company size, years in business, industry, product/service sold and number of employees.
b. Size: How big is the market? Is it growing or shrinking?
c. Geographic location: Are your customers moving to new regions or are you expanding to new regions? Find out where your market is growing and where it is shrinking.
d. Income level or sales: If you are targeting consumers, what is their average income? If you are targeting business customers, what are their average sales?
e. Purchasing habits: What are the spending habits of your customers? How much do they spend on your type of product or service?
f. Sales channels: How do your customers prefer to buy your type of products and services? Online? In a store? By phone? Through a salesperson?
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