For this blog, you’ll need your binoculars, tape recorder, telephoto lens, phone bug and… just kidding.
All you REALLY need for some good, old-fashioned dirt-digging is your computer, your common sense and your courtesy. Here’s the deal…
Knowing where to advertise is half the battle when you’re making your marketing decisions. And deciding where to advertise starts with an understanding of your customers’ interests. What do they read, watch and do? Where do they travel, relax and work? When do they buy, daydream and socialize?
The answers will give you important clues about where you should lay those marketing dollars.
You can pay an arm, a leg and a first-born child to have demographic and target market research managed by professional firms. And if you’re on your way to Fortune 500 status, this may well be a viable and valuable option. But, if you’re a smaller company with a budget to match, there is another way.
So, let’s start our respectful “snooping”, shall we…
Lay It All Out There
Let’s start with the most forthright fountain of information – the customers themselves. Asking well-thought-out questions with total transparency makes people feel comfortable, excites an eagerness to help and provides you with just what you need to know. Questionnaires, surveys and “how did you hear about us?” at the cash register are excellent places to start.
Do the majority of your customers read the Sunday paper? Then that’s the perfect day and place to advertise your kite repair service!
Do they spend week nights on Facebook? Post your pizza coupons!
Travel the highways on their work commute? Get those hand-brewed coffee billboards up!
Working Social Media
Savvy marketer that you are, you’ve been on Facebook (or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or…) for ages, “friend”ing your wonderful customers, and building up “likes” on your business page. You’re posting great information regularly. But are you “listening” as well as you “talk”?
Your customers’ comments, the pages they “like”, and the causes they support are valuable nuggets of marketing information. A runners’ shop might notice that their fans are all raving about a particular race. Perfect! It will receive the shop’s full support – advertising and man-power – next year. Maybe you catch your customers quoting regularly from The Wall Street Journal. An ad there could be worth it’s weight in gold.
This is non-creepy, perfectly respectful information gathering at it’s finest.
Through friendly chats and social media, you’ve learned about events, shops and restaurants that your customers totally “dig”. Now go the next step.
The ones that pop up regularly in these conversations are ones you should consider visiting. There may be marketing options there, OR you may be wise to advertise where they’re advertising OR a visit may inspire some zany and wonderful marketing ideas. Just be creative!
Understand that I in no way condone underhanded, disrespectful or illicit acquisition of information.
So, rather than private eyes and magnifying glasses, think in terms of honest curiosity. The information is there. See what you can discover!
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neal Hurston
Dawn M. Tomczyk | DMT Artistry LLC | 810.923.4582 | firstname.lastname@example.org