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Market Research Through Customer Profiles

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 6, 2008

A marketing plan must be highly detailed and also explain what strategies you will use to reach out to customers. Before you can develop a strategy, however, you need to have a firm understanding of the requirements and desires of the people in your market in order to determine the appropriate product features and benefits that they demand. While a thorough market research study can be costly, small businesses can build their customer profiles by following some simple steps:

•Profile your best customers so that your marketing strategy is consistent with their needs, wants, and desires.
•Define your typical customer’s lifestyle and habits. For example, are they loyal to brands? Do they seek only the best deals? Do they like one-stop shopping? Will they select quality over price?
•Calculate the average income for the area or region in which you intend to operate to help you with pricing.
•Find out the average age of the population in your area so you understand how best to communicate with them.

This last step is especially important these days. According to the Census Bureau, between now and 2010, the number of people in the U.S. between the ages of 55 and 64 will increase by 47%. As an entrepreneur, you need to be mindful of how this demographic shift will affect your business.

Charlie Fewell
Charlie Fewell & Associates
Memphis, Tenn.

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