Do You Have A Customer Identity Crisis?
The trick is to determine what uniquely identifies your best customers. Fortunately, deriving this information is not difficult, and in many cases can be obtained from innocuous questions. Consider a manufacturer of baby goods and the fact that families with new babies often purchase multi-passenger vehicles. This manufacturer could build an effective mailing list by surveying recent car purchasers and noting which respondents had traded in sports cars for SUVs. Your information gathering technique of course will vary, but the identifying information always comprises the same three pieces -- demographic information, geographic location, and purchasing history. Demographic Information
Consumer behavior varies with age, sex, education, income, occupation, marital status, and family size. These demographic parameters are typically used to describe consumers, but they're not an exhaustive list. Perhaps the current brand of car or credit limit would more accurately determine your customer base, which reveals the dark side of demographics -- choosing which demographics to discard may be occasionally difficult. You may find yourself fighting the urge to know every minute detail about your customers. Bear in mind that too much information can be just as paralyzing as too little, and remember to choose wisely, because demographic information is the foundation of your customer analysis. Geographic Location
Trends in apartment renting and home ownership have proven the old adage "birds of a feather flock together," amazingly correct. Geographic location analysis paired with demographics reveals clusters of people with similar characteristics living near one another. This type of analysis creates maps where your customers live, which can yield additional clues on where to look for new customers. It's also worth noting that purchasing behavior is remarkably consistent within specific geographic areas, reflecting shared lifestyle traits. Market segmentation studies can build upon geographic analysis to produce studies of various customer types as well. Purchasing History
When did your customers last make a purchase? How often do they buy? How much do they typically spend? You can use these questions to assign a value category to your customers. If you're a consumer goods and services provider, you have all the purchase information you need right in your sales records. If that's not enough, or if you run a different type of business, you can find generalized purchasing history in census data.
Using what you know about current customers to identify likely new customers increases your chances significantly of finding new best customers. That in turn generates sound data to guide your product offerings, promotional programs, and overall marketing strategy.
Catenate, LLC is a web-based provider of detailed easy-to-use targeted geodemographic reports, through the Catosphere (catosphere.com) and related marketing services.
Innovators Role at Hard Times
One Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Imaging Systems laboratory said Carly Fiorina was a marketing person put in change of engineers who cared nothing about the art and beauty of technology. She just wanted saleable stock to bring to market.
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Pharmaceutical Corporation Specifics - overview
Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains serves mid-size and large clients in horizontal and vertical markets. Historically Great Plains Software was encouraging ISV partner to write third party modules and later on - Great Plains Software had a chance to select the product for incorporation into their core set of modules: Manufacturing, Project Accounting, Purchase Order Processing, Collection Management, etc.
Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART
We all know that nothing runs without a plan, and a plan cannot run without having its objectives set.That applies to any kind of plan, whether we're talking business or personal finances, university degrees or NGO programs, website promotion or weight loss.
The 7 Critical Steps to Formulating Your Annual Strategic Business Plan
Businesses tend to avoid doing their annual business plan thinking that it is an arduous task that does not accomplish much. Formulating your annual plan is, however, critical to your business success and if done correctly should be quick, easy and generate bottom line results.
ERP Role in Selling Your Mid-size Business - Microsoft Great Plains and CRM Example
If you own the mid-size business and actively work in it as executive manager or lead, say marketing, - you probably know exactly what needs to be done on the daily basis to keep it running. However, in many cases this business critical knowledge exists in your head only.
Sony's PSI Project
In 1989, Sony founded its Institute of Wisdom at the request of its founder Masaharu Ibuka and former chairman Akio Morita.What the Institute did was something only whispered for a time.
Business Results - Four Critical Success Factors
Scenario OneDuring a recent presentation, a business owner was given the following challenge. If 10 of his 100 employees were asked to name the top 3 organizational goals for the current year as they perceived them to be, would he receive the same 3 goals from everyone or would he receive 5, 10 or even 25 different goals? The business owner shook his head and thoughtfully responded, "No, I am sure that I would receive more than 3 goals.
Pave the Way to a Successful Strategic Plan
Many very successful business owners may never have had a formal strategic plan. Some think, "Why do we need to do strategic planning? We're doing great just like we are.
Alice In Wonderland - A Parable for A Business Plan
Remember reading "Alice in Wonderland?"She asks the Cheshire Cat, "which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where," said Alice.
Succession Planning: Problems Getting Started
A survey released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the spring of 2005 illustrates a widespread problem on the lack of succession planning [deciding who will take over running the firm when the current managers die or retire]. The survey found that 60% of responding certified public accountant (CPA) firms have owners who are in the 55-to-62-year-old age bracket, and more than half (56%) have at least one partner who will retire in the next five years.
Completing the Annual Planning Process
Imagine an office without a desk, or lights, a computer, or even something as simple as a chair. When the architects and designers started planning a building or office space they knew they would have to make concessions for these items during each of the building activities.
8 Ways to Earn More Without Working Harder
Conventional wisdom has it that there are only three ways to grow your business: find new customers, increase the amount of each sale to existing customers or get customers to buy more frequently. But I've seen business owners go blank when presented with those three options.
Why Six Sigma Will Work in Healthcare
If ever there were an industry where we want zero defects, it's healthcare. Patients, medical professionals, and healthcare administrators all want mistakes eliminated and quality and efficiency improved.
Abstract thought on Business Strategy and Nature
Here is an abstract thought on studying nature and the natural order of things; things which work to help you better understand and strategize in business, war, sports or military operations. Let's compare the methods of distribution of organic viruses to all other more obvious distribution methods.
How To Leverage Your Current Ideas And Products Into Multiple Revenue Streams
Diversify - to make diverse, give variety, to balance, to divide securities in different industries, to produce variety, to engage in varied operations.Diversification is a wealth building strategy; it is also an excellent method for becoming more profitable.
The Importance of Value Mix
( * - the word 'product' can be substituted to mean 'service' too; and vice versa )Every consumer looks at maximizing value accrual while engaging in act of purchase of products* or services*. Marketing as a domain plays a very important role in influencing a purchase.
19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan
Whether you are seeking capital for your company or are optimizing your business strategy, the most important element - particularly for outside investors - may be your written business plan. You can tune-up and supercharge your plan using this 19-step checklist.
Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability
The foundation of any business transaction is the promise of fair deal. In complex organizational relationships, it is all too easy to lose sight of the existence and terms of this deal.
Restaurant Startup - Part 1: Market Research - What are Potential Competitors Doing?
The first step in starting a restaurant is proper planning. One must lay out a plan complete with goals, priorities, and the tasks that he will need to complete in order to achieve these goals.
Thinking Like A Farmer
One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is the fact we've lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life.
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