Why should you research your customers?

Why do we want to know about our current customers, their needs and challenges, how they feel about our products and services? Why do we want to know about our target clients, their issues, problems, needs and wants; their characteristics, buying behaviour, their preferred way of buying? Here are just a few of the benefits that finding out about your customers could bring to your business:

  • a better understanding of what your target clients and customers want
  • invaluable insights into how consumers make their decisions to buy. Some people make spontaneous decisions; others gather information, evaluate it and then decide – but if you knew where from, whether it was customer reviews on websites selling these products, forums, social media, asking friends, family, colleagues you could make sure that your marketing message and information about your products and services was available in those places
  • the ability to create a marketing message that attracts the attention of your target clients
  • information to help you segment your market into target clients with particular characteristics or interests or resident in a specific area. For example: baby boomers enjoy traveling and making the most of their leisure time BUT they often are the caregivers for their aging parents which can cause financial and emotional problems and place constraints on their time; single mums often need to be able to work from home and frequently this means they have to start a home-based business rather than telecommuting for an employer.
  • an adequate understanding of your market to determine your position in relation to the other players out there – this can help you differentiate your offering, develop a unique marketing message
  • knowledge of where they go to buy – large stores, boutique stores, on-line – which enables you to use the best distribution channels for getting your product or service into their hands
  • the ability to offer products and services with meaningful and compelling value propositions that not only meet their current needs but also enable you to keep in line with their evolving and future needs
  • helps you make a whole range of decisions about your business; and of course
  • knowing about your customer is essential when preparing key documents like feasibility studies and business plans.

Market research is one of the most important things you do no matter what type of business you’re in. If there’s no market for your product or service, you’ll struggle to survive.

If this article was of value to you then you may be interested in the book Understanding your customer – a guide to doing surveys.

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