Market Research – How to speak to your customers

Market research is crucial to understanding your customers, audience and who you want to speak to. Whether you’re an established business or just getting started, you can always re-visit this process to hone in on the business direction and tailor your offering to the right people.

What type of research should you plan?

You don’t need to go making book like reports and hiring companies to spend weeks analysing your business. A bit of research on the internet,  conducting business and personal profiles of other businesses, looking through phone directories and reading articles on the industry can all be really beneficial to your understanding of the market.

You can also do more direct research by talking some people in your prospective markets. Conducting interviews, sending out questionnaires, creating online surveys and creating a test market.

Why are you doing your market research? Think about some of the following reasons:

  • Build a customer base
  • Establish business in a specific area of your industry
  • Explore possibility of producing own range or creating own service.
  • Analyse where there is a niche in the market for your product or service in your industry
  • Choose one aspect of your offering or products to specialize in and use this as a key selling point.

Then you should look into taking the following steps:

  • Talk with your team/ partner/ manager to define clear direction and interested sector of the market
  • Research  the market for a niche
  • Anslyse the competition and discover possible position within the market.
  • Conduct interviews and send surveys to find out what consumers want
  • Put together promotional material advertising services
  • Test the promotional material on sample market
  • Questionnaire to guage the response to the promotional material
  • Define business direction and market towards this.

This is a detailed list of ideas and suggestions for market research but certainly gives you for for thought.

Do you know your market?

How will you get to them?

What’s the best way to connect?

 

We would love to hear how you have in the past conducted market research to best reach your audience and understand who you want to speak to!

Advertisements

Business Profile: Gath Adams – I want that Flight

My passion for Travel writing and travel itself led me to attend the TravelMassive meet ups that I learnt about through Twitter. Gath Adams was one of the great people I met at one of the Melbourne meet ups and I loved his business concept and his passion for travel. I want that Flight is his website, helping travellers all over to find the best deals for them!

Learn more about how Gath has found a balance of travel, work, play, family, business and friends. He seems to be doing a pretty great job of living the life he wants to lead! Kudos to you!

I want that flight

  1. Name; Gath Adams
  1. Occupation/ business: I Want That Flight (http://iwantthatflight.com.au )
  1. Position: Owner
  1. Country of Residence; Australia
  1. email/contact/ website
    gath@iwantthatflight.com.au
    http://iwantthatflight.com.au
  1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IWantThatFlight
  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?
    We compare airlines and travel agencies to find you the cheapest flights. We save you time, because you can compare lots of sites in one go and money because we find you the cheapest flights without charging any fees.
  1. Why did you start your business?
    2005
  1. What’s your passion?
    1 Travel
    2 Music
    and getting enough sleep after 1&2

Gath Adams

  1. What do you love most about running your business? I have very flexible working hours, and so get to spend a lot of time with my young family.
  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
    1. Marketplace is extremely competitive.
    2.  Airlines are doing it tough, so commissions are slim to non-existent
    3.  Meta search is not well-known in Australia, so consumer education can be a challenge.
  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. Try to make every expense contribute to earnings.
    2. Don’t let competitors distract you.
    3.  Stay focussed, don’t try every gimmick you read about on the net.
  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?
    Freedom. I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, or at any particular time, and the business keeps going.
  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?
    I love running my business, so I spend as much time with family & friends as possible then fill up the remaining time with work.
  1. What movie most inspires you in running your business?
    The Social NetworkGath Adams
  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?
    Almost any book on marketing. You probably already know your product/service inside out, but the importance of marketing is something I see small businesses struggle with all the time.
  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?
    “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
  1. The 4 words that best describe your business?
    Easy Fast Cheap Flights

Enjoy the life that you have been blessed to live

Recently I shared an email from a lovely young woman who shared with me her admiration for the way I live my life. This was a huge compliment and such a great validation for what I am doing in my life.

I posted her email to a blog here: https://lovellycommunications.com/2013/05/20/an-email-reminder-of-why-i-do-what-i-do/

I’d like to also share with you my response to her and the advice I gave in how to live and work the life you want. This was a great reminder. Maybe ask yourself “Why do I do what I do?”

Infinite possibilities in the Salt Flats of Uyuni Bolivia
Infinite possibilities in the Salt Flats of Uyuni Bolivia
Darling you brought tears to my eyes!
 
Thank you for validating my life choices and for reminding me of why I do what I do… It’s because I’m Living!
 
Life has ups and downs. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother, this is going to be a tough time, but I promise you there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the best advice I can give is to take each day as it comes and not think too far head. Everything happens for a reason and life will take it’s course. We must make the most of each and every day.
Working at events with wonderful people. Comedian Gina Yashere
Working at events with wonderful people. Comedian Gina Yashere
 
You have inspired me to take my own interview – I write one for my Travel Blog and one for my Lovelly Communications website. I ask people I admire to respond to the interview and I post it as a blog. I’ve been meaning for some time to answer the questions myself- and tonight I will do that very thing! With this, I think I’ll answer many of your questions – and actually some of my own.
 
Everyone has that fear and that doubt when finishing college. For me actually I wished I had nothing on, I wished I had the world open to me and no plans. But I was already running my business, I had 2 contracts and a huge event to run. I knew exactly what I was doing the day after my final exam, 10 hours of work! But I loved it. My advice is to find a balance between work and play. I live to extremes and especially at that time after college, I worked myself into the ground- took a month off and then travelled for 3 months and it made me stop and think what do I want from my life? What’s it all for? And then… I moved to Melbourne – a new city in my same country and doors went flying open and opportunities were in abundance.

Meeting wonderful people in Business such as Cheryl Lin who inspired me. Love Melbourne for this.
Meeting wonderful people in Business such as Cheryl Lin who inspired me. Love Melbourne for this.

 

Ok so I feel we have many more conversations ahead of us but here are some life lessons I’d like to pass on to you:
 
  • Change is the only constant. You need to learn to accept change and move with it. Change is always happening and will always happen, your ability to ADAPT is what is key!
  • Live each day as if it were your last! Recently I lost a friend to a heart attack. He was 24. It shook me to my core. He lived his life with passion – he climbed Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu (actually with me) and he made the most of life. Do what you love and just live.
  • Life has ups and downs. Don’t ever ask for normal. You know on a heart monitor what happens when the line is straight and flat… you’re dead! So go with the highs and lows- this means you are living!
  • Don’t look at the rest of your life and feel overwhelmed. Start to look more short term. Take each day as a lesson – mistakes you learn from and opportunities are there for taking. IT’s all about learning. Don’t let it overwhelm or consume you – then you won’t enjoy.
  • You don’t need a lot of money! Please don’t think I’m rich. Well actually, I am Rich! I’m rich in memories, in friendships, in the blessings that life has given me. $$ come and go – it’s the memories we make and the moments we share that make it all worthwhile.
Have fun at work! I love the snow and getting to work with Mt Buller promotions.
Have fun at work! I love the snow and getting to work with Mt Buller promotions.
 
Work hard. Play harder. Enjoy the life that you have been blessed to live.
 
So let us speak again soon – I hope this gives you hope and you continue to read the blogs.
 
Start a blog! Today! I broke my back and was house bound – I took the time to rest and to start this blog and business I’d been wanting to start for years! I’m so thankful for breaking my back- it made me stop, think, rest and to start doing the things I wanted to. Everything happens for a reason. So all you have to do is start – the rest will come.
 
Thank you again! This is a beautiful gift you have given to me.
Anything is possible. Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with Inspired Adventures for Alzheimer's Australia NSW
Anything is possible. Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with Inspired Adventures for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW

Opportunity with a soon to be launched BOOK!

My dear friend and mentor, Johanna Baker-Dowdell, will soon be launching her first ever book – Business & Baby on Board.

Paperback: Business & Baby on Board $25 AUD

A business mum’s bible on starting, running and succeeding in business. Using case studies and advice from 20 incredible business women, be inspired by:

BBB-Mum-low-res-118x300

  • Janine Allis, Boost Juice
  • Rebecca Mezzino, Clear Space Organising
  • Naomi Simson, Red Balloon
  • Polly McGee, StartUp Tasmania
  • Alycia Edgar, Roaly Group
  • Alli Price, Motivating Mum
  • Sarah Allen, Sarah Allen Consulting
  • Sara Redman, Sara Redman & Associates
  • Celine Egan, TCY Coaching & Training
  • Janet Beckers, Wonderful Web Women
  • Kristy-Lee Johnston, Footprint Recruitment
  • Annalisa Holmes, The Transcription People
  • Amanda Cox, Real Mums
  • Anita Lincolne-Lomax, Babes in Arms
  • Amanda Gonzalez, Untangle the Web
  • Renee Mayne, Bra Queen
  • Susan Pearse, Mind Gardener
  • Kaz Cooke, Women’s Stuff author
  • Carolyn Cresswell, Carman’s Muesli
  • Johanna Baker-Dowdell, Strawberry Communications

 

There are still some wonderful opportunities for you to get involved and promote your business to the mumpreneur market as well as a much wider market once the book is released.

 

Ads will appear after the Business Toolkit resource section in both the printed and electronic version of the book. Around 100 copies of Business & Baby on Board have already been pre-sold so you’re looking at a proven captive audience.

 

$200 coupon ad – make a special offer to readers via this coupon 

$550 half-page ad – have a half page of the book devoted to your business (Just one spot left!)

 

Johanna is also signing the first 500 copies of Business & Baby on Board sold if anyone wants to secure a pre-sale copy, head over to the ‘Books’ tab at Strawberry Communications[http://strawberrycommunications.com.au/books] and buy one copy for $25, or two for $40.

 Strawberry-Communications-SMS-e1348709385588

You can also take advantage of the Pozible rewards (offered during the crowdfunding campaign), like the $150 one hour strategy session, $300 media release and half hour consult, $500 day PR strategy consult Johanna can invoice for you. More details at www.pozible.com/bizbabybook

 

This is a great opportunity to promote your business to many people who will be inspired as they read this great book and look to start work on their own business adventure.

How will customers find you on Social Media?

Social Media should be part of an integrated marketing campaign for your business. The most important thing about your social media campaign is making sure that people can find you and know that you are using these mediums as a form of communication.

image from makeuseof.com
Linking the accounts to one another as best as possible is important. Whatever goes on Facebook will also go on Twitter, links back to the website and all videos on YouTube will be announced on Twitter. The connections between the networks is important so that traffic is driven from one site to another and always back to your website.
Like buttons such as the one below should be placed on your website. The social media plug-ins for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin can be placed as buttons on the top of your website.
When you are first joining social media you can send an email with a code of conduct for being on social media to all employees. Also you can ask staff to connect on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. In addition to this – adding all company links for social media to their email signatures should become common practice.
Image from danhaesler.com
You have to shout from the rooftops “WE ARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA!”. People may take the initiative to find you and it’s great to be there, but you still need to give them a helping hand and the lead them there in the easiest way possible.

How to Tweet for business

Twitter is not a place to chat with friends, Twitter is a powerful networking and business tool.

www.twitter.com

 

Here are some basics on How to use Twitter for business:

•Twitter is a newsfeed of rapid information coming from the 
people who follow you and who you follow.
•Be relevant, be regular, build relationships
•Tweet, retweet, reply – evenly communicate, not all one way
•Twitter will allow you to reach an endless number of customers, partners and alliances that you never have had access to through traditional marketing streams
•Using # tags such as #marketing or #presentationworkshops, you can search industry related topics and also who is talking about you
•As the Twitter news feed moves fast, you can communicate more regularly and put out more information through this medium.
Don’t be scared of Twitter. It looks like a lot of information, but to take it step by step and just start tweeting.
Have fun with it. We are!
 @Lovellyinc on Twitter – Follow us and join the conversation.

Why Social Media for your business?

Social Media is undeniable for businesses these days. They aren’t just places to chat with your friends, they are a place to be seen and recognised by your clients and associates.
In order to have an integrated marketing strategy, businesses need to have a presence online. Social media allows you to be present in more spaces and have your customers and associates reach you in more ways.
Your Social Media Strategy will involve connecting the various forms of online presence and synchronising across a number of platforms. Including, but not exclusive to:
—Linkedin
—Twitter
—Facebook
—YouTube
—These mediums will allow your business to reach a broad audience and communicate with customers, partners and associates. It’s important to not only communicate through these channels, but also to be relevant, regular and conversational – this is a chance to speak directly to customers and for them to engage with your business.

Answer Your Messages

Whether it’s your voicemail, text message, email, Facebook wallposts, Facebook messages, Twitter @ reply’s or Direct Messages, Linkedin Inbox, or any other form of communication – Answer your messages!

 

Due to the multimodal communication we now engage in every day, I think people have become slack in their responses due to the number of messages they receive.

I’m sorry – In my book, there is no excuse. If someone takes the time, effort and energy to reach out to you, you can have the basic common courtesy to respond to them in a timely fashion.

 

This has been something  that has consistently bugged me this year in both my professional and personal life. Friends of mine have heard me have a good rant about it and even when not directed at them, realised the effect their inconsistent communication can have on the other person.

 

Lovelly communications is the name of my business and communications is what I do. I pride myself on my ability to respond and communicate to my customers, partners and many other members of my network.  I cannot hold everyone to the same high standard, so I’m lowering my expectations not my standards.

We can follow some basic principles for business and personal communication that will hold your credibility in tact and allow for a good communication system.

 

–       Respond to messages in a timely manner.

–       Every message gets a response at some point, especially if it is business related.

–       If you cannot respond to a call, have an informative voicemail.

–       If you are away on work, or out of communication, have an “out of office” message with a realistic timeframe of when you can respond to people.

–       Have an auto-reply on your email to notify people you have received their message and will get back to them in a matter of days or hours. It can meet your standards and expectations of course.

–       Social Media – The same rules of offline communication apply to online. If someone engages with you, acknowledge this with a thanks, comment or even a like. Unless you are a celebrity with 1000’s of messages every day, this is totally possible. This will also encourage engagement with your audience and make people feel valued and appreciated.

Endeavour to tighten your communication systems and your method of response to messages. It is important to you and your business but it’s also important to the person who is reaching out to you.

Our Favourite Newsletters

There are some great business experts and blogs out there which give valuable advice for your business. These are a few of the ones that we follow for great business tips and information.

Seth Godin’s Blog

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/

Flying Solo – Micro Business Community

Home to a thriving community of over 50,000 solo and micro businesses, Flying Solo is a source of information, advice and inspiration for Australian business owners.Flying Solo hosts Australia’s most active online small business discussion forums; is involved in events and meetups around the country.

Sourcebottle

We help journalists & bloggers find sources. We help businesses & PR pros get free publicity.
Sydney Writers Centre

Valerie Khoo founded the Sydney Writers’ Centre in 2005, with a vision for it to be the kind of buzzing, dynamic and results-focused organisation she wish had existed when she was finding her feet as a writer. It is now Australia’s leading centre for writing training.

Valerie Khoo Blog

Women in Business.com.au

Behind the Desk is a weekly email with inspiration and tips produced by Clare Lancaster.

Strawberry Communications

Sign up on the website

Strawberry Communications generates amazing publicity. Our agency tells business stories using public relations and writing through a number of online and offline mediums.

AdamTreager.com – Sign up to his blog

Great social media and marketing insight.

We hope you find these websites as beneficial as we do and we would love to hear which websites, newsletters and blogs you find helpful for your business.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑