|Market Research Information – Right Under Your Nose|
Market research is an important part of developing a dynamic and responsive marketing plan. Research can take forms including customer surveys, focus groups, demographic studies, comparative industry statistics, behavior observation of buyers, and other traditional as well as innovative information gathering techniques.
For many companies these types of advanced research methodologies may be too costly to employ because of the size of their businesses and/or limited marketing budgets. The good news is that a wealth of information is likely right under their noses in the form of customer lists. The bad news is that most companies possess this data source but never attempt to glean the important demographics that can be provided by their own customers.
This is especially true for companies that sell to other businesses (B2B). By finding common characteristics it is possible to target potential prospects that look similar to existing customers. Logic would dictate that it would be easier to convert those prospects into customers.
Common locations can also help determine characteristics that can be evaluated in terms of targeting potential prospects. It may also be possible to determine business size if information about number of employees or annual sales is known. At the least, some conclusions about customer business sizes can be reached based upon the size of their accounts.
These three key demographics can be combined to identify prospects that present the best opportunities for customer acquisitions. However, while reviewing a customer list other common characteristics such as business structure, time in business or secondary lines of business may also offer valuable insights for developing prospect lists.
Some of the most valuable marketing information is available through data kept by all B2B businesses about their own customers and it can be utilized without costly research or analysis.
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