A New Lens On Your Target Market
Posted September 11, 2013by
New perspectives complement the knowledge gleaned from traditional research. Open the door to fresh, deep insights by getting out from behind the glass, minimizing bias and engaging participants in new ways.
Knowing your target market has never been more important. It informs every part of your business - decisions on product and service development, channel strategy, customer service policies, marketing budgets and promotional schedules. That’s why more and more business leaders agree that this is not a place for shortcuts. Understanding the target market is critical to the growth and success of the entire organization and can often allow you to stay ahead of evolutions in the category.
You may find that the basic knowledge base is necessary, but just isn’t enough anymore. Demographics, brand awareness, purchase frequency… these are foundational elements. More and more businesses find they need to develop a multifaceted understanding of their consumer - explore the market in new ways to truly stay ahead of competition. They need to ensure that they are developing compelling products, services and messages to achieve sustainable growth.
Consider looking at your target market through a new lens (or two, or three!). New perspectives complement the knowledge gleaned from traditional research. Open the door to fresh, deep insights by getting out from behind the glass, minimizing bias and engaging participants in new ways.
When we need to get consumers to really relax and open up, we make sure we are meeting them in THEIR WORLD. Talking with people in their natural habitat enables them to connect more intuitively, and results in organic conversation and lowered inhibitions. “Their World” may be at home, on vacation, at work, in-store or on-premise.
Incorporating OBSERVATION can minimize consumers’ influence on the type of information they are sharing. By carefully, often passively, observing consumer behavior, we are able to absorb both intended and unintended clues and information, which allows us to record behavior holistically, and then interpret.
PARTICIPATING in activities, side by side with consumers, offers us a closer perspective on decision making, product and category usage activities, and other behaviors. We bring participation into our research by doing things like joining moms as they cook dinner in their kitchens or by going from store to store with a young couple as they select appliances for their new home.
DEPRIVING consumers of products, services or activities has helped us reveal what are often unexpected needs, emotions and behaviors. We learn how consumers compensate when they can’t use your product, service, or category, and study if and how they make substitutions.
Exploring behaviors and interactions in ANALOGOUS CATEGORIES can offer a fresh perspective on otherwise well-researched attitudes and behaviors. Analogous categories help us see consumer needs and concepts, such as quality and convenience, in new ways, providing a broader context for consumer expectations.
Incorporating approaches like these into comprehensive research plans has helped us deliver the kind of solid consumer insight that businesses find important and impactful, not merely interesting. Consider using a new lens to help you dig deeper and bring your understanding of your target market to the next level.
"Open the door to fresh, deep insights by getting out from behind the glass, minimizing bias and engaging participants in new ways."
MAKING AN IMPACT
Looking at your target in new light and applying the insights to your business activities can be a challenge. Remember to ground yourself in your research objectives from the start. A rich understanding of your target market can allow you to:
Identify and profile priority audiences: A deeper understanding about the role, range and relevance of your brand and those who are likely to engage with it, can help you determine which consumer segments are right for your business, and help you to spend your money wisely.
Evaluate your competitive position: Using a new lens may allow you to gain new insight into your role in the industry, your place within the competitive set and potential gaps between consumer expectations and what you deliver.
Uncover potential unmet or under-met needs: Studying usage behaviors can reveal opportunity to meet unaddressed consumer needs.
Evaluate opportunity to capitalize on existing behaviors: Assessing the spectrum of usage might result in discovery of additional usage occasions, day-parts or additional reasons to use. Furthermore, knowing more about what consumers are already doing may give you a leg up to optimize or increase usage through modified messaging or marketing.
Deep, well-rounded target market knowledge can directly inform how your business develops and markets products and services, and help you make your brand more appealing and relevant. And we think that kind of impact is what research is really all about.