A Simple Strategy to Gain and Keep Customers that Won’t Break the Bank

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By: Melanie Shires, PCC

Want more customers? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, of course you do. And like most entrepreneurs, you’ve probably been inundated with the plethora of digital marketing programs, tools and applications to help businesses acquire customers. Most of these tools are indeed wonderful and will help with conversion but have steep learning curves, are very expensive and still require you to have a notable size email list to experience any real ROI.

If you are looking for a simple strategy that won’t break the bank and completely necessary to gain and keep customers, look no further than market research.

Market research can be carried out at various stages of a business life cycle, from pre-launch and beyond. If you want more customers, having a greater understanding of your marketplace will enable you to create a sound business strategy to establish and grow your brand into one that’s better than the competition.

Market research blends consumer behavior and economic trends to confirm and improve your business concepts. You will gather demographic information to better understand opportunities and limitations for gaining customers. This could include population data on age, wealth, family, interests, or anything else that’s relevant for your business.

Here are examples of questions to answer to get a good sense of your market.

  • Demand: Is there a desire for your product or service?

  • Market size: How many people would be interested in your offering?

  • Economic indicators: What is the income range and employment rate?

  • Location: Where do your customers live and where can your business reach?

  • Market saturation: How many similar options are already available to consumers?

  • Pricing: What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?

You can conduct market research in two ways: using existing sources or going direct to consumers.

Existing sources can save you a lot of time and energy, but the information might not be as specific to your audience as you’d like. Use it to answer questions that are both general and quantifiable, like industry trends, demographics, and household incomes.

Direct research can give you a nuanced understanding of your specific target audience, but it can be time consuming and sometimes expensive. Use it to answer questions about your specific business or customers, like reactions to your logo, improvements you could make to buying experience, and where customers might go instead of your business.

Here are a few methods you can use to do direct research:

  • Surveys

  • Questionnaires

  • Focus groups

  • In-depth interviews

Market research should never be underestimated. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, gaining a comprehensive view of the current market is integral to long-term success. It’s the simplest way for entrepreneurs to keep up with market trends, maintain a competitive edge and most importantly…get customers.

To learn more about market research, how it can you get clients, and guidance on deciding which methods are worthwhile for your business, check out my workshop series Smart Business Builder or schedule a virtual coffee with me and discover how to build, launch, run and grow a business you love.