Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Four Customer Trends to Exploit
Lately, the press has been full of stories about buying local, preserving the environment, using big data, and returning to the glories of the fifties and sixties. As a business person, how can you capitalize on these trends?
From chi-chi city restaurants to local family-owned cafes, restaurants are featuring local organic vegetables grown with environmentally friendly methods. Get local! Talk about your work with the people you encounter professionally, socially, and in volunteer activities. People in your community are prospective clients or customers or referral sources. But, inform, rather than sell. Also, establish a presence in local media, either through ads, well-placed content, or stories about how you have supported local non-profits.
Preserve the Environment
Preserving the environment and reducing the use of fossil fuels is on everyone's mind. Potential employees, customers, or partners will be favorably impressed if you recycle, have solar panels, and initiate other environmentally friendly practices. People don't want to work for or with companies that are known polluters.
Exploit Big Data
Today most companies collect and interpret lots of data. In fact, the phrase "big data" has 50.8 million Google hits. Big data can help you run your company more efficiently. Additionally, big data can help you identify and quantify the benefits you provide to your customers. You can then include these benefits in promotional material. In addition to data, also incorporate success stories. When using both a head (data) and a heart (stories) approach, you will appeal to a variety of audiences.
Preserve Successful Practices from the Past
People who watch re-runs of "Mad Men" or who collect vinyl records are nostalgic about a time when life seems to have been simpler. Do not discard all items and methods from the past just because they seem "dated." For example, if you conduct market research, consider using new techniques and technologies, such as online surveys for mobile devices, but also preserve successful older approaches such as focus groups or phone surveys and interviews.
Keep up with new business and social trends. Adopt new trends and methods judiciously while retaining old methods and technologies that work for your business. = Business research for growing companies
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