Question 4: What are the new market’s buying habits and how can these be exploited?
Knowing the buying habits of a market is critical for any business hoping to sell in that market. This is what we’ll discuss in this post, the fourth in our market assessment series.
The first thing you should understand about knowing your market’s buying habits is that it’s not about simply connecting with customers. It’s about connecting with the right customers, in the correct way at the correct time. Journalist and NYU professor Lambeth Hochwald mentions in an Entrepreneur article that when business owners overlook the importance of connecting with their prospects, they are in fact pushing them to their competition. Once you understand your market’s buying habits and how they take buying decisions, you would have gained an invaluable business intelligence.
People don’t make buying decisions blindly. This is more so the case in the service industry, making it all the more important for businesses to recognize their market’s buying habits. Michael Becker of Teradata notes in a Forbes article that to earn loyal customers, you need to understand their habits. And as it so happens, most buying habits are the result of factors you may not have even thought of.
You need to direct your marketing team to roll up their sleeves and get to work. It’s only when they determine what the market’s buying habits are, will you be able to chalk out a plan on how to exploit those habits.
Some of the many, many questions that your marketing team should ask include:
- How does your target market shop?
- How much does a typical customer spend on services similar to yours?
- How many people are typically involved in a purchase decision?
- What level of research do they do before making a purchase decision?
- Does any negotiation take place in the buying process?
- Is there any relatively impulsive buying?
By using smartly crafted customer surveys, you can discover a number of customer buying habits that have the potential to help you enter the new market confidently. Micah Solomon, President of Four Aces Inc. writes on Forbes that a company’s survival depends on customer feedback. Using customer feedback is an effective way of finding out your market’s buying habits.
Once you have all the information you need about these purchasing habits, you need to find a way to exploit them. Remember, discovering the habits is just step one. How you are able to exploit those habits when entering a new market will depend on the market and the internal happenings at your company. You will need to create a highly customized strategy based on your findings, your goals, resources and of course, taking into account what your competition is doing.
Here’s one important objective you should achieve as you identify and exploit a market’s buying habits – your customers should see and appreciate your efforts to solve a problem for them.
As long as you focus on making the buying process easier for the customer and delivering more value, you will have a much easier time entering a new market. If you’ve done your job right, customers will take notice of your efforts and respect you and ultimately their buying habits will include buying from you.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. She is a freelance blogger, specializing in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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