When times are turbulent, it’s a good strategy to review your business approach. You may not need to make major changes, but
repositioning your product or service; retargeting to a smaller (profitable) niche market group; and refocusing your key messages about
your product or service offering; are all good places to start.
Re-positioning your product or service
Repositioning requires the discovery of un-met customer needs and wants. We discussed this in more detail in our blog Market
To briefly recap, it’s really important that small business engages in Market Intelligence, which is the process of regularly gathering
information to answer the questions of: “who”, “what”, “how much”, “where”, and “when” your customer buys your products and
services; and about the status of market in which you trade, including competitors, regulatory issues, and economic conditions. What
market intelligence cannot tell you is what your customers are really thinking or “why” your potential customers would buy from you.
As discussed in our blog: Market Intelligence or Marketing Research or both.. marketing research does not require a lot of expense – it
can be as simple as asking your best customers the right questions:
- Why do my customers buy and what’s in it for them?
- How satisfied are my customers with my current product/service offer?
- Can a repositioned product or service satisfy the existing customers’ needs?
- Is my current market underserved in any way?
- Are there more cost effective ways to supply the needs of this market?
Re-targeting your product or service
In terms of re-targeting your product or service offering to a more profitable niche market, the process also starts with targeted
marketing research: feedback from your best customers, analysing their predisposition toward your products and services; and what
these customers need to keep them loyal. Also:
- Is there an identifiable niche market with homogenous interests and needs?
- Is this market large enough to support my business?
In narrowly defining a group of (profitable) customers, with specialised desires that only your product and service can satisfy; you make
it easier to reach and service them; and protect them from your competitors.
Marketing research is simply testing the water before jumping in. If you can identify exactly which homogenous group of customers you
want to keep reaching, and what their specific needs are; and how your product or service is satisfying them; you avoid wasting effort,
time and money.
Re-messaging your product or service
What then naturally follows is re-messaging or refining your unique value proposition to better answer the question in a new potential
customers mind: what’s in it for me?
Marketing research also can help to uncover the benefit to the customer that is inherent within the product or service that potentially, no
one has identified and promoted before.
M&M chocolates are an example of a product where the value proposition was devised after the product was created when it was realised through research that their product had a quality that was uniquely valuable to their target market – “chocolate that melts in your mouth and not in your hands”.
So, when the forecasted economic environment continues to look uncertain, using marketing research is even more important to give
you answers that help you reposition, refocus on your best customer niche; and clearly articulate and re-message the distinctive
benefits that your product or service brings to your loyal customers.
About the author: Teresa Bassham is a Director of Zenworkz and helps businesses effectively source the right information that improves
their decision making and bottom line.
All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is
given to the original source blog. This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian business culture and may not be applicable to other countries business cultures.