Generating new business via expanding your customer base is crucial in ensuring business success. However, in the modern business environment, improving growth and profitability can be challenging as there’s no guarantee. Advancements in technology and science often shorten the life cycle of products and services as business models change following customer demands and the rise of new competition, making it necessary to improve your marketing strategies regularly.
That rule especially applies when it comes to extending business in your local community, as customers here will likely generate the highest income for you.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider when expanding marketing opportunities in a community.
To understand consumer demand, you need to identify consumer segments sharing common characteristics, including “hard” and “soft” variables. Hard variables include age, gender, residency, educational level, occupation, and level of income. Meanwhile, soft variables include lifestyle, personality, values, and purchasing motivations.
Hard variables can help you determine a more accurate estimation of potential customers your business may have—while soft variables help identify motivations leading to the actual purchases, such as price, convenience, design, prestige, and durability. You can determine all these by following the target segmentation strategy, helping you organize your business and customer base more precisely, allowing you to break down a target market audience into smaller and manageable groups.
Analyze Purchase Situations
To find the best marketing opportunities for your business, you need to examine purchase situations, as it helps you uncover more chances to grow in the community. When reviewing purchase analysis, determine when consumers buy your products or services, where they make the purchase, and what payment methods they use the most.
You can find all these by looking at distribution channels, payment options, and other circumstances involving purchasing decisions that teach you how consumers buy and how to position your products and services appropriately. Providing new shopping alternatives can help bring in new customers, such as vending machines in convenience stores and photo booths at arcades.
Another aspect you need to consider is accepting different modes of payment. For instance, Amazon launched its very own “Amazon Cash” in the United States, making it easier for consumers without credit cards or electronic wallets to shop online.
Analyze Direct and Indirect Competition
Analyzing your competition is crucial in marketing, primarily when operating on a local or community scale. The first part of this is directly analyzing your competition through supply—as knowing the existing players in the market in your industry can help you evaluate and choose opportunities better. Discover what products and brands in your industry are growing fast, what’s their value proposition, and what’s your competitive advantage over them.
Meanwhile, the other part of analyzing the competition is indirect competition analysis. It’s where you discover more marketing opportunities by taking a look at substitute industries. For instance, during peak season, where there’s a decrease in airfares, airlines might look for more chances in consumer segments currently supplied by different transportation methods. In this case, air carriers will need to research how many people travel on long-distance buses, trains, and other modes of transportation, which routes are in demand, and how much travelers pay for tickets.
Additionally, they need to determine the occupation rate of long-distance transport and what’s required to persuade current passengers of these different modes of transportation to choose to travel by air instead. Indirect analysis competition analysis helps you establish your competitive advantages over your indirect competitors, providing better insight on more marketing opportunities for growth.
Analyze Other Industries
Businesses should monitor the performance of other products from a different sector which can perfectly complement their own. For example, packaging companies should keep track of the sales of products they can potentially package, while a manufacturer creating coffee machines should see the latest coffee beans and ground coffee trending in the industry. Doing this helps market your business better while increasing sales through collaboration.
Nurture Existing Customers
Finally, consider having additional strategies to nurture your existing customers, like staying in contact with them through newsletters or announcing promotional events early on—allowing them to feel genuinely taken care of, earning their loyalty. However, for the best results, seek more marketing opportunities to get more work and expand your customer base. Just make sure to find the perfect balance between nurturing customers and finding new ones.
When it comes to marketing, don’t be afraid to experiment and see where your customers are coming from to measure which methods work best for your business within the community—and refine your approach whenever something’s not working and focus on those ending up with the best results.