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Like most marketers, I know that audience research is crucial for an effective strategy. So, as I begin working on a campaign, I try to get as much hard data as possible about my client's target market. Most of my clients are able to provide me with some form of information, but sometimes what we receive is not entirely accurate (especially when it comes in form of anecdotal data), or is no longer an accurate representation of what the client's target audience wants from them. In those cases, I try to take things one step further and reach out to the audience directly. After all, research can only be effective if the trends you uncover are truly relevant to your own unique market.

This past week, I had the opportunity to run three focus groups for one of our clients. During the campaign development phase leading up to these focus groups, my team had had access to some great information about our target audience including data from well-known and reliable sources, as well as industry studies available to our client to guide us in shaping our message and creative materials. We crafted some beautiful pieces with strong content. Based on what these studies had told us, we felt that our work would communicate well with our audience and both my team and my client felt confident about the end product.

Published in The Marketing Edge

Every small business owner knows that the key to continued success is the ability to change and adapt to the needs of the market. Business failures can serve as great learning opportunities, and past victories can set the stage for new ones. But sometimes, you get stuck in a rut. You push and pull, but nothing moves. When this happens, many business owners instinctively keep doing what they've done in the past, in hopes that what used to work will continue to work. However, this practice can often lead to a plateau or worse a decline in revenue. Here are some tips for what to do when your company gets stuck in a rut:

Don't be afraid of change 

It's easy for business owners to become complacent. After all, the familiar can be comfortable even if it's largely ineffective. For example, suppose your business sends an email to prospective clients every month. You've been doing it for years despite a relatively low return on your investment, but you keep on with it because the email is quick to update and inexpensive to deploy. But have you thought of trying something new? After all, there are many ways to communicate with your prospective customer base. Regardless of your situation, don't be afraid to change what you're doing if the results aren't there. Try testing a variety of prospecting methods and track your results. Your bottom line will thank you for the extra effort.

Published in The Marketing Edge

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