Sunday, November 9, 2014

Marketing Seminar to be offered in Perry County

Small business owners today have many marketing opportunities facing them.  With opportunities ranging from traditional to internet to place based to “Johnny” advertising, many owners feel overwhelmed at the choices and delivery options. A class being offered by the University of Missouri Extension Small Business Technology Development Center addresses this concern.
The class is called “Marketing – Think Before You Spend” and is part of the curriculum of the Missouri Small Business Technology Development Program core classes. The class will be held on Wednesday, November 19th at 6 pm at the Perry County Extension office.
The class will help small business owners define marketing and provide the tools necessary to ensure their advertising message is delivered to the right audience. 
Richard Proffer, business development specialist for Extension in the Southeast Region, said, “It is important for small business owners to realize marketing is not an overnight fix.  This class will help them use their time wisely in deciding what their message should be, how to communicate that message and then measure the results of that effort.”
The class will cover the basics of marketing research, competitive analysis, customer service, pricing and promotions.

Proffer is a twenty year veteran of the marketing world.  He has worked in advertising agencies and then in media helping small business owners maximize the resources available to them. He has worked for companies like Comcast, Gannett, and AT&T handling activities in the advertising, training, research, competitive analysis and marketing fields for them.
The Extension office is located at 321 North Main in Perryville, MO. Anyone interested in the class are encouraged to register early by calling 573-243-3581.  The fee is only $40 for early registration and $50 for late registration after November 12, 2014. Seating is limited.

SBTDC/Extension business programs are also sponsored by the Small Business Administration and University of Missouri and are open to all interested residents. Requests for special accommodations will be considered if made two weeks in advance by calling 573-243-3581 and asking for Richard 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Who Really Are Your Customers? A 4 Step Process

When I was in the advertising business, I would always ask my clients “Who are your customers?” I would quite often get the common response of “Everyone.” Even if I would question further, I got the same response. I finally would start to talk about categories like most frequent customers and those that only came in around specific times of the year and we started to get a better picture.

Those retailers were not unlike many other small business owners. They want to claim everyone as their customer, when in reality, there is only a certain percentage of people who would use that business’s product.

One of the ways to look at segmenting a business’s customers is break them into the users or choosers. Quite often it is not the users who are buying the product but rather the choosers. Both audiences need to be marketed to but in different ways and the business owner must know the motivation to buy or recommend behind each segment so the marketing efforts can be successful. Realize by knowing these motivations, the business increases its ability to drive sales up.

A business owner starts a customer profile by letting go of the myth of “everybody is my customer” and really thinking who are my most frequent buyers. The owner should also know what motivates them to buy or the product’s benefits and features. Here you want to learn about client’s values, attitudes and lifestyles.

The second step in profiling customers is to learn their buying habits. Where do they shop, spend money, spend leisure time or even more important, where are they using your product? Knowing where they are using the product allows marketing to be not place but time specific which increases the results of the marketing the business is doing.

The third step is to determine how many of the ideal customers are really out there in the marketplace. Knowing age, marital status, home-ownership and other descriptive criteria will help in rounding out the picture of the top customer.

The final step is to start using this new found information to better target the marketing being done. Ask the question – “who is my marketing currently reaching and do they look anything like my ideal customer?” If not, then revise your plans and change up a few things so the message is reaching the right audience.

Your local small business technology development center is available to help you in determining the correct audience by calling 573-243-3581.