Marketing campaigns are costly, so it makes sense to ensure your target market is hearing you loud and clear. But without good data you could be wasting your budget on a slick campaign focused on the Dubai market, when most of your customers are from Abu Dhabi. Here are the top reasons you campaign is falling on deaf ears.
You don’t have a CRM system
A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system, one of the most powerful tools in marketing. Inside this system you can track purchase histories, the age of buyers, their geographical location, what they like, what they don’t like, how often they buy and where and how they buy. This is serious marketing data that can be harnessed to improve sales and improve customer relations.
Your profiling is too broad
Regardless of what you are selling (from financial services, office stationary, to designer gowns), if you only think of your customers as one homogenous block, you are missing out on sales. Used in conjunction with your CRM, you can create very specific profiles of your most/least profitable customers.
Profiling allows you to see what age groups your products and services appeal to the most and also which geographical locations are your hotspots. This is particularly important when starting a new campaign. Without this knowledge you could be spending thousands on mailshots, e-shots, billboards and mobile ads that simply aren’t going to the right districts. Which is costly, lost opportunity.
Your tailoring sucks
Are you still sending out the same message to all your customers? If you are, you’ve fallen into the trap of believing that because you sell one thing, you only need to market on a single level.
Good marketing comes from knowing that people are different. They may all be using your services as an accountant, but they’re experiences will be very different. Find the broad categories of your customers. Do you have three main different customers? For example, do you have retail companies, freelancers and restaurants using your accountancy services? If so, you can use this knowledge to develop more specific marketing materials to appeal to each group.
You don’t localise
Although you might be marketing to all of the UAE , don’t forget to spend time on maximising your local market. You may import perishable goods to sell across the region, but have you looked on your doorstep for customers?
Where’s the global element?
You may not have an overseas component to your business, yet. But if you are planning to ship your goods and services abroad, a little research goes a long way. Find the story of your business. If you’ve only been trading for a short period, focus on the start-up journey, and if you’re well established, find the landmark moments.
Create specific marketing materials for targeting foreign markets: glossy brochures, a micro-website, business cards for the person you whose job it is to be the main one point of contact for new business from abroad.
And speak to your business contact at local government. They may run schemes and workshops to help small UAE companies create marketing campaigns for foreign markets.
Market research is the backbone of every company if it wants to maintain and grow profitability. Yet many companies ignore their market research, or don’t do any at all. However, whether you’re selling a new insurance product, or want to set up an art gallery in Bastakiya, research is the key ingredient to success.
At its core, market research is all about finding out what people love and hate about your company. If you’re founding a new business, your market research is aimed at finding out whether people actually want what you are planning to sell.
Market research gives isn’t just an exercise, it can have a powerful impact on your business, helping you make difficult decisions because you are armed with the knowledge to back up your arguments.
For those who’ve never done any market research the humble questionnaire is still considered a highly effective way to learn about your customers. There are many online tools to help you set up a detailed set of questions to help you better understand how your company is perceived by the people who buy your products.
Be honest with your questions though. Give people the opportunity to rate your business. Ask them what they like and don’t like. Where they feel there is room for improvement.What’s the best thing you’ve ever done, and the worst. Ask how your products impact on their lives. How long they’ve been a customer, and most importantly what they feel you can do to make improvements that will make their lives better.
The questionnaire is also a great way to find out what customers feel about your competition. Are they doing a better job than you? Is there something you are doing much better than they are? By asking the questions you can improve your position in the market.
You may not like all the answers you see, but you may find that the negative feedback you receive on a particular product is also being seen in the annual sales figures for that product. And if people have left comments on why they don’t like it, you can make a more informed decision on the future of that particular line in your business.
Conversely, lots of love for a particular product may give you the confidence to put more marketing budget into promoting it beyond your current customer base.
Market research doesn’t have to be something you actively go out and do. One of the most amazingly truthful, and free, market research tools is customer feedback. This can come through social media (Twitter and Facebook are great for finding out what people are saying about your brand), emails, letters, and recorded telephone calls.
Where some companies go wrong with this type of market research is that they embrace the good and ignore the bad. But they shouldn’t. Negative feedback is a fantastic opportunity to see what customers really don’t like about your products, services, or business. The comments are usually honest – although you should have a system in place to sift out the trolls. By reading what customers are saying you can develop ways to make improvements, or even set about designing a new product that serves their needs better.
To get the most out of market research, you have to be tough enough to read the answers and do something about it. Don’t leave it languishing on your hard drive – face up to the challenges it provokes.
It stands to reason that a market research project for a cosmetics company in Dubai should target people who are based in Dubai. However, finding the correct people is key to a successful research campaign.
Fortunately a city the size of Dubai has what is called the ‘accessible population’, a term reflecting the high number of people living and working in an urban environment.
There are a myriad of ways to talk to people and get them to participate in your market research project. Firstly, though, it is important to create a precise list of the points you want to be answered. By keeping the focus at this initial stage, it makes it far easier to know the type of person you need to ensure your market research is productive.
It is also necessary, at the beginning of a new brief, to outline the budget constraints on the project. It is ineffective to hire expensive equipment for the rather useful computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), if there is nothing left in the pot to pay researchers to go out into the street with the computers.
Now armed with a budget and a firm idea of what you, or your client, specifically want clarifying from the market research, you can identify the types of people required to achieve optimum conclusions and recommendations.
The people you need to talk to will depend entirely on the product or services being researched. If we take the example of a market research project for a cosmetics company based in the centre of Dubai, historical data into this industry will give some basic lines along which to find the target respondents.
Finding your participants will depend on the initial questions the company requires answering. So if our cosmetics company is developing a new flavoured lip-gloss, it may want to know what flavours are the most popular and which are the most unpopular. Choose the wrong range of flavours and the lip-gloss will fail in the stores.
In this instance the target market is going to be young women and teenage girls. And the likely places the market researchers will find their target participants are hubs of activity such as:- the Mall of the Emirates; Safa park; the beach at the weekend; university campuses ; the business district during the week or the eternal favourite of market researchers- the supermarket.
Successful market research does give an organisation a highly competitive edge. It can change the advertising approach; it also can lead to the development of products and services more finely tuned to what customers actually want. Far better to find out what consumers like and don’t like at the beginning of product development, rather than after huge amounts of money and resources have been ploughed into it.
But it is not always obvious which methodologies are going to be most suitable for each campaign, which is why The Marketing Research and Intelligence course, from the Institute of Sales and Marketing, Dubai, gives your business the tools to make the best market research decisions for your company. More information on these marketing courses can be found here: /courses/market-research/index.php