Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Marketing Augmented by Information.

Promoting any product or service has always been a tricky affair that combines corporate knowledge with derived information about the customers. Throughout the process information can be collected from just about anywhere (internally or externally), and is often worked and re-worked until that winning strategy is discovered.

Information, information and more information!
Market research has always relied on a lot of information about customers and often from customers. Demographic studies, disposable income analysis, preferences, age and gender, previous purchase habits and direct interviews/surveys- it all fits into the wider term of researching customers.

But what if there were a way to acquire this kind of information through your existing product or service?

In a way that doesn't actually cost you anything but increases turnover?

If you're an online organisation (even just a company website) that has information about products and services online, there are ways you can use this to acquire information.
Say, for instance, you're an online retailer specialising in electronics and computer components. You notice that a handful of customers are searching for wireless internet adapters and then internet security software each day. There is a trend here that those looking to get connected online are also looking to stay safe- this is a promotional opportunity.

As you can either use this opportunity to bundle these products together (if you're the base retailer) or suggest this to them when they visit the wireless internet adapter page and vice versa. Also, if a further few of these consumers are looking at other internet and software related items that's even more information.
Now, in a weekly newsletter you can highlight the newest releases for these items and the best prices every time you send it out to them.

Technological augmentation.
Further to this some organisations will research and develop algotrithims that allow them to analyse consumer habits, information, purchase and seach history, wishlisht information and so on.
Many large online retailers such as Amazon and Play have such algorithims and they can be infinitely useful for consumers buying one product with another. For instance, an Mp3 player with a case. You might not know what cases are available for your player and searching could prove fruitless or frustrating- via the algorithim, and suggested complementary purchases, you'd know and you'd have it in minutes.
Although, it can be used for more than just this. It can also be used to introduce consumers to new products they wouldn't usually buy or sometimes products from the same product line. For instance, CDs by a similar kind of musician or video games from a similar genre/publisher.

Shifting tactically.
However, be wary of the information you're using as it can sometimes be folly to continue promoting after a while. This is especially the case with consumers who change their tastes often (such as young people) and may actually push people away rather than draw people in.

For instance, in the case of PC games and software, younger consumers will often buy the latest titles straight away whereas some may wait until the price is less than the RRP. It is important to note which type your consumers are, as if they're the latter then perhaps the best time to tell them is in a sale- while if they're the former the best time would be on release day.

While information is a valuable marketing tool it is also one that is often misused. Many organisations feel that as they have the information they have to use it- this is not the case, not all the time, and if you continue to push products to those not interested you will get a rather soured reputation.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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