Targeting Your Trading Area Effectively
Once you’ve embraced the concept of Neighborhood Marketing, and have made the mental commitment to make it work, it’s time to get down to building your information base.
The Neighborhood Marketing process begins with four key functions which will equip you with the data you will need to conduct your targeting activities. Function # 1 is Defining Your Customer Trading Area.
Remember, the essence of Neighborhood Marketing is to concentrate your efforts within your business’s clearly defined trading area. Therefore, it is essential to know its shape and size.
Your resources for gathering basic trading area configuration data is your own customer base. Find out where they live and work for each daypart you are open and you’ll have an excellent idea about where you should focus your marketing energies. A simple method to use is to get from all customers over a two-week period the zip code for their “residence” and for where they “work.”
Have your staff simply as this of each customer, record and tabulate the information by day part, and you’ve got your trading area. Graphically illustrating the totals and percentages on a zip code map of the area will provide you a visual representation of your trading area. Also, it might point out areas from which you are not drawing business.
Function # 2 is Identifying Your Potential Promotion Partners – within the defined trading area.
Promotion partners are those retailers, facilities, groups and fundraisers that you would like to conduct sales-building program with. You’ll need to gather and assemble lists of each of these located within your trading area in order to set up your targeted promotions.
With retailers and facilities (i.e. stadiums, amusement parks, malls, department stores, etc.) you’ll conduct cross promotions – which is the sharing of customers. You expose your cross promotion partner’s business or product to your customers and your partner exposes its customers to your business. Usually an incentive offer is employed by each partner.
Compile your list of potential promotion partners by securing names, addresses, contact names and phone numbers of businesses (with a similar customer base to yours) who are located within easy travel distance to your business – perhaps within a 1-3-5 mile radius. This could be done by physically surveying your trading area or by using Googlemaps or Mapquest.
With groups you’ll promote your business to homogeneous potential customers both as a group and as individuals employing appropriate incentives. Targeting groups is very efficient since, in most cases, you will have to make a deal with only a single group leader to get your message exposed to large numbers of potential consumers.
Compile your list of potential group partners by securing names, addresses, etc. of all groups which are centralized within your trading area. Many groups are listed online, but not all.
Therefore, you’ll need to obtain group information from alternative sources such as employees, colleges, high schools, offices, etc. Groups are a tremendous source of potential business. The extra work in getting the names will be worth the effort.
With fund-raisers you’ll provide programs which help the organization generate revenue for its charity/project, while they generate traffic for your business.
The list you compile for groups should contain a large portion of the list you’ll need for your fund-raiser targeting efforts. Supplement your group list with fund-raisers by searching online and by purchasing available fund-raiser mailing lists.
Function # 3 is Identifying Community Events for Possible Participation.
There will be some community events conducted within your trading area that could offer you sales and/or sales-building opportunities via participation in one form or another.
Your list of community events is usually accessible through the local Chamber of Commerce.
Function # 4 is Assembling Consumer Media Information.
Your Neighborhood Marketing activities will likely include some consumer-direct promotional programs and you’ll need media data for scheduling and budgeting.
Gather and assemble information about media which reaches potential customers within and around your trading area.
In addition to name, address, etc., be sure to assemble coverage, cost and required materials data for all available trading area media. The internet is a great place to start.
Would you like to know more about how to grow your top-line sales using only a fraction of the money you might be spending on advertising, and with a lot more control than you’d have with scattershot marketing? Give Tom Feltenstein a call and let’s chat – (561) 650-1315 or drop him an email: email@example.com
Underdog – a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest. But you already knew that didn’t you?
Lean on Me, When You’re Not Strong
There are a number of reasons a person chooses to invest in a franchise versus starting their own independent business. The most obvious reasons are typically the established business model.
Designing & Developing Your Franchise Offering, Part Two
In MSA’s five-part series on the Threshold Analysis, we discuss how to evaluate whether your business is ready to franchise.