Customer Needs – How Do Businesses Identify Them? 

Customer Needs – How Do Businesses Identify Them? 

 

  • Most small to medium sized businesses will have to rely on secondary market research to gain a better understanding of their target customer. Then, in order to assess the customer needs, they analyze the information they have gathered to determine the following:
  • Customer demographic:
      • gender
      • age
      • marital status
      • disposable income
      • occupation
  • Inferences can then be made about what compels them to buy. How do they make the purchase decision?
      • Family pressure
      • Social needs
      • Budgeting pressures
  • Trends can be identified in data gathered to make an assessment on how the customer prefers to buy:
      • Online shopping
      • Phone shopping
      • Physical shopping
      • Are decisions impulsive or are they considered?

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  • Using the demographic information gathered, business can determine what customers are likely to spend their money on.  For example, considering their age, gender, occupation and disposable income, altogether might indicate a need for luxury goods. If nothing else, small businesses can ask their existing customers what it is that the need.
  • Once customer needs are established, this information can be used in all parts of the business to increase profitability. Specifically:
  • Marketing
      • Getting the product mix right
      • Refining the sales channel
      • Setting the right price point
      • Determining the best way to communicate the marketing message
      • Setting an appropriate marketing budget
  • Procurement
      • Knowing what products will sell
      • Planning your range of products
      • knowing how much stock will sell, and therefore how much you need to pre-order or hold
  • Merchandising
      • Visibly displaying your product for maximum sales
  • The key to keeping up to date with customer needs is to make a regular habit of communicating with existing customers to find out how you can satisfy their needs and if that may have changed. Additionally, business should set up recording systems for this information and ways to interpret the feedback. Business should also regularly refer to this information when making decisions about marketing, procurement, merchandising and selling.
  • Determining customer needs is a critical step in building a successful business. Taking the time to do this will go a long way to ensuring business growth. Customer needs change over time so we recommend that businesses revisit their analysis on a semi regular basis. It’s important not to be afraid to change things should the research indicate this may be required. Small changes here and there may be all that is required to ensure that customer needs continue to be met.

Essay about How to Find Great New (Inspirational) Music

Essay about How to Find Great New (Inspirational) Music

Music is life to many people. It forms such a huge impact on the way you think, act, and experience emotion.  Not only are you at liberty to choose what music we want to listen to (for free may I add), but you also have more music available to you than anyone ever in history.  Music overload is on our hands!

One of the differences between today and yesterday is that in the past music moved much more by word of mouth. We all had that friend who said: “Hey, I just heard so and so, you should take a listen!”  And because this person was your friend, you acted nice and listened to it, starting a spiral where he thought you were actually as enthused about it as he was.  No, you weren’t.

The other less obtrusive (yet just as totalitarian) way to get introduced to new music was to hear a new song on the radio.  Yeah, the radio, you remember that thing with dial where you had your choice between 4 or 5 mediocre, ad-ridden stations that cycled the same songs every 4 hours?   Those days are thankfully over.  Goodbye.

Now I actually buy more music than I did in the past.  With all the music piracy out there (which by the way, I am totally against), how is it that when things are free that I actually choose to pay for them?  Simple:  I know what I am buying is good. Such a simple statement, but now I’m not spending twenty dollars on a CD and crossing my fingers hoping it will be good.

Image courtesy: Edusson.com

Here’s some great ways for you to find new music for yourself without anyone having to pitch it to you:

Amazon has a great service that recommends you artists that have either a similar style of music or artists that are bought by the same people, no matter how different their style.

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Here’s an example:

Dave Brubeck’s Greatest Hits vs. Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

Note the differences here. Dave Brubeck is classy and relatively popular. Amazon recommends you a ton of either classy and/or relatively popular material.  You can listen to samples of the music on the site where the CD or the MP3s are found.  Nightwish is one of the more popular of female-fronted heavy metal, one of the least eccentric genre’s of heavy metal, but still relatively specialized.  Notice because of the audience that listens to that type of music, Amazon recommends a ton of other female-fronted heavy metal albums.  Amazon is actually the service I use the most to find loads of new music.

Pandora is a good service to use as well if you live in the US (it is not available outside the US).  Type in the name of a song or an artist you like, and it will basically choose songs and artists that you may find interesting.  The way this works is that people vote for the songs that come up if they like them, encouraging Pandora to play, say, Eric Clapton for people who like Jimi Hendrix.  If you don’t like the song that comes up, simply disapprove of it and move on.  Easy.

Other sites that you might find interesting are Last.fm and Stumble Audio, who both use more or less the same principles as Pandora.

Don’t be a music victim any longer! Play an active role in what you listen to and never be someone else’s music guinea pig again!  There is too much out there to enjoy.

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