Target the right customers
By Rob Weinberg
Are customer sales records worth saving? OH yeah!
Customer sales records show who’s bought what, when, and for how much. They instantly demonstrate what motivates someone to buy from you.
Which means poking through your own sales records might help you predict future sales patterns.
Take Target Stores as an example. A recent Forbes Magazine report told of Target studying thousands of pregnant women shoppers and discovering a pattern of their buying magnesium, zinc, lotion, and 22 other products during their second trimester.
Analysts then began predicting a woman’s due date based on these patterns, allowing Target to send her coupons for related purchases.
Thus Target began watching every woman’s shopping habits. They sometimes even know about pregnancies before family members do.
Their pro-activity potentially lets Target secure these women as loyal customers for years to come.
Feeling Big Brother watching you? It’s your own fault, since every credit card purchase, website visit, Fast Pass trip, and Facebook posting leaves a footprint.
There’s a large industry dedicated to collecting, buying and selling this wealth of information. Target went to the logical extreme, profiting from knowledge about their customers.
Your business can also benefit by better understanding your customers. Are they all Midwesterners? Rotarians? Hunters? Discover their commonalities and you’ll learn the key for easily growing your sales.
Start with a profile for just two customers. Who are they, and what do you know about them? What brought them to you, and what do they buy? What’s their age, where do they live, and what groups do they belong to?
You won’t know everything, so consider what else might help. Perhaps develop a survey to fill in the blanks.
Now examine two more customers tomorrow. You’ll shortly develop a sketch of customers’ buying patterns. Find other people who match this profile and you’ve probably found new customers.
It doesn’t matter if you believe this works. It works!
Target proved it. Credit card offers differing from your neighbors’ prove it. Ads on your Google search results prove it.
Not mining your own data puts you in the minority. You’ll boost your profits significantly just by knowing more about what you sell and to whom.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Mr. Marketing is former head of market research for a Fortune 500 company. Reach him for help with your customer information at www.askmrmarketing.com.
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