If you are a retailer with multiple locations across multiple markets, you may need to do some market research before finalizing your local media plans.
You might think that because two markets are similar in size and population that the same marketing plan will work for both markets. Even in markets that are geographically close to each other, you may find you need to tailor your plans to the specific nuances of each market. Simply making “cookie cutter” plans across multiple markets may not be the best use of your marketing dollars.
According to a recent Marketing Profs article Brian Fletcher notes,
Market research is essential to you and your brand’s long-term success. Market research will keep your brand afloat while companies who fail to make research a high priority drown.
While there are many reasons to do market research in general, don’t forget to consider that even similar markets can be very different.
You may find when doing your research that your customer base in each market is very different. Just as you would expect a location around a major university to draw a younger crowd, in the same way the makeup of the market overall will also play a role in your target audience.
If the market skews older or more ethnic, you may need to consider skewing your advertising to some of those groups. You may find that the same product will appeal to a different customer in different markets simply because of the market makeup. Even if your product appeals to a younger crowd in one market, don’t hesitate to skew your advertising a little older in another market if the market research dictates the need.
You may also find that the best mediums to use to reach your potential customers are very different from one market to another. While most markets have at least one television and radio station option to choose from, you may find that it makes more sense to vary your media recommendation market to market based on media usage.
There are a number of ways media usage can vary market to market. You may find that cable penetration is very low in some areas of your marketing area and decide to eliminate cable from the mix. You may find that the strongest radio station is quite a distance away and decide to eliminate radio from the mix.
You might also find that internet usage is very different market to market, especially if you are targeting a particular behavior. For example, if you are looking for people who are searching for online coupons, some markets will have a greater propensity for this type of behavior than other markets. Don’t hesitate to add online to your plans in the markets where it makes sense.
As you consider how to reach all your marketing areas, don’t forget that taking the time to do a little market research might be the best way to narrow down your plans and make smart use of your marketing dollars.