Running small businesses from home increased during the time of the lockdowns across the globe. As shops had to close down, store owners needed to move to online platforms. Consequently, many things changed. The potential market is no longer just limited to the immediate location of the shop. Buyers could be as far as a delivery company could reach. But had all businesses been effective in reaching these new markets?
Unfortunately, marketing styles in geographically-confined markets might not have been as effective online. First of all, the people on the internet vary not only according to income brackets, but also to geographic location, cultures, and other demographic characteristics.
Ideally, market research should be conducted if you want to reach out to as many as you could. But while you’re doing that, instead of segmenting the population according to their socio-demographic characteristics, you can try marketing lifestyles. No matter their age, gender, educational achievements, or marital status, any one person invested in a lifestyle would more or less be interested in goods related to it.
For example, instead of simply thinking about the age group of women who would want to wear frilly clothes, think of what kind of lifestyle those women would have. Then try to understand it. If you go into the retail of outdoor wear, you need to understand the lifestyle of people who love the outdoors. It wouldn’t be easy to market your stocks if you can’t relate to the people who normally buy these. Ask these simple questions.
What do they usually do and where?
Of course, the first thing you need to know is what their activities are. Do their lifestyles encourage them to go out, to stay indoors, to be at beaches, or to be in libraries? If you know what they’re doing, you would know what their material needs for those things would be.
If you’re trying to market sunscreens, you would not target those who would most likely spend most of their time playing video games or reading comic books. You might want to sell to office workers who spend most of their time inside temperature-controlled rooms, but your narrative must be appropriate. You have to convince them that they need to wear sunscreen even when indoors. Your best bet would be the population, both young and old, who are always active outdoors.
How do these people use the products?
Appliances, gadgets, and things in general are used differently in varying contexts. If you notice cellphones, there is an option for the automatic change in its backlight to adapt to the brightness of a room. That’s because indoors, a bright backlight would be too glaring, while outdoors, a dark screen would be difficult to read. Similarly, with other things, they have to be adaptable to the user’s surroundings.
Another example would be the pen. For those who use pens mostly when working on a table, they would have them in a desk organizer. For this, pens with fancy caps or elaborate stands are perfect as they could be used as a display. But people who always encounter forms and documents while going around offices or places usually have their pens clipped to their shirts for convenience.
What is their average income?
The average income would not be as important s when you’re using specific socio-demographic data to target your market. But still, you would want to know what income bracket would most likely follow that lifestyle so that you could put a cap on your prices.
You can always market to both high-end and low-end markets. You need to know how to get their interest though. For people who have lower budgets, you could sell the durability of your products if they’re a bit pricy.
Who do they listen to?
Another way of saying it is who could influence them? Mass marketing is good only to introduce a product. But what could convince people to buy are other people whose lifestyles they wish to emulate. It wouldn’t be hard since many influencers nowadays are also projecting specific lifestyles instead of just promoting a smorgasbord of products.
Because of the recent shifts, marketing has become more challenging. But at the same time, it’s more fun, pushing your creative limits.