Do Your Homework

By: Mandy Cummings, WildRock Office Administrator

Working on strategy sessions with clients is one of our favorite jobs here at WildRock. Everyone is in one room, coffee flowing and whitestorming like crazy (our patented term combining “whiteboard” and “brainstorming.”) Before we all sit around the table and get down to the heart of what makes your company tick, there’s an important step that must come first. That’s right, just like your mom always said; you have to do your homework before you can go play.

Whenever you are preparing to embark on a marketing plan or strategic campaign for your business, it’s important to first take the time to pull together some industry and market research. Here are some categories to consider:

  1. Demographic Profiles: Brilliant marketing ideas are great, but without knowing who your target audience is, where they live, what activities they enjoy and how much disposable income they make per year, those efforts will most likely fall flat. Take the guesswork out of targeting consumers by learning about your market and how they like to receive information, then craft focused efforts based off that data.
  2. Industry Research: Don’t be the guy opening a video rental store when everyone is subscribing to Netflix. Doing some industry research identifies trends in the industry and can help you avoid major pitfalls (can you even buy a VHS player anymore?) Understanding growth areas in your industry can also give you an idea of where to focus your energy and create a successful niche for your business.
  3. Competitive Analysis: It’s important to have an idea of what you’re up against. Are you the only one in your industry not on LinkedIn? Why might fans be engaging more with a competitor’s Facebook page? Is it time for a website update? A little (friendly) competition can keep you from falling behind on a major trend and point out how you can differentiate your brand.
  4. Local Trends: Get out and hit the pavement! Census reports and online databases can offer incredibly helpful information, but nothing beats getting out and walking around the community where you’re trying to grow your business. Check out the area, get a feel for the tone and preferences of consumers and be inspired by efforts from other organizations in the area.

So, where to start? There are plenty of databases and articles you can find by doing Internet searches, but we recommend heading out to your nearest public library. Most libraries have tons of (free!) databases you can access for demographic information and industry reports, and trained staff to help you navigate those tools.

Interested in doing a strategy session with WildRock? Contact us today!