We’re reaching the end of our series of posts on data research. Last time, you learned about what you need to know about your prospective client. And today we’re digging a bit deeper.
We’ll be looking at how to stay aware of the different market trends within your industry. Which is an important part of your research efforts, yet one that many entrepreneurs push aside.
With the fear of “following what’s now fashionable and becoming another sheep of the herd”, some businesspeople tend to not pay attention to the market trends. They instead hold on dearly to their methods and personality. Mostly in the name of being different and innovative.
Well, here’s some news for you: if by being innovative and creative you’re not doing the things necessary to bring the prospects in and turning them into loyal customers, you’re simply spending time, money, and resources on a hobby. You’re not in business.
Things change. We can’t control it. We can’t stop it.
We can’t predict how our would-be consumers will behave in the next year, in the next month, or even the next week. But we can be aware of what’s going on around our industry and prepare for best and worst-case scenarios. It’s what we call “looking out for market trends”.
It’s what most successful businesses do. And what I urge you to at least consider doing.
What Market Trends You Should Look for… And Where
The most important trend you should stay aware of is the rate of growth of your target market. Pay close attention to your geographic area and customer type, looking for these specifics:
- growth of population
- local and national hiring boom (or layoffs) of your target audience
- if there has been a shift in the population of people or businesses in your area
- and the innovative technologies that are affecting the lives of your prospects.
This information comes in handy when you’re getting ready to create sales projections for your campaign. Other trends you should consider keeping an eye on having to do with the make-up of your market. These include (but are not limited to):
- changes in technology
- the economy
- and social value and concerns.
Trade associations publish valuable information on market trends. Check out your industry’s trade association for studies and forecasts on current customers and the trends affecting the industry. The US Government has a list of over fifty trade associations (contact information included) across the nation on their website. Look at the PDF to see if you can find yours. If not, there’s always Google and Bing.
Thanks for keeping up with this series of posts. I hope the information I’ve given you serves as the launching pad for a successful digital media network. And a successful business.