Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doing your own Market Analysis

In an earlier entry, we discussed the Market Analysis that were conducted for Alburtis, Coopersburg, Hellertown and Macungie. We've had a couple of questions about how people can conduct their own Market Analysis so I figured that this might be the best venue to try an answer those questions.

The process is actually incredibly simple. First, for a period of 2-3 weeks, ask your customers for their zip-codes. You'll notice that many big box stores ask for this information when you shop. Grocery store bonus cards are another advanced way that these stores collect this data. When you are tracking the zip codes, make sure to ask them of every customer and make sure that the survey is done during a normal business time (not during a particularly slow period or the holiday season).

From there, you can tally the information and use it to determine where your customers are coming from. This very basic information can tell you where your customers live, which obviously can give you some useful information about places where it may be a good idea to promote your establishment.

If you want to take this data one step further and dig a little deeper into your customers, check out the demographic information available at the Census website or Epodunk. Both of these websites can give you a great deal of information about your customers within the selected zip codes. From there, you can use that information to determine possible areas of expansion for your business and see what sort of new business you can generate within the effected zip codes.

For a relatively little amount of effort, you can yield some very important results.


Katie Bee said...

If you find that customers come from a pretty concentrated area, does this mean you should advertise in that area or not? I can see merits to doing it either way - if you advertise there, then you're reinforcing your base, if you advertise elsewhere, you're reaching out to new markets. Which choice is better?

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce said...

Katie, that's a great question. I don't necessarily think that there is one answer - it really depends on your specific business, your customer base and how much potential you think you have in each (the area where you are high concentrated and where you would want to expand to).