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Which Targeted Segment Are You Marketing To? Part I:

Which Targeted Segment Are You Marketing To? Part I:
Multicultural, Ethnic Spaces

We have become not a melting pot but a
beautiful mosaic. Different people, different
beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes,
different dreams.

~Jimmy Carter

Ethnic decor — whether you are a member of the ethnic group or just have a great love of the artifacts of the group — is more a sentiment than a science. This has to do with art… with culture. When you say country, modern, French, Victorian, et cetera, an immediate picture comes to your mind.

Ethnic groups — for example Latinos or African Americans — view the world and services or products from a totally different viewpoint than Caucasian Americans. Their cultural standpoint, lifestyle, values, and taste are all different from the mainstream. This phenomenon transforms into unique product selection habits, buying processes, and manners in using products, for a particular set of goods or services.

The arena is wide open, in an international field, for ownership in ethnic markets. What exactly does this mean, when we say a targeted market is ownable? If something is ownable, then it is possible to have or possess that item, as property… or, to have control over it. In our discussion on marketing to certain segments of ethnic populations, this simply means that you have cornered a section of that market, and have developed a group of steady, satisfied, loyal customers. They will look to you for solutions and products, before going elsewhere.

For you as a business owner, the first step to finding ownable ethnic market spaces is to discover which groups of ethnic customers are either underserved, or are not actively being targeted by any industry’s product or services. You define the gap, and proceed to fill the need! A business owner will look for an ethnic market space with a differing set of values and perceived needs from mainstream consumers… which, in the USA, are Caucasian Americans. You will be surprised and delighted at these differences.

The most commanding element of discovering an untapped market of ethnic customers is the perceived need — which migh be basic functionality, or extra comfort or luxury. One might believe that this is also accurate for the general market, but a savvy marketer understands that this discernment of need might be widely different from mainstream buyers.

An additional key factor for locating potential monopoly spaces (Definition: You have garnered a large, responsive area of a broad target market. They are loyal to you for having met specific needs) is to scrutinize ethnic spaces overlooked by your competition.

Even in the multicultural marketing plans of the most progressive businesses, often entire ethnic groups are viewed heterogeneously (consisting of dissimilar elements or parts; not homogeneous, which is of the same or similar nature or kind) Particularly for Latinos, this is a big mistake. Latinos have a large number of sub-groups that are the outcome of many major factors such as country of origin or Spanish language usage, to name just a few. African Americans have many sub-groups as well, having to do with Northern versus Southern locale, new residents whove arrived from foreign countries, and a variety of age-related groups. To many marketers, these ethnic niches are literally invisible. Luckily, this creates the ideal opportunity in many industries for businesses to pick out and gain control in valuable niche spaces within Latino and African American shopper audiences.

Strategically, it is important for a marketer to cultivate deep relationships with their particular ethnic audience. This connection is specifically important for companies offering services or products that differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Perhaps this topic has excited you and you are becoming certain that you would be successful in a given ethnic marketplace. However, you are wanting to know exactly where to begin. Your solutions are probably all around you… from your home, to the restaurants and other businesses you visit, to the books that interest you at the library. Look around your home for ethnic home decorations that youve collected, to provide you with some inspiration. Items such as art works could lead you to specializing in low-cost, small framed posters, or art work that features your chosen ethnic groups country.

Truly, the world is your bonanza! Tapping into and creating ethnic space monopolies should be the goal of every ethnic marketing plan. Research, as well as fostering close relationships within your chosen group, will lead to a successful business in previously untouched markets. Learn to deeply communicate, even if this means learning another language!

If you talk to a man in a language he understands,
that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his
own language, that goes to his heart.

~Nelson Mandela

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How to make your customer stick with you – Part

How to make your customer stick with you – Part 1

What is the best secret behind incredibly successful businesses? Is it keeping up with the trends? Having an excellent workforce who’ll make sure that your company is working in tiptop shape? Or having loyal customers who not only keep coming back to you whenever they need your products or services, but also help your company get more attention from other people through good word of mouth?

This article will give you great advice on how to make your customers stick with you.

One effective and free technique is a Forum. It is a great way to make your customers stick with you. Forums are great for learning, sharing of ideas, and generally masterminding with peers, but give some thought to the impact they can have on your lead generation efforts, as well as on your relationship to your customers.

By joining an active forum, you can significantly accelerate your rate of learning whether you are a newbie or an experienced practitioner.

For newbies, even if you merely lurk in the shadows and dont post on your forums, you will learn a lot by reading questions from others and the helpful replies by experienced forum members.

Apart from the information sharing and networking that forums offer, they have the potential to both positively and negatively impact your marketing efforts, levels of customer satisfaction, and the overall sentiments towards your customer.

Here are some ideas as to how you can use forums in a positive way to improve your marketing initiatives.

Conduct market research. Simply type in the name of the product of service you want to research in the search engine; within seconds you will have a list of website reviews, blog postings, and forum comments.

If you get some glowing comments in public or in membership forums for your products, contact the individuals to see if you can post these as testimonials. Negative comments should also be reacted to as well; contact the individuals and see if you can rectify the situation. Often a fixed bad experience can convert a vocal detractor into a fan. Most people can tolerate a mistake; what makes them angry is when you ignore them or pretend that no problem or grievance exists.

Use for Satisfaction Tracking. If your business markets a product to quite a large user base, it makes marketing sense to set up a product-specific forum and actively promote the forum to your customer base.

The postings by your customers will give you a good indication of the overall sentiment towards your product, as well as your service levels. Prospects can also use the forums as a gauge of product popularity and level of active support.

Your forum will also provide you with a communication channel to your customer base. You can use it to conduct quick polls and as a free customer relationship management alternative to paid-for satisfaction audits by marketing research firms.

New product ideas. It is worthwhile to join a couple of the more active forums related to your market, whether your website has a forum or not. You can possibly identify the need for new products or services by monitoring questions, complaints, and cries for help. A forum can also be a no-cost way to launch a pilot for a new product or service. You can get some early sign-ups or purchases without a major investment in marketing, and at the same time, use the opportunity to get some quick testimonials.

Finding JV partners. Monitoring active forums has another positive marketing spin off. It will help you identify potential JV partners. In the same way you are being assessed in your expert know-how, you can use the postings by your peers to identify those with whom it would make sense to explore setting up joint ventures. This could get you access to mailing lists that you currently do not have.

If you are adding an online component to your offline business or starting to investigate an online business opportunity, consider how you can incorporate the points listed above. For those suggestions that have a nice fit with your market, make a decision to take action and include them in your marketing activities. By actively and consistently applying these forum tactics, you will find that both your lead generation and your customer initiatives will be far more productive.