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Getting to know my tarket market

cheiseltcheiselt subscriber Posts: 1
edited August 2006 in Marketing
Having recently finished grad school and thus having a good deal of exposure to all sorts of students and student life, I`m trying to target mainly undergraduates that live in off-campus housing.  Now, while I have a good idea of their needs, it`s been a while since I`ve been living in that kind of situation (i.e. single as a student with room mates).To compound the problem, I have a nasty timid streak so am not comfortable in just going up to strangers and asking questions (it terifies me!).That said, I know that in order to make a really good, targeted product/service I need to understand my customers, their situations, their needs, their wants, and their values.So far, my default plan is to just gather info at each job that I do, but I`m not sure if that`s enough.  So, here`s the question for you all:What are other ways that I can better understand my target market?Many, many thanks!


  • RalfRalf subscriber Posts: 0
    Gathering info at each job you do is a great start, but you need to do more. These days, the web is a great place to find out a lot of pertinent info on just about anything. For starters, I recommend you include that in your fact-finding journey at any rate.
    Now, that was the easy part, and you may not like the next bit, but here it goes:
    Overcome your fear, and TALK to these folks! You learn the most about anybody by talking to them! Hang out in places they hang out, listen, and join in. Trust me, nothing bad is going to happen to you when you start talking to people you`re really interested in and ultimately want to help with your product or service.
    A nice way to get started is by telling them about your idea, your product or service, and to ask them for feed-back. Most of them will be more than willing to help, and you`ll learn a heck of a lot about their needs, values, challenges, etc.
    If this sounds too tough for you right now, do it together with a friend, and let him/her do the talking first until you feel more comfortable doing it yourself.
    Best of luck and lots of success!
  • JoetheRoadWarriorJoetheRoadWarrior subscriber Posts: 2
    I would like to give you my thoughts on the needs/desires of under-graduate and graduate students. Having successfully worked in 54 countries during my career and returning from a 6 year Consultant contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I have been invited by many local organizations including Universities as a Guest Speaker. The theme of my presentation is always success in the global marketplace.
    Being a "nerdy" Engineer by trade (Military/Commercial Telecommunications), most of my presentations have been to Technical students, both under-graduate and graduate. Well, in one of the presentations, I displayed the Convolutional Integral (for those unfamiliar - an analytical way of looking at the relationship between time and frequency) on one slide and on the next, a Block Diagram of a real-world international Telecom system that I designed while a practicing Project Engineer. It even "floored" two of the Professors in the room!!!
    With an MBA and international business experience, I was recently invited to a local Business University and I presented a step-by-step approach to get a "foot-hold" in the newly-independent country of Latvia. This was based on my participation in the Michigan Civic Leaders Tour in 2004 traveling to Bosnia and Latvia. Once again, one Professor said they did not teach the practicalities - just the theory.
    My goal in this posting is to provide a solution to an area that I feel would be immensely valuable to college students - practical applications of theoretical dissertations and I have no doubt that with word of mouth advertising (the most effective method of advertising in my opinion)- you would be very successful. We are in the Global Marketplace and let`s get the word out!!!!
    Just a thought! Have a great weekend.
  • cheiseltcheiselt subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks so much very applicable advice!I know I need to just get out there and talk to people.  Since I`m on campus at least once a week hanging up flyers, I should use that to ask some questions.Ralph & Donna,  you both brought up the notion of hanging out where they hang out (Ralph with the physical spaces and Donna with the virtual spaces).I`ll definitely be spending more time on Facebook and MySpace.Thanks!If anyone else has more suggestions, please continue to share!Conan.
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