Splendid Marketing in 30 Days: Listening to the MarketTuesday, November 22, 2011
Once you have identified which segment of the bridal market you want to target, you can begin listening to what people in the market are talking about. A smart marketing plan begins with and is sustained by listening, and social media has made market research more accessible and more affordable than ever before for any size business.
To begin, simply set up Google Alerts for they keywords you want to monitor. These can be as broad or as specific as you would like -- "weddings" or "yellow and grey weddings", etc. You can choose to have the alerts delivered to your email inbox or to your Google Reader account. I choose the Google Reader option because it is more manageable and allows me to keep my inbox more organized.
One of the benefits of using Google Reader is that it also allows you to subscribe to other updates as well that don't offer an email option. You can enter a keyword on Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr and subscribe to the updates of those and have them organized automatically into separate folders in your Google Reader account. You can also do this with Facebook updates by clicking the "get updates via RSS" option on a fan page.
These updates may not be from people you follow and you don't have to follow them to pay attention. For example, I subscribe to the keyword "wedding" on Twitter. It filters into my Google Reader and I scroll through the updates every day or two. The word "wedding" averages a few hundred tweets per day and provides an interesting snapshot into how people relate to weddings in general. It includes updates from people in the industry, brides and grooms planning their own weddings, people attending weddings, people who love them, people who hate them and think they're wasteful, and so on. For my work, being able to see how the public perceives weddings -- good and bad -- is important.
For your own marketing needs, knowing both the good and bad feelings about the topics you are tracking is also important. Don't throw out the negative because it doesn't feel as nice as the positive. The negative shows you exactly where pain points are. This is valuable information because it helps you know where your market or sub-industry is not meeting the real needs of real brides and grooms.
Pay attention to what brides or grooms are sharing on their blogs, or Pinterest and Tumblr. Is what you offer missing from the conversation? Is what you offer not being shared because it is irrelevant or because it doesn't exist yet? The point of all of this is not to jump in and leave spammy comments on the person's blog or tweet them that you are available to help with their wedding. The point is to listen: just listen and only listen. Using Google Reader and other social media platforms as listening tools and making notes of what you see will allow you to see gaps in the market that you can potentially fill as well as saturation points that can show you where to deviate from what everyone else is doing.
Splendid Marketing in 30 Days: Identifying Your Target Market
Splendid Marketing in 30 Days: Brand Positioning
The full Splendid Marketing in 30 Days series