Past behavior is usually a pretty good indicator of how well we will perform in the future. That’s why we ask for a resume, for a credit history, educational background, past places of residence and even “references.”
In our need to be able to analyze data, we establish habits; habits that control HOW we look at information; habits that force us to come to well worn and comfortable conclusions based upon the type of information we receive.
In the early days of consumer research or market research, marketers looked at numbers, stereotyped “housewives” and proceeded to sell their products to this mythical “average American woman.” it wasn’t until many years later that the concept of “psychographics” (lifestyle research) was introduced into the equation and marketers learned a thing or two about efficiency.
Like early market researchers, many of us are still examining our business and asking old questions such as “how do we drive traffic?”; how do we get more league daytime bowers?”
The the real questions should be “how can I replicate my existing Saturday night customers and get more of them and that requires more SOPHISTICATED research than we have done; so we go to the email and spam out a discount offer for ALL open play bowlers, maybe even to Jimmy who just had his 6th birthday party with us!
And when it comes to researching our customers we still believe that adult league bowlers are as homogeneous as daytime ladies or seniors. And so our marketing ends up being very broad, but not very deep. Think about all the emails you send out to ALL Open play bowlers.
Why wouldn’t a 25 year old sophisticated investment banker buy an open play experience differently and have different expectations than a 25 year old construction worker? No judgement here; just noting the fact that these two people will have different expectations of their bowling experience.
Shouldn’t we as proprietors begin to understand the importance of these “expectational differences” (among more narrow segments) to our marketing efforts or does the old way still work for you?