How To Do Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is to segment or divide the total market that exists for a homogeneous product in different submarkets composed of consumers with similar characteristics, and then select from all the resulting sub-markets, the market or markets more attractive to venture.

The reason to segment the market today is that the total market that exists for a product is so wide and varied that it is not profitable to adapt a product for every type of consumer who formed, but it is reasonable to identify types of consumers with similar characteristics, and focus only on one of these.

Focusing on a segmented but attractive market and direct our products or services only to it, allows us to specialize in it and thus achieve greater efficiency because, for example, we can better understand the needs and consumer preferences that shape it, and to care for the best possible way.

Let’s look at what are the steps to perform market segmentation, along with a simple example that will help us gain a better understanding:

1. Segment the total market

The first step is to identify the total market that exists for our product and segment or divide it into different homogeneous submarkets composed of consumers with similar features.

To do this segmentation we use different variables; for example, we can segment or divide markets by:

  • location (country, region, city).
  • age group (children, adolescents, adults).
  • gender (men and women).
  • socioeconomic level (Level A, Level B, C level).
  • income (monthly income range).
  • degree of (primary, secondary, university) education.
  • social status (high, medium, low).
  • lifestyle (activities, interests, hobbies).

Example: for a business engaged in the manufacture and sale of clothing we decided to segment the market into men and women, ages 0-15, 15-35 and 35-60 years and monthly income of 0-500, 500 1500, and 1500 to $ 3000.

2. Select the target market

Once you have segmented the total market that exists for our product, the next step is to select among all resulting submarkets, the most suitable or attractive to venture, given our resources, capacity, expertise and experience; but considering also that is sufficiently broad and has sufficient financial capacity.

The submarket chosen would become in our target market, target market, niche or target audience; market to which we will direct and upon which we design our marketing strategies.

Example: once we have segmented the market we decided that the submarket which will direct our clothing and, therefore, our target market, will consist of women 15 to 35 years with monthly incomes of 500 to $ 1,500.

3. Define the consumer profile

Once we have selected our target market, to make a better analysis, we define the consumer profile that conforms; ie, we describe what are its main characteristics, based mainly on the variables that have previously been used to segment the market.

The definition of the consumer that makes up our target market might include where it is, what is your age range, what their socioeconomic status, what their preferences are, what their habits profile, what their habits, what their interests, etc.

Example: Once you have selected our target market and we have analyzed, we determined that the consumer profile that shape it is striking women seeking models for garment that will provide, pay for it usually average 30 dollars, usually acquire primarily in shopping centers, and often have as main pastime surf the Internet.

4. Develop marketing strategies

Once you have clearly defined the consumer profile that makes up our target market, based on that profile, we design the marketing strategies that we will use to assist you.

The design of marketing strategies could include designing products that seek to meet their tastes and preferences, pricing commensurate with their economic capacity, choosing sales channels that are accessible, selecting advertising media available to them scope, copy-writing messages that cause impact, etc.

Example: Once you have defined the consumer profile that makes up our target market, striking design models for our garments, we put a price of $ 30, we sell primarily in shopping centers, and we promoted mainly through Internet.

5. Select new markets

When starting a business it is advisable to target small but attractive markets, but as we increase our sales and experience, can choose to turn to broader markets.

So the final step is to make new segmentation’s and select new markets to which venture that allow us to launch new products, create new brands, establishing new sales channels, open new stores and perform other actions that allow us to grow as a company.

Example: once we have grown as a company and gained sufficient experience, and we have established in the market of women, we also decided to enter the market of men and, therefore, launch a new line of clothing for men.

Connected Cars Offer Something For Everyone to Like

The smart money is betting that sales of smart cars will explode, but concerns about privacy, cybersecurity, average sticker price and embedded vs. smart phone connectivity are also growing as connected cars move from the realm of science fiction to everyday fact.

Although most drivers can’t afford the $55,000 average cost of today’s connected car, many analysts believe prices will fall significantly in the next few years. As a result, Gartner predicts that 250 million connected cars will be rolling on the world’s roads by 2020, while a BI Intelligence report forecasts that 75 percent of the 92 million cars shipped globally in 2020 will be built with internet connection hardware.

IHS Automotive predicted that nearly twenty percent of all cars sold globally will include some connectivity.

Despite the higher price, consumers are already sold on the benefits of cars with in-vehicle technology. Thirty-nine percent of car buyers say such technology is a top selling point, according to a study by Accenture. This is more than twice the number (14 percent) who say “traditional” performance measures such as power and speed are their top priority.

For now, the technology connecting smart cars to the Internet (and often Wi-Fi) is split between systems embedded by the auto manufacturers and those driven by devices such as smart phones. Most analysts believe embedded connectivity will eventually dominate, especially as prices decline, because it will let automakers and insurers collect key performance, safety and driving data. In the short term, however, many consumers will probably rely on smartphones to access features and functions that include infotainment, remote door unlocking, navigation systems, weather and traffic alerts and problem-diagnosis tools.

Despite widespread optimism about the enhanced safety and convenience promised by connected cars, the federal government and some consumer groups worry that the vast amounts of data collected and transmitted between various parties could threaten individual privacy and even safety.

Recently, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued letters to 17 carmakers and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration requesting details of the cybersecurity measures they plan to take to prevent hackers from accessing smart cars’ safety and communications systems. In addition to fears that hackers could collect personal information stored in the cars, some people worry that criminals could actually wrest control of smart cars, disabling critical systems such as brakes and steering.

Although these fears might sound like something invented by a Hollywood screenwriter, researchers affiliated with the Center for Automotive Embedded Systems demonstrated in 2010 that it’s possible to take over all of a car’s vital systems. In 2011, the same researchers showed how to remotely take control of a vehicle through its telematics systems. Just this past Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced it will recall 1.4 million cars and trucks to protect them from hacking after Wired magazine did a piece on how hackers could remotely hijack a Jeep over the internet.

In response to concerns about the unregulated collection and sharing of sensitive personal data by legitimate companies, Triple A has proposed a sort of Bill of Consumer Rights to the Federal Transportation Commission. They proposed that consumers receive the right to know what information is collected and how it’s used, the right to decide whether to share certain data, and the right to expect that their vehicles’ data systems are protected against unauthorized access.

This is definitely a topic that will see quite of bit of action and we should all stay tuned in.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ernest_B_Bray

The Best Ways To Use Tech In Your Business

You may not realise that technology can be a wonderful resource for a small business like yours. We are here to show you how. Whether you are looking to market your business effectively or keep it safe, we guarantee technology offers the answer. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can use the latest tech solutions to give your business a boost.

Tech Promotion

There are a lot of blogs online claiming that internet marketing is free. While this isn’t exactly true, digital promotion is still excellent value for money. It can be particularly useful for a small business owner such as yourself. By promoting your business online using the latest software, you will ensure that it is seen by the biggest market possible. This is important and will guarantee you have a strong chance of gaining a better position on the marketplace quickly.

When we refer to online marketing, we usually mean concepts such as SEO and CRO. These are valuable methods of promotion that you should be investing in. But, you should also think about more radical ways to market your business using technology. For instance, you may want to consider creating an app for your company. If you use an app, it can be a great tool to market your business. But as well as this, it can allow consumers a different form of interacting with your company. It’s a great way of securing your place in the modern market.

 

Tech Security

As the owner of a new company, you should be thinking of investing in network security services. The online world is a dangerous place for a new business, and you need to keep your network protected. You should be thinking about potential hacks and cyber thefts. Remember, keeping passwords and encryptions on important files will only go so far to stopping hackers. Ideally, you need to hire a service that specialises in protecting your network. They’ll maintain your business network and deal with any problems as they arise. You won’t have to worry about losing the trust of your customers or facing any down time.

Tech Cost Cutting

You can use technology to cut the costs of your business. There are a lot of tasks you won’t need to hire employees for because technology can handle it for you. For instance, you no longer need an accountant to deal with your business finances. You can get the latest software that manages your costs and savings effectively. You’ll have complete access and be in complete control of your spendings. We are sure you can see how attractive this possibility is for a business owner such as yourself.

You can also use digital services to save money in your business. For example, you might still be using a faxing machine to transfer documents to colleagues and clients. These are expensive and can be difficult to maintain. They are also obsolete. The latest software allows the easy transfer of files digitally straight to your email, no matter how big.

It seems clear then that tech isn’t just one of the best solutions to improving your business. It’s the only solution.

Food Importers – FDA Issues New Guidance Aimed at Expediting Your Importations

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. FSMA requires FDA to establish a voluntary, fee-based program, named the “Voluntary Qualified Importer Program” (VQIP) which promises expedited review and importation of foods from importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.

Recently the FDA published a draft version of “Guidance for Industry: FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP)”.  According to FDA’s website, VQIP will also benefit consumers by enabling the FDA to focus its resources on high risk foods, further protecting consumers from the potential health hazards associated with those foods. In order for a food importer to be eligible for the VQIP program, the importer should:

  1. Have at least a 3 year history of importing foods
  2. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
  3. Use a paperless filer/broker who received a passing rating during their last FDA evaluation
  4. Import food that is not subject to an import alert or Class 1 recall
  5. Not be, nor any non-applicant entity associated with the VQIP food be, subject to an FDA administrative or judicial action, have a history of significant non-compliance with food safety, or have one or more voluntary food recalls
  6. Assure compliance with several FSMA regulations
  7. Possess a current facility certification
  8. Have a clear 3 year history with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), meaning no CBP penalties, forfeitures, or sanctions.
  9. Pay the annual VQIP user fee before October 1st of the intended year of participation (FDA estimated flat fee of $16,400 annually), and
  10. Develop and implement a Quality Assurance Program (QAP)

Having a robust QAP program is one of the most vital components to have in place to qualify for VQIP and will be one of the largest hurdles for eligibility for those that do not have a QAP program in place. QAP is a compilation of the written polices and procedures a food importer will need in order to ensure adequate control over the safety and security of the foods to be imported. The QAP portion of the VQIP application will be time consuming and difficult to navigate, but with expert help, it can be manageable. FDA believes financial benefits of VQIP will outweigh the efforts in the application process.

FDA estimates that the VQIP program will officially commence in January, 2018.

All food importers that want a faster, streamlined supply chain should consider participation in VQIP. For more information on VQIP, or assistance in developing your QAP program, or want to make sure your voice is heard during the comment period, contact me anytime at jdiaz@bplegal.com.

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s look at marketing 10 tips dedicated to small businesses that can help us increase our customer base and our sales.

Specialize in one type of product

The produce or offer only one type of product or service will allow us to be experts or specialists in what we do or offer and, thereby, to provide a product or service quality.

The specialize in one type of product will also allow us to capture more customers, since they, seeing us as experts or specialists, have a high perceived value of our products and we choose rather than competition.

Even the specialize in one type of product will allow us to increase our prices because consumers are willing to pay more if they believe that anyone who produces or offers goods or services, is a specialist in what he does.

Specialize in one type of consumer

This council is a variation of the first, is to direct our products to only a certain type of consumer.

The focus on a specific audience type will allow us to specialize in it and know very well their needs, preferences, customs and habits and, thus offering a product specially dedicated to meet those needs, tastes and preferences, and design strategies or making decisions based on these customs and habits.

Create an identity

Create an identity means giving a unique style to our business or our products.

By creating an identity position our brand in the minds of consumers, which in turn enables us they identify with our brand and recognize it at any time.

Our identity can be based on any differentiation or important feature in our products, in the style or the way we serve in the design or combination of colors we use, etc.

Offer variety

We specialize in one type of product and consumer, and create our own identity or style, but at the same time, we must offer variety.

Consumers are always looking for variety. Can we achieve to be faithful to our products, but eventually left to find variety in them, we will soon leave and go to competition.

To provide variety we offer different alternatives and constantly launch new products without thereby changing the type or style of our current products.

Listen to the customer

Listening to the customer is being permanently attentive to their opinions, suggestions, comments, complaints or claims.

Even, we must try to find this information, for example, using surveys, creating a suggestion box, talking with them and asking what is your opinion about our products, calling them by phone to see how it fared with their use, etc.

This will allow us to tailor our products to their needs, tastes and preferences, and know what we are doing wrong, what we need to improve, what should we remove or change.

Getting the data of our customers and make a database

We should always try to get the data of our clients such as your name, address, phone, email and date of birth, so that we can create a database that will help us better understand our customers, follow them up and maintain contacts with they.

For example, we can send you a thank you card, greeting or greetings, and so seek to win their loyalty, or we can send a printed newsletter by mail or an email newsletter to your email, on our new offers or promotions.

To get your data we can make use of promotions, for example, create a lottery in which to participate have to enter your details, or we can simply solicitousness when you purchase our products or services.

Identify needs, tastes or preferences

We must always seek to identify needs, tastes, preferences, habits or customs of our individual customers.

This will enable us to offer a personalized, for example, offering a product specially designed according to the tastes or preferences of a particular customer.

To detect the tastes or preferences of our clients, we monitor and analyze them, for example, what products they use most are, what their habits, what their buying preferences, etc.

Be attentive to competition

Just as we must be ever vigilant to our market or target audience, we must be ever vigilant to our competition.

We must be attentive to the strategies or actions you perform as well as the emergence of new competitors.

This information will allow us to react quickly, for example, designing strategies that allow us to meet his, or making decisions that allow us to counteract or take advantage of their actions.

Use testimonials

Whenever possible we should not look for testimonials from satisfied customers and then use those accounts as an introduction to other potential customers.

The bigger the testimonies and the more known are the clients that we do, we will cause better impression.

We may publish the testimonies, for example, in our brochures or website, or we can simply mention to potential customers, major customers we have served and the services we have provided them.

Find referrals

Whenever possible we should seek referrals , ie ensure that our customers recommend us and help get other clients.

One way to achieve this is to give our customers discount coupons that give them away to their acquaintances, and offering a product for free whenever it is used three of their coupons.

We should always devise strategies that allow us to get referrals, however, we must remember that the best way to achieve that we recommend, is offering a product or service quality.

IS YOUR COSMETIC PRODUCT REALLY A DRUG?

In June alone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused the importation of over 200 different shipments of Cosmetics from 22 different countries.The two main reasons the FDA cited in refusing entry of cosmetic products were:

  1. The products were “misbranded” (lack of adequate directions for use, nutrient content and/or health claims, anti-ageing labeling claims rendering the product a drug; or
  2. The products were “adulterated” (unsafe addition of a color additive).

Definition of a Cosmetic vs. Drug

Misbranding may come down to whether the FDA believes the product is a drug (which is often based on the products intended use, and labeling claims). It is therefore important to know the difference in the way FDA defines cosmetics and drug products, to ensure you label your products correctly.

A product designed for “cleansing beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance,” is generally defined as a cosmetic by the FDA.

A drug on the other hand, is as a product “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease,” or “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.”

Why Cosmetic Products will be Refused by the FDA

One prevalent reason the FDA refuses cosmetic products is because of the claims cosmetic products makes rendering the product a “drug”. A health claim is one example of a type of claim, specifically it is a claim that the product affects the structure and or function of the human body. If your product makes a health claim it may be rendered and regulated as a drug by the FDA.

In response to the increase use of “health claims” on cosmetic products, the FDA re-published an import alert for skin care products labeled as anti-aging. These products claimed to reverse the effects of aging by controlling or preventing the aging process, which is a claim that the product affects the structure and functions of the human body, and were thus regulated a drug product by the FDA.

The FDA issued a consumer update this March highlighting the difference between a drug and a cosmetic product. The purpose of this publication was to inform consumers about cosmetic products that promise too much. In order to protect consumers from this type of cosmetic misbranding, the FDA has told companies to remove drugs claims or seek FDA approval to market these products as drugs (this is a timely and very expensive process). However, the FDA further admits that there is “no one-size-fits all answer” to whether a claim is a drug claim or cosmetic claim.

Form 766

If your product is on hold by the FDA because it is misbranded, there are affirmative actions you can take. Section 801(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states that an importer of record may submit to the FDA a written application (using FDA’s Form 766) requesting permission to “recondition” your product. This post-compliance action, if approved by the FDA, will allow your product to be released. As approval is discretionary by the FDA, it is important you take the right steps and hire the right expert to assist you in this process.

FTC

In addition to regulation by the FDA, cosmetic companies are also subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The FTC issues administrative complaints when companies engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair and deceptive acts, such as deceptive advertising. The FTC has issued complaints following FDA warning letters to cosmetic companies.

You may recall cosmetics company L’Oréal USA, Inc. receiving a FTC complaint alleging deceptive advertising of its products Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code. The FTC has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order (proposed order) from L’Oréal. According to the complaint, L’Oréal violated Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act because they claimed that its Génifique products were “clinically proven” to “boost genes’ activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins that would cause “visibly younger skin in just 7 days,” and would make you look as if you “slept 2 extra hours.” Similarly, L’Oréal claimed that its Youth Code products were the “new era of skincare: gene science,” and that consumers could “crack the code to younger acting skin.” L’Oréal made these claims via print, radio, television, internet and social media outlets. (It is important to note, both FDA and FTC regulate not only the product, but, also all ancillary advertisements, including websites). The FTC’s complaint followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning to L’Oreal about language used in their advertisements that made the products sound more like drugs than cosmetics.

How Becker & Poliakoff Can Help

Although the FDA has issued import alerts, consumer updates, and labeling guides for cosmetics, there is still no bright line between cosmetic type claims and drug claims. Unfortunately, if the FDA finds your cosmetic product on the wrong side of that line, your product may be detained and later potentially refused by the FDA. The solution is to ensure you use “pre-compliance”, by having all products, ingredients, claims and ancillary marketing reviewed by an expert PRIOR to importation.

Protect Your Computer from Spam and Viruses

Keeping your computer running smoothly can be a pain for the inexperienced. From computer viruses to spam emails, there are a lot of factors to consider when you surf the web or browse emails. Likewise, it can be frustrating to figure out which programmes help and which applications actually slow down your computer. Many programmes claim to be beneficial, but in reality simply slow down your computer’s CPU and take up space on your hard drive. Furthermore, it can sometimes seem like spammers and junk mailers find you despite your best efforts to remain anonymous on the web. Don’t worry though. With the right resources and knowledge, you can block spam and keep all your online accounts safe.

First of all, it’s important to differentiate between good protection software and programmes that are more detrimental to your system. There are countless companies and programmes out there, trying to get you to click on their ads or promotions, but you should never be so hasty. If you see online ads, especially with flash animations, you should be sceptical. Don’t simply click on any advertisement you come across; instead read reputable tech websites and cross-reference product reviews to get the real scoop on anti-spam software. Likewise, take a trip down to your local computer repair store and ask them their thoughts on installing specific programmes on your system. Always seek the advice of professionals before you use any suspicious software.

Obviously, some spam-blockers are great resources; you just need to decide which ones are worth your time. Certain spam-blockers and virus protection programmes are offered online for free, but you should be wary of any free virus software. On the other hand, if a programme offers you a trial period, such as Mailcleaner’s antispam blocker software, you can be sure that this is a more legitimate option. After all, if you are good at something, you should never do it for free! Be on the lookout for allegedly free spam-blocking software and instead opt for programmes that offer a free trial period or cost a nominal fee. Likewise, always read customer reviews for the app from third party and unbiased websites.

Don’t forget, there are steps you can take to reduce spam on your account as well. For example, never put your email address on forums, blogs or other open sites that make your information available to anyone. Moreover, don’t sign up for email lists or promotions arbitrarily. Many of those sites can take your information and share it with other business, all of which can flood your email inbox. It might seem like there is a lot to remember when choosing a quality anti-virus and spam-blocking software, but with the right tools and knowledge, you will make a smart and informed decision.

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