Back to Bookends
Let’s pay Uncle Dan and his bookstore another visit, now that you’re a little further along in your understanding of marketing research.
You’ll remember that you and Dan conducted both primary and secondary research to get a handle on who Bookends’ customers are—and who they aren’t. With the help of your cousin Marina, you crunched the data and identified three target segments you believe Dan should focus on. Here is the profile data you compiled for them:
Together, these segments make up more than 80 percent of Bookends’ clientele and about 90 percent of its monthly revenue. Looking at what they buy and why they come to Bookends, you’re getting some good ideas for ways of making the store more attractive for current customers, and you’ve got some ideas for bringing in new ones. With this new and improved information, it’s time to get to work on a marketing strategy and mix for each target segment.
Marketing Strategy: Bored Empty-Nesters
Bookends’ Bored Empty-Nesters are both the largest and the most profitable of the target segments. They have more time and more disposable income, and they spend more of both at your uncle’s bookstore. They like to use Bookends as a meeting place with friends and acquaintances, and you think that is a promising direction. You and your uncle brainstorm about ways of using the four Ps to win over even more of these customers (and get them to spend). The “product” you’re adjusting is not just the books you carry, but the whole experience customers have when the come to Bookends. Dan is excited about introducing book clubs—one for fiction and one for nonfiction books—to cater to this segment’s interests. Since Empty-Nesters have told you they love both socializing and getting a discount, you and Dan are trying out a “buddy night” promotion, in which people get a better price if they talk their friends into spending at Bookends, too.
Here is your Bored Empty-Nester game plan for the next couple of months:
Marketing Strategy: Busy Families
Research tells you that Busy Families come to Bookends as a family outing, so you need to make some aspects of the store more family-friendly, without ruining the atmosphere for your other target segments. The socializing-area adjustments you’re already planning for the Empty Nesters will be good for the Family segment, as well. You’re trying to get parents to spend a little more money at Bookends each month, so you’re adding a small toy section, a slightly expanded children’s book section, and also bottled drinks, packaged cookies, and brownies from a delicious local bakery. These adjustments add to the Bookends experience and include some new items Dan can sell with a nice profit markup.
Your Busy Families marketing mix is shaping up like this:
Marketing Strategy: Wannabe Hipsters
The Wannabe Hipsters are an interesting group. You almost didn’t include them in the three target segments because they are a smaller-sized group and don’t spend as much as the others. However, they do make up one in five Bookends customers, so it’s worth reaching out to see if you can bring more of them into the store and get them to spend more money while there. Fortunately, they like to come to Bookends during times when there aren’t many Busy Families around, so that opens some unique possibilities for ways of appealing to both segments.
Dan is excited about your suggestion to invite local bands to perform on Saturday nights. The Hipsters you spoke with suggested Dan try this, and it could make Bookends more of a social draw for that crowd. By rearranging shelving to create more socializing space, it opens up enough area for a live band to play for a small audience. You’re not convinced it’s going to translate into more book sales, but it’s worth a try.
The Hipster crowd has decidedly different communication preferences compared to the other groups, so your communication and promotion activities reflect this. To make sure they see the buddy discounts you’re offering, you suggest that Dan add signage about this promotion near the checkout counter, since that’s the place this audience is most likely to notice it.
The broad strokes of your Hipster Wannabe strategy are the following:
Onward and Upward for Bookends
After running the numbers with Dan, you are optimistic that outreach to these target audiences will be the jumpstart his business needs. Your use of near-term promotions and events will help generate renewed interest and traffic for the store. You have advised Dan to explore interest in and options for a customer loyalty program that rewards customers for spending more at Bookends. That’s what the next round of marketing research will investigate.
In the meantime, you’ve learned a lot about the marketing research process and how to turn marketing information into future marketing strategies and plans. You’re excited to keep helping Dan as he puts your ideas to work, and, best of all, if business at the Bookends really starts to improve, you’ve got free graphic novels for life.