This article is written by Kevin Dunphy, a Business Development Officer with the City of Hamilton.
“Know your customer” is a golden rule in business. Following this rule may allow business owners to hone marketing efforts and to make better customer centric products and services.
How can a small retail business get to know their customers though? One solution is to look towards local demographic information.
Through the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator Program, the Hamilton Business Centre has shared 10 Community Market Profiles, providing information on people living within a 15-minute walking distance of various Hamilton “trade” areas. These reports can be downloaded from the Hamilton Business Centre’s website. The HBC will share key insights from each report in a series of infographics and articles.
Today, the King Street East Corridor’s report is explored. Data in this report pertains to King Street East, starting just east of International Village BIA and continuing to Barnesdale Avenue South. Any business that exists within a fifteen-minute walking distance of this area may find information in the report useful.
In the area, 57.4% of residents find shopping locations through their mobile device. This suggests apps like Google Maps are used to find shopping locations, and that maintaining a Google Business Profile is important for small business owners looking to attract new customers.
The Hamilton Business Centre will help business owners optimize their Google Business Profile with a 25-Point Google Business Profile Audit.
1 in 3 people in the area primarily follow brands on social media to get coupons and discounts. Small businesses around the King Street East Corridor may see a growth in their online following if promotions are shared on their social media profiles.
Moreover, the two largest customer segments in the area look for budget friendly offerings. This is in part because of income levels being lower than average, leading to a population with a significant financial concern for their future. To accommodate such customers, businesses may consider creating a budget friendly product or service.
Knowing where customers visit online is important if a business is planning a social media advertising campaign. A social media breakdown shows Facebook as the dominate social media platform, with YouTube being a close runner up.
Knowing that YouTube is a popular social media platform in the area, one business that participated in the My Main Street program posted videos on YouTube demonstrating how to use its products.
If a business is interested in making similar videos, consider applying for the Digital Transformation Grant 4.0, where funding (when available) from the grant can be used for digital marketing initiatives like the creation of promotional videos.
Lastly, some dominate values in the area include a rejection of inequality and social learning. Knowing local values is important as they can inform decisions regarding marketing messaging or events.
For example, people who value social learning believe they can gain personal enrichment by learning from cultures and people different from themselves. One business in the King Street East Corridor, knowing how locals value social learning, plans to offer classes taught by teachers with diverse backgrounds.
Overall, possessing data on local community members can help entrepreneurs make informed business decisions.
Follow the Hamilton Business Centre to catch the next installment in this series.