A large part of marketing is trying to understand people, their decisions, emotional motivations and the key factors that influence their decision making. Even the most well-planned marketing campaign can be improved by further examination of the target consumer behavior. Engaging reference groups is one method of refining a marketing strategy by better understanding your audience. A reference group simple amounts to a group of people who resemble the target market for whom the product or service is aimed at.
Small businesses can utilize reference group effectively through email marketing. Because a small business can't always gather a group of of people to ask them questions, email marketing acts as the perfect conduit to reach and engage a selection of customer you can reference.
Reference groups describe your audience
As people we are complex, made up of goals, opinions, fears, preferences, and so much more. Reference groups are a way of efficiently understanding that group of people you want to reach. By associating segments of your audience with certain reference groups, you can gain an instant understanding of how to shape your marketing strategy around them.
For instance, once a reference group has been defined, then it is possible to develop a list of questions that helps in better understanding the motivations and emotions involved their decision making process.
People distance themselves from their dissociative groups, belong to their membership groups, and attempt to move toward their aspiration groups.Von chucwuemeca
Put simply, a reference group is a people that can be used to form opinions and make better decisions. There are three types of reference groups: Dissociative groups, membership groups, and aspiration groups. People deliberately distance themselves from their dissociative groups (i.e. groups with whom they disagree), belong to their membership groups (e.g. family, religion, social circles), and attempt to move toward their aspiration groups (e.g. prestigious groups, wealthy communities).
The value of knowing your audience group's preferences is that you can begin to understand the story they are creating for themselves and work to become part of that story and making your product and or service part .
Refining your marketing
If you understand your customers, you understand how to sell to them. Reference groups give you a solid idea of what makes your customers respond. If you know who your customers are and who they want to be, you stand a much better chance of converting more of your audience into loyal customers.
Reference groups also give you an idea of where your potential customers are paying the most attention. Wherever that is, you should definitely be marketing there. You might also consider hiring someone from your audience’s membership groups or aspiration groups to represent your brand. It’s all about delivering the right message in the right way at the right time. Reference groups help you narrow down the seemingly endless possibilities.
Be sure to take the opportunity to test your marketing strategies with your audience’s reference groups. There are many ways to fail at marketing, and reference group testing is a great way to soften the blow when you get it wrong.
Reference groups are useful for all types of businesses, so there’s no reason not to give them some consideration. If you have a marketing strategy, you can always make it better. Refining your message by engaging with reference groups might be the extra polish your marketing campaign needs in order to take off.