Customer Analysis for Artists and Creatives (Part II) – Customer Segmentation and Target Markets

In the first article Customer Analysis For Artists and Creatives (Part I) – Focus On Your Customers!,I talked about defining your customer groups as a crucial step in developing your marketing plan and strategies. In this article we are going to further define and segment our markets or customer groups.  We will first review how to develop a list of your customer or market groups from your present customers and then adding in potential customer groups.  Next we will look at ways to segment or categorize these groups based on similar attributes.  Once you are able to “paint a picture” of your customer groups it is much easier to develop strategies to grow these segments.

Some sample customer or market groups:

  • Art collectors
  • Art buyers
  • Galleries
  • Gift shops
  • Offices
  • Wholesalers
  • On-line buyers

Who buys your products and services?

It’s a simple question but the answer may be more complex than you think. If your answer is something like “people with money who buy art” then you have some work to do. We look at our present customers because we know (or should know) something about them, this will help us in identifying new customers who are similar.

Who could buy your products and services?

Put your thinking cap on and think about what types of customers that you don’t serve who could buy your art. A good place to get ideas on new customer or customer groups is to ask your current customers – it could go something like this, “Do you know of any other people or types of business who would interested in buying my art?” Here are some ideas to get you started on identifying new prospects:

  • New geographic areas
  • New types of business or outlets
  • New types of consumer demographics and income levels
  • New uses/venues for your art

Segmenting Your Customers / Prospects

Once you have developed a list of your current as well as prospective customer groups you are almost ready to analyze them but first you must segment them. Segment is a fancy marketing term to categorize your customers by the traits they have in common. Once you know these traits it becomes easier to identify new customers. Remember – “birds of a feather flock together”.

Some ways to segment your current and potential customers

  • By geography
  • By Income and lifestyle
  • By interests
  • By type of business
  • By the reasons they buy
  • By the websites they visit or things they read
  • By their social or political interests
  • By how they spend their leisure time
  • By their spending behavior and products they buy
  • By the size of the markets, # of potential customers, # of potential businesses

Defining Your Target Markets and Customers

By segmenting your customers into neat little buckets you should be able to paint a picture of each segment. The next step is to prioritize your market segments based on potential sales, ease of success, and cost involved. The resulting list is your target markets.

In the next article I will discuss some ways to prioritize your customer or market segments and some nifty tools to help you find more customers.

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto