American Liquid Waste Magazine - June 2012 North American Sweeper Magazine - June 2012 Issue - Page 11 JUNE 2012 NORTH AMERICAN SWEEPER 11 Q Are customers aware of their need for the product or service? Q How do customers make their purchases? Is there one decision maker or more than one? Are they in uenced by others? Where do they gather information before making a decision? Q Are customers aware of your company? Are customers aware of your brand? Are they aware of competitive brands? Q How many customers have tried your product or service? Of these, how many currently use the product or service? What are their attitudes about the product or service? Do these customers also use competitive products or services? Of those who tried but no longer use your product or service, why do they no longer use your product or service? Q Which customers use a competitive product or service? How dif cult would it be for users of a competitive product to switch to your product? What are their barriers (inertia/ training/parts)? Q Are there customers that use other products you sell— but not the product or service for which the plan is being developed? Would those customers be interested? Q Do customers have concerns about using your product or service? Of those not using your product or service, why are they not using it? Q What is the thought process customers engage in when buying this product or service? Q Where and how do customers gather information in the buying decision process? Q Where do your target customers buy this product? Do they use multiple channels?—For example do they gather information from the internet but buy at a local store? Q Do not limit your information gathering to these questions. What other questions will help you better understand how to design a marketing mix that allows you to  nd and meet customer needs? As a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE is a nonpro t dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. The association is supported by more than 13,000 volunteers, which enables them to provide their services at no charge, or for very little cost. SCORE has volunteer mentors in 62 industries to share their expertise. They offer free online business tools, templates and tips as well as con dential business counseling in person or via email. They also offer inexpensive or free business workshops and webinars. For more information, visit Story by Jennifer Taylor