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How to Find Customers on the Web

Apr 10, 2008
Online ad spending is projected to exceed spending on traditional advertising very soon. Smart business owners know that internet prospecting is just as important as off line prospecting. Web surfers seek products and services, read reviews by other customers, and pay for goods all on the web. Information collected about these people can be a handy tool for internet marketers.

There are many ways to gather data about potential customers. The most direct method involves purchasing survey reports or finding free reports containing information about prospects. The next step would be to use this data to find out which subsets of people would be the best fit for your products or services.

You would be able to glean important information from the comments posted. You might learn that the members are typically fathers of small children with a certain income level who are concerned about the environment. You might also discover that they tend to have a lot of disposable income and enjoy outdoor activities.

As you check into blogs and forums keep an eye out for those social networks containing your target demographic. This will give you targeted, specific information about what your type of consumer wants. You can also take the chance to learn what language they are using with one another and mirror this in your own marketing materials.

For example, a group called OrganicTots may host discussions about foods, toys, clothing, and safety concerns all related to organic lifestyles. Usually, the members of this group will also be of a certain age and will be parents looking to buy organic products for their children. Reading more details about the jobs and status of the people posting comments will also tell you how likely it is that they will be making the household spending decisions.

There is also the simple and direct method of typing key phrases into major search engines. If you are trying to sell and promote green travel and outdoor adventure in your region, you could type any and all related words into a search engine. The resulting list would tell you what other businesses you might be able to partner with and who sells eco-friendly camping equipment in your area.

In the search results both a buyer and a seller will find what they are looking for. A list of places that sell organic baby food will appear, giving the business owner focused information about where in his locality he will be able to sell his new brand of organic baby food. He will be privy to customers' thoughts on products similar to his by joining any of the online discussions that appear in the results list.

Business owners looking to find prospects online can do so quickly by using a search engine or reading survey reports. They can also find detailed information about potential buyers by joining relevant online communities. With such an enormous amount of information available at all times, smart businesses can be even more connected to the voice of the consumer.
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