MENTORS PC TRAINING: Using Consumer Research to Identify Target Customers, Pricing

Kris Rhoten is the CEO of this very active computer service company. Kris is an entrepreneur with a finance and M&A background who saw a great need in the field of computer training.

She says: We knew we needed research on the consumer market for computer training, because we were moving from dealing with corporate customers, where we knew the customer and the environment, to a new kind of business focusing on the computer user at home, whom we didn't know at all.

To select our research firm, we went to a leading advertising agency we know. They led us to Britt, a consumer guru, because we wanted not only to get the benefit of knowing what was happening in the marketplace as it affected our business, but we also needed to know how to use the data collected by the researcher.

First of all, our research had to deal with the Pittsburgh areas, which is our headquarters city. We wanted to qualify all respondents of the survey as people who planned to buy a computer within the coming year.

Britt's 1994 recommendations were "right on the money" in terms of how to expand into the consumer marketplace. We learned that our best market was white collar professionals with upper incomes, exactly what people were willing to pay for training, who was the competition, what kind of sales approach we needed, and how to go about establishing liaison with computer retailers.

This was in contrast to other consumer researchers we've used in the past, who gave us numbers but no advice.

On pricing, our biggest problem area, Britt told us to lower our price if we wanted to succeed. We tried it our way, and nothing happened. We then took Britt's advice: "the consumer likes the idea of this kind of training, but won't pay a lot for it," Britt said.

When we dropped the price to what he had recommended from the beginning, the business took off.

How did this new consumer market develop for us? Today, no less than 15-20 percent of total company revenues are from the new consumer training operations. It's made a big difference to our overall profitability.

Interested in learning more? To request more specific information on ARG's consumer research and marketing strategy services, fill out this form.


Home | Marketing Services | Consumer Research | Books
ARG News | About ARG | Contact Us | Site Map