Customers and new marketers often ask me how to identify and research target markets. Today, viaDarren Barefoot, I stumbled across “Why I Will Never Have a Girlfriend” by Tristan Miller, a Canadian research scientist who works for the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence. His article, which originally appeared in the The Annals of Improbable Research, analyzes the odds that Miller will ever find a girlfriend. However, it provides many insights that apply to market research.

Instead of “brooding over [his] lack of luck” with his target market, Miller identifies his criteria for a successful match. He then identifies potential markets with these characteristics, tightening his focus, based on research findings. When he faces intangible characteristics, such as “beauty”, he finds a way to create a formula, then justifies his decision. Finally, he maps the target market’s needs to his solution (a relationship with him). Through this analysis, Miller sizes his target market at 18,726.

However, Miller’s experience as a scientist — and not a marketer — shows when he determines that it will take 67 years for him to meet one of those women. He bases his marketing plan on just one tactic — a weekly blind date. To achieve a return on investment within a reasonable time frame, Miller should develop a full marketing strategy, complete with campaigns and lead management systems. By building awareness, cultivating interest, stimulating desire, and prompting action, Miller could find a match in a much shorter time. Perhaps he should consider enlisting the help of a Vancouver marketing consultant….

(c) 2004 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.