Ever wander into your local health club and see a group of folks with wrinkels and grey hair sitting at a table talking? You might think they are discussing retirment, but nowadays, they are probably discussing the likelihood of whether or not to purchase your next product. Welcome to a new business development opportunity: focus groups using the aging population. The partners who can tap into this huge market include consultants, health club owners and just about every other service group that has to support such a venue.
If you own any one of these organizations, consider going to CensusScope. It identifies lots of great demographic info on this group of buyers and influencers. I called a few local high-end city clubs in California and Washington state and found that right next to the bridge playing set were groups that were being paid to eat food, test products and listen to speaches from local marketing firms. Are you getting in the game? Consider these biz dep options:
– If you have a nice area with a restuarant and other amenities-or even extra rooms–actively promote your facility to marketing companies, and/or product firms in need of market testing
– Cut special deals on the price of the room, or give the room for free but cater the events (everyone has to eat)
– Get furniture and other amenities that appeal to this market and go the extra mile ( have a greeter, or a program manager that matches the age group)
– Already have a consulting company and want to make a killing on focus groups? Go after this niche hard. The billions of dollars in buying power mean every kind of product from carpet to healthcare. Go back to the facilities/spas or other venues and go to market as a joint force
– Get folks line up and ready to go- some may already be patrons of the health club, but you can also go to time share companies that cater to this discriminating crowd. Golf clubs are also a great area to target for new recruits, but they are at the high end for focus groups, unless you live in the rainy northwest and the club is dying to fill the rooms during the winter months.
– This is the best biz dev opportunity of them all–as an idea generator, a focus group can be the Number One way to sell your initial products or services. You have a captive audience, a test base and you can offer the first, second or follow-on products free or at a discount. Best of all, the power of word of mouth cannot be emphasized enough. Think of a wealthy retirment community full of women who golf–a few get a hold of a great new product-the rest of them want to be in the know, and the next thing you know, you’re on Oprah and getting a million hits to your site.