So the marketplace has changed, and the business climate is different, and how do you ever get a handle on the customer? Well, of course, there is an app. BAO for iPhone and iPad is an app that helps you analyze possible store locations, identify customers and figure out the best way to reach them. BAO is your company’s Business Analyst Online, so to speak. This app harnesses the vast array of already existing, digital data on consumers. Every swipe at the coffee shop, department store or sports arena, every Facebook “like,” and every Foursquare check-in is a storehouse of user information with or without names. BAO uses this information to profile potential customers for use in marketing and targeting. And knowing your customer is a generally accepted strategy for meeting their needs. So who are these customers? One example is the “Milk and Cookies.” This is a Brady Bunch sort of family, living in outer suburbs or small towns. They’re well educated and hard working and they probably drive a big SUV for carting their kids to lessons and activities. They buy a lot of toys, games, DVDs, medicines and fast food. The “Industrious Urban Fringe” are in their 20s, also live in the suburbs, but they don’t have a lot of extra cash. They shop at Wal-Mart, play soccer and fly kites. “Laptop and Lattes” describes singles in their 30s and 40s who tend to live in the city, eat out, watch foreign films, do quite a bit of online shopping and spend time at the Apple store. They also rent, watch DVDs and listen to Public Radio. The “Cozy and Comfortable” are wealthy but “overleveraged.” Then there is the “Rustbelt Retiree.” Frugal, a bit boring, old-school and they play Bingo. As for “Main Street USA?” They are the Griswolds.