Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Using Market research when business planning

Many businesses are launched each year and a large proportion of these will fail within the first two years – there are a large number of reasons for this but its long been argued that in order to have a fighting chance of success some form of business planning is an absolute must.

As part of this business planning carrying out some form of market research is essential. A start up can take advantage of a number of market research techniques from carrying out its own customer survey to utilizing data gathered by research groups. The type of market research employed may vary depending on the budgetary restrictions and possibly the market sector being researched.

Market research helps find information on two important business factors

• What customer needs exist
• What competition exists in the market place

Market research may also help

• Devise a product pricing strategy
• Devise an advertising/promotion strategy

A key element in market research is that of analyzing the competition – this can help businesses define how they will position their product and determine their own unique proposition – for example through design, value or function.

Market research is often considered an ongoing activity – not just to be carried out at start up – but one that constantly feeds back information about the market environment and the potential buyers in order that the company can position itself to meet these needs.

Marketing aims to capture customer needs

It might seem obvious but a product will have a far better chance of success if it is aimed at satisfying the needs of it’s customers. One of businesses golden mantras is that consumers don’t by products they by things that solve them problems and needs – these needs might manifest themselves in a myriad of different ways and marketings primary objective should be both to find out what these needs are and to position the products accordingly.

By using market research companies often seek to ascertain the demand and needs of its customer base – market research can come in a variety of shapes and sizes from the humble customer survey to in depth demographic analysis.

Marketing should be viewed as an ongoing process and one in which businesses should be prepared to invest time and effort into its vital to remember that marketing is not simply advertising but is involved in building and developing complex relationships between customers which can help produce profits in the years to come.

What are marketings the four P’s

Marketing experts often use the terms “the marketing mix” or the “four P’s”.  These terms are a fundemental method of understanding marketing as they refer to the various activites involed in developing a marketing plan – they are

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

This model has been used for many years, each of the factors can be controlled or influenced by the selling company.  For example the product is sellected by the selling organization who set a price, they set thier promotion campaign and select distribution channes. 

 Different emphasis may be placed on each element resulting in a myriad of marketing options, different “marketing mix’s” may be selected for different stages of a products lifecycle for example.