Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Marketing Research Will Help to Create a Better Market Strategy

imageThis article was written by Michelle Russillo, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

A marketing strategy will help you in define business goals and develop activities to achieve your short and long term marketing plans. Your marketing strategy is a concise description of your business’s products, anticipated sales and position comparative to the competition. Your marketing plans are the specific actions you're going to undertake to achieve the goals of your marketing strategy. Furthermore, market research is extremely beneficial; the information gathered can provide a more accurate base for making profit and increase your profit potential.

Your business will not succeed just because you want it to succeed. Determining if there is a market for your products or services is the most critical item of planning. Once you decide on your product or service, you must analyze your market -- a process involving interviewing competitors, suppliers and new customers. Knowing your market is one of the biggest factors. Write down the benefits of your products or services. Describe your company's unique selling proposition.  Answer these few questions.

· Who are your customers?

· Where are they located?

· What are their needs and resources?

· Why do your customers buy from you?

· What benefits could you offer that would entice more non-customers?

· How can you sell to more of the loyal customers?

· If you add features or services, will people pay more for them or will they attract more customers?

· Is your service or product essential in their day-to-day activity?

· Can the targeted consumer afford your service or product?

· Where can you generate a demand for your service or product?

· What areas within your market are declining or growing?

· Describe how you will position your products or services. Can you effectively compete in price, quality and delivery? What is the projected profit? In addition, define your current marketing methods.

· Knowing your competition is another​ critical step in creating a marketing strategy.

· How many competitors provide the same service or product?

· What is the overall market trend and how are you holding up in terms of market share and profit position?

· How do you really rank against competitors?

· What substitutes are there to your products and how much of a threat are they?

Measuring your marketing strategy is the next step. Measuring will let you know if what you are doing is working. Analyzing the marketing strategies helps you to figure out where the customers are coming from. Don’t keep doing the same old thing without measured results. It's about what your target audience desires and you being able to deliver before your competition. Make sure your marketing message is aimed at fulfilling that desire.

Define your target market to aid in the organization of marketing plans. Market strategy assists you in the development of critical short/mid-term goals and knowing your market's profit boundaries. Next critical element is having a budget. It is important that you have a budget developed for your marketing plan By revisiting your marketing plan and your measured results at least once every quarter, you can make revisions to your budget necessary based on your targets. Marketing is an investment, a budget is necessary. Knowing your next steps you can increase your market share and make decisions whether you will advertise, use Internet marketing, direct marketing, mobile marketing or public relations?. Make the changes based on the general economy of your service or product area.

Once you have obtained and analyzed this information, it will become the foundation of your business plan. Marketing research is important because it supports the basic assumptions in your financial projection and creates your marketing strategy. Know the changes necessary to meet your customers' socio-economic conditions. To be successful, a small business owner must know the market. Market research is merely an orderly, objective way of educating yourself about people -- your current position and your customers.