Different Components Of A Marketing Mix

Marketing MixThere are several ways for promoting a product in various areas of media. Promoters today use the online advertisements, endorsements, special events, and magazines or newspapers to promote their products and/or services. For customers frequently purchasing their products, there can be incentives given like free items and discounts.

The act of advertising a great service with either a short or long term goal of boosting sales is product promotion. Lots of companies these days make use of various marketing techniques through different communication mediums. Today, not a single medium is better than another since the most efficient medium to use will greatly depend on the type of product you are showcasing.

Nowadays, more and more companies are considering of using social media channels to advertise their products and services. Know that with these methods, companies will have the ability to showcase their offerings to anyone. In fact, because of the popularity of social media, most businesses had great success in showcasing their products, most especially to the younger generations who prefer to go online rather than watching the television or reading newspapers.

Basically, there are 3 main objectives of promotion. These are to increase demand, to differentiate a single product from other competing or similar products, and to present information to your target audience.

5 Components Of A Marketing Mix

Advertising – An identified sponsor will present ideas, goods, or services. Examples of these are print ads, brochures, direct mail, billboard, posters, motion pictures, banner ads, emails, in-store displays, and Web pages.

Sales Promotion – Both media and non-media marketing communication are used for a limited time in order to boost consumer demand, enhance product accessibility, and stimulate the demands of the market. Examples of this will include contests, self-liquidating premiums, product samples, coupons, trade shows, exhibitions, and tie-ins.

Direct Marketing – This is an advertising form allowing businesses to communicate straight to the clients. Techniques will include interactive consumer websites, email, mobile messaging, promotional letters, outdoor advertising, fliers, and catalog distribution.

Personal Selling – This is a process of persuading prospects to buy your products or services or perhaps to act on any idea with the use of oral presentations. Examples are samples, telemarketing, and sales presentations and training.

Public Relations – This is done by planting significant news about the goods you offer or perhaps a great presentation of it in the media. Examples will include charitable contributions, seminars, radio and TV presentations, and speeches.

Tips to Buying the Best Quality Promotional Lanyards

Promotional LanyardsPromotional lanyards are probably one of the most popular promotional products purchased by companies around the world each and every day. There are numerous factors you are going to want to take into consideration when it comes to buying promotional lanyard to ensure you choose the right quality and that the product you purchase is used by your customers moving forward, providing you with the brand visibility you expect and deserve.

You want to give your clients what they want and what they will use. This means making use of bright colours and ensuring that the product you purchase can manage a key card, an ID card or a set of keys, depending on how your clients want to use them moving forward.

It is imperative that before you start designing your promotional lanyard, you know exactly what your customer want. Knowing your audience will help you identify with them and then choose a product that you know they will want to use moving forward. The last thing you want is to hand these items out, only to have the client throw them in a drawer at the office and forget about them. You want and need to be memorable at all times, always being the first company they call.

Another important factor to consider when choosing promotional lanyards is to identify the purpose of the product. Do you intend handing them out at a trade show or exhibition, do you want to give them to your customers as a gift for their loyalty or are you going to hand them out during an upcoming sale? The use can help you with the design and what you include on the lanyard to make them special and wanted.

Focus on the detail. This is so important. When choosing a promotional product specialist company don’t only focus on affordable pricing and fast turnarounds. You want an excellent quality product which is completed with attention to detail to ensure your branding is on display for years to come. Buying poor quality may see your company name washing off the promotional lanyard after it gets wet for the first time or it breaks after being used a few times. You can avoid these problems by ensuring that you pay very close attention to detail, request samples and ensure quality before placing an order.

Identify if you intend the promotional lanyard to be used over the short term, maybe only during an event or if you are looking for a more long term solution where customers can use it to hold their ID cards, access cards or keys. This will help you identify whether to invest in the highest quality product or if you can work to a slightly lower quality, while still maintaining good quality based on how long you think the product will be used.

Consider the load that the promotional lanyard is going to have to handle each day. Remember someone using it to hold a set of keys is going to put more pressure on the item than someone who is using it to keep their ID or access card around their neck so they don’t lose it. This is something serious to consider. It is always best to focus on a heavier load, so that you know the quality of the promotional lanyard you choose will provide your clients and staff with years of use and enjoyment.

Finally look at turnaround times. You want to work with the promotional product company from the beginning of the project to the end to ensure that you get the products to your door without delay and with plenty of time before you intend handing them out.

To Reach More Success You Need To Push Your Boundaries

Reach More SuccessWe all have issues that we have to work on to evolve as individuals as well as marketers.

Working on ourselves

We all need to work on our mindset, our confidence and we also need to be working on coming out more and more of our comfort zone. Maybe you have issues with calling prospects up or maybe you have problems with chatting with new people online. No matter what issues you are experiencing regarding your fears, you need to understand that you need to challenge those fears to be able to enjoy more success in your online marketing career. The more you practise and come out of your comfort zone the more relaxed you will feel while you are doing so. The level of nervousness will decrease for you after a while. After challenging your fears for a while, eventually you will not be experiencing any feeling of nervousness what so ever. Before coming out of your comfort zone you might be exaggerating what the consequences might will be after you have been pushing your boundaries a bit.

Leads and costumers

You need to push your boundaries for the sake of your business growth as well. The more you will come out of your comfort zone, the more people you will be able to connect with. This will make a great advantage when prospecting for your business. Naturally, it takes skills to generate leads and turning them into customers. However, coming out of your comfort zone is a major step towards success.

Make a decision

If you are still unsure of if it is worth it to push your boundaries,then you got to ask yourself if your dreams are not worth it? Are your goals and dreams worth you feeling a little nervous for a while? They should be. Maybe you will not challenge your fears right at this moment but make plans of doing so because it is most beneficial for your online business as well as for you personally.. If you choose not to come out of your comfort zone then you will have the same results as you have always had. If you do not do something differently in your marketing, then nothing will change for you. As an entrepreneur you should be open towards change when it is for the better.

So what will coming out of your comfort zone bring you?

  • You will get connected with more people than before
  • It will bring you more leads for your business
  • You will be feeling more secure of yourself and more confident.
  • You will feel more relaxed when talking to people in general.

So it is only positive things with challenging fears and pushing your boundaries.

So keep challenging yourself and challenge your fears.

Outbound Telemarketing Suggestions We Observe

Outbound TelemarketingPrior to we decide to update our techniques in outbound telemarketing, we do not forget that the techniques we frequently used are efficient for a reason. So, below are great tips that are demonstrated to deliver a productive outbound telemarketing.

During the telephone, the very first thing we try to do is get through to the decision maker. In essence, whenever we can’t get through to the boss, the outbound call will likely be unsuccessful. If at all possible, we don’t prefer to strain our sales efforts to the person who isn’t the decision maker. And for that reason, we concentrate on business people using a script tailored to focus on the characteristics and cost saving primary advantages of a products or services.

Everything we do in outbound telemarketing, we certainly not waste the time of the clients. Out telemarketing agents are clear in telling their purpose from the start of the call. We don’t beat around the bush and pretend to be anything, such as giving something free of charge. The very last thing we want to manifest is annoyed the person on the other end of the line. Alternatively, we make use of a colossal opening statement with the aim of placing the client in an optimistic frame of mind, which may likely yield some reaction from the prospective client. We make certain that the initial few questions we ask are answered well in our favor. The reason being that we strive to set an alternative specific schedule with the prospective client to finally have the sale.

As soon as we’ve identified that the prospect is an ideal fit for our outbound telemarketing services, we look for a rendezvous. If we have established this, there is no need for us to help keep the discovery period through the call. We may risk the chance of a very good outbound call if we keep asking concerns.

Our telemarketers supply the clients a couple of time and date selections for another call that actually work ideal for them. If the potential consumer is interested, they’ll voluntarily find time for them to fit it in their hectic schedule. Or else, we might be squandering everybody’s time.

How We Do Outbound Telemarketing

The information we follow in outbound telemarketing are pretty straight forward, but they also have long been proven to be effective in prospecting. Yes, we upgrade our advertising campaign from time to time, but the steps we apply help us close a lot of sales in the past, for our satisfied client companies.

The Best Marketing Tips From Super Bowl Ads That Work

Super Bowl Ads That WorkBecause of such an enormous viewership, commercial airtime during a Super Bowl broadcast is exorbitantly priced. Being such a big event, companies have been, over the years, developing their most expensive advertisements to be broadcast during the game. Famous commercial campaigns over the years include the Budweiser Bud Bowl campaign in 1898, the 1984 introduction of Apple’s Macintosh computer, and the 2000 dot-com ads.

As television ratings of the Super Bowl have exponentially increased over the years, prices too have shot up, with advertisers paying more than a million US dollars for a thirty-second spot during the game broadcast. In 2016 alone, CBS charged a whopping $5 million for a 30-second commercial during the game. Super Bowl 50 was the most watched broadcast in the history of US with over 167 million viewers. It is said that a large segment of the audience tunes into the Super Bowl solely to view commercials.

Tips from Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl 50 witnessed a gamut of advertisers displaying their products and services. Some of the major ones included Anheuser-Busch InBev, Doritos, Nintendo, Pokémon Company, Hyundai, Amazon, Colgate, LG, PayPal and SoFi. Movie houses like 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Walt Disney Studios also aired their latest movie trailers during the game.

No matter which team you supported, you have to agree that the Super Bowl 50 ads were extremely entertaining. Companies showcased some of the most modern marketing techniques that left the audience fascinated and tempted. So what makes game such a big event and what is that marketers can learn from Super Bowl Ads? How do these top-class companies build their brands and grab new customers? Let’s look at some tips and tricks:

High on Entertainment: The very purpose of marketing is to be able to garner a sense of excitement and fascination in the minds of consumers. While several marketers choose from a plethora of emotions such as affection, anger, disappointment, horror, pride, surprise and trust to showcase their brand, ads that are funny and entertaining are always preferred by audiences. And that’s exactly what marketers chose to use in their commercials during Super Bowl 50. From Doritos ad featuring dogs to Hyundai’s car with a car finder, commercials this year were surely high on entertainment.

Targeted Marketing: When marketers get just a 30 second window to showcase their brand, it’s crucial for them to know and understand the audience they are trying to reach. Creating an ad that is generic and insipid will not only not serve purpose, but will also cost them a fortune. By identifying the right set of customers and building strategies that meet their specific needs, marketers can promote the right products to the right audience and in turn achieve the desired outcome.

Limited Risks: In the last few years, audiences viewing the game have witnessed some bizarre and controversial ads that have left them disgusted. While they say any publicity is good publicity, risking the credibility of a brand during a blockbuster event like Super Bowl can result in huge losses for companies. Keeping that in mind, companies this year showcased ads that were light-hearted and entertaining, that left the audience amused and entertained.

Social Message: While audiences witnessed a more fun and entertaining commercial experience with the Super Bowl 50 ads, there were several companies that took a more serious approach by offering a social message. Since the game enjoys such high viewership, many brands took the opportunity to create awareness about a particular social issue, while at the same time ensured a positive vibe was associated with their brand. Some of the social-centric ads this year included the signs domestic violence and the effects of drunk driving.

Get Inspired

Super Bowl 50 saw a variety of ads that incorporated a range of marketing tactics and strategies to woo the customer. While it was one of the biggest advertising days of the year, it was also fun and intriguing. If you are looking to build a brand and entice the audience to boost your bottom line, it’s a good idea to get inspired by the Super Bowl 50 ads. Create a strong ad and have everyone talk about it!

Top 5 Effective Marketing Ideas For Businesses Within a Limited Budget

killer contentMarketing is very important for the growth of your business. This is the only way to come to know amongst your customer for promoting or selling products or services. There are so many marketing tools out in the market that help you to advertise your products and services to gain the attention of a buyer. However, it actually requires investment in terms of time and money as well. This is the major reason why some small businesses try to avoid it. But it is actually the main ingredient for the growth of your business. What’s more, if you get some marketing ideas within your stipulated budget? Don’t be surprised. Here is a list of top 5 effective marketing ideas, which you should include in your strategy and give you the guarantee results.

Facebook Campaign: Nowadays, almost every person is on Facebook, and it is one of the best and highly effective ways to reach new audiences without spending a lot. For this, you can take the help of Facebook campaigns and post something about your products and services that can seem interesting to your readers. It will provide outstanding results for very little investments.

Killer content: Another effective way to advertise your business within a small investment is by creating a killer content. You can submit articles, blogs on different high ranked sites for free that help to promote your business and quickly catch by the web spiders, which in result help to increase your website ranking.

Guest Post: An old marketing tactic that is still stronger than any other techniques is guest blogging. It allows you to post a blog on another website with the permission of its owner that helps to increase your readers and also attract large clients to your website.

Video production: Another effective and affordable way to promote your business is video production. For this, you just need to create a quality video related to your products and service, which easily capture the attention of your visitors. This is the best way to promote your business even with low-cost.

Email marketing: Last but not the least method of marketing ideas for businesses is the use of email marketing. It allows you to connect with a wider audience in an efficient and economical way. It not only help in the promotion of your business but also make your customers up-to-date from your recent offers, discounts or added products and services that pull them to visit your site again and again.

No doubt, all above points will clear your doubts that marketing is possible even in the budget of a shoestring, you just need to know how to do it.

5 Success Stories to Draw Inspiration From

flappy birdBy 2018, less than 0.01% of all mobile apps out there will be commercially successful. That’s what Gartner says – and we’ve got no reason to doubt the forecast. With the proliferation of mobile app development tools & the rise of “citizen developer” initiative, building mobile software has never been easier. Code quality & application performance aside, the main reason why companies fail to crack the App Store and Google Play charts is poor marketing. If you have a brilliant idea for an app, you’d better forget about Rovio’s overnight success and spend some time (and dough!) on marketing.

Top Earners (iOS developers who generate at least $ 50 thousand in revenues – 12% of the App Store’s registered publishers) have $30 thousand as an average marketing budget and devote 14% of project time to promoting their project. In case you’re a startup & barely raised funding through Kickstarter, your app can still be a hit – as long as you choose the right marketing strategy. Here are some app marketing success stories that prove you can do more with less.

Marketing done right: top 5 app success stories

    • Stay.com. Although building an application for Android first is not a major trend yet, that’s what the guys from Cutehacks did. Stay.com enables users to create personalized travel guides, store them on a smartphone and use the data offline. The app uses first-hand information provided by best baristas, chefs and media personalities from all over the world, so you can feel at home no matter what city you stay in – and save some money on roaming. Cutehacks spent nearly 6 months simultaneously developing the Android and iOS versions of Stay.com, and here’s what they learnt. First, you can’t ignore the Android look of an application. iOS-inspired layouts will probably alienate Android users – after all, the App Store and Google Play have totally different UX/UI policies. Although Cutehacks delivered a good-looking app that easily handled different Android resolutions, they received tons of negative reviews from devoted Androiders. Second, there’s memory and performance. Back in 2012 (and that’s when the Stay.com app was launched), the size of an Android application was device-dependent, so Cutehacks had to do some major re-coding. Finally, they found out Facebook APIs were unstable and poorly documented and spent quite a lot of time searching for developer tips on Quora and Stack Overflow. It sounds like everything Cutehacks did went wrong, but it’s far from being true. The guys successfully implemented the ACRA tool, enabling users to send failure reports every time the Stay.com crashed. They also used Trello to enhance project management (and poor management is the reason why approximately 30% of all IT projects fail). But what makes their story worth citing is the timely changes they made to Stay.com once they discovered users weren’t happy with the current Android version. If you want to succeed, you should pay attention to user feedback – and follow the App Store/Google Play developer guidelines, of course;
    • Languages. Jeremy Olson, a tech-savvy college student from North California, launched the Languages translation app back in 2013. He was no stranger to mobile software development: his Grades app (enables students to track their grades throughout a semester) generated favorable reviews from both tech experts and general public. However, Grades didn’t bring any money, so Jeremy went for a more commercial project. The demand for translation application was – and still is! – really huge, so it was an easy option. Besides, there was no affordable translation application that worked offline on the market back then (takeaway #1: consider timing & demand for your product). Jeremy’s team went a long way to validate the app idea, determine desirable functionality and create great UX. However, the very first thing they did was define customer personas. Jeremy and his confederates were quite familiar with the translation experience, so they didn’t have to talk to potential users in person (although that’s how Zappos’ founder validated his business idea). A customer (or buyer) persona is a purely fictional character who possesses characteristics of your target audience. Olson chose several factors that influenced a person’s decision to purchase the program, including his age, occupation, language proficiency and the environment where Languages would come in handy. The team created three detailed personas, thus covering the majority of key characteristics of their target market. Creating a buyer’s persona is a key success factor to launching & promoting a mobile app – and most marketers still keep personas in a closet for whatever reason or simply don’t know how to use them;
    • Flappy Bird. The viral game hit iTunes in 2013, but it wasn’t until early 2014 when the app gained immense popularity. Dong Nguyen, a Vietnam-based independent developer who built Flappy Bird over a couple of days, said he managed to achieve the so-called virality through addictive gameplay. However, some tech experts (including Michael Silverwood of VentureBeat) believe it wasn’t the case. In order to understand how the game topped the App Store chart in the first place, we need to get a better insight into Apple’s ranking algorithms. There are several factors that influence an application’s chart position, including the number of installs received for the past few days/hours, reviews and retention. Instead of spending huge money on user acquisition, GEARS Studios decided to focus on reviews. By the time Flappy Birds reached #1 on iTunes, it was getting over 400 reviews per day. It went on to receive 700 thousand reviews in a couple of months, and that’s almost 200% more than Candy Crush got after a year. It looks like GEARS implemented a “dark pattern” – a rate button displayed every time a user ended a game session and wanted to start anew. The button was located a place where the play button would normally be; users tapped it by chance and were transferred to the App Store rate page instead. Pretty soon writing reviews of Flappy Birds became a trend, so GEARS Studios simply removed the button with another application update. We do not encourage you to trick app users. The lesson to be learnt here is that application chart performance is not always determined by the number of downloads;
    • Clash of Clans. Coming up with a great & 100% unique idea for an app surely increases your chances of success – but there’s nothing wrong with being a little cliché, too! There are hundreds of strategy games out there – with heroes, monsters, fairies and precious stones. Supercell, a previously unknown mobile software development company from Finland, decided not to reinvent the wheel and… simply built another one. In 2013 Clash of Clans was reportedly generating $ 4 million in daily revenues through in-app purchases – a lot more than an average freemium has ever earned. Supercell surely did their best to create beautiful layouts and addictive gameplay. Yet, it’s the right choice of app monetization tools that made Clash of Clans an instant hit. Basically, the game is all about monetization, but Supercell tactfully keeps it under the pushy line, so users who cannot (or don’t want to) spare a few bucks on virtual currency can still enjoy the game – they simply wait for another level-up a little longer. Once you download the game, you enter the tutorial stage and receive tons of gems for free. You spend the gems on upgrades, gold and magic elixir that protects you against goblins’ attacks. Everything is really cheap, so you keep on spending and go broke pretty soon. As the gameplay evolves, the prices skyrocket, and your buying behavior has already been formed! There were Clash of Clans users who spend up to $ 20 thousand on precious stones when the game was in its prime. The viral application maintained its top-grossing status throughout 2015 and beyond; in the ever-changing world of mobile applications, longevity is hard to achieve. In case you want to replicate Supercell’s success, make sure to develop a solid and well-thought-out monetization strategy;

  • CheckPoints and List Bliss. Todd and Mark DiPaola, the founders of inMarket, believe building a mobile app is similar to building a house: before you start, you should “put some time into thinking about what the rooms are going to look like”. The CheckPoints shopping app enables users to check in in almost any store nationwide and get instant rewards like digital coupons and discounts. The inMarket network now has over 46 million users; back in 00’s when the CheckPoints was at an early development stage Todd and Mark were struggling to decide on the app’s functionality. With List Bliss, they kept it simple. The app allows users to easily create shopping lists by scanning barcodes for different products and share the list with family and friends to check nothing’s missing. InMarket kept the set of application features focused and easily fixed the bugs at launch. We all know Feature Creep kills an app’s performance; you’ll be surprised to learn it has similar effect on marketing. A good marketing campaign should clearly (but briefly) outline the benefits of a product and deliver the message to target audience using as few words as possible. After all, a “fresh” smartphone holder doesn’t even know he needs a better shopping list. How on earth are you going to market your arguably cool & sexy app stuffed with features when you basically have 10 seconds to win users’ attention? Avoiding Feature Creep is a key factor to planning (and launching) a successful marketing campaign.

 

Top Reasons to Use Stickers and Decals As a Marketing Tool

Use Stickers and Decals As a Marketing ToolOne thing all business owners will tell you is that marketing is key. You need to promote your business and build you brand through a variety of marketing outlets. Custom stickers are a fun, easy, and cost effective way to promote your business. Here are the top reasons why we think stickers are a great marketing tool:

Affordability

Most printing companies will give you a bulk ordering discount (not that stickers aren’t one of the cheapest items to print anyways). Chances are if you’re ordering over 100 of them, you’ll be able to get each one for 10-25 cents each, sometimes less! On top of that once you do your first round of printing the company will have you images ready to go meaning you avoid set up costs and they often give repeat customer discounts as well!

Flexibility

Stickers can be printed in so many shapes and sizes which makes them extremely versatile. When people say stickers they tend to think of those multicolored animal or smiley face stickers you used to get when you were a kid on your homework, but “stickers” can be used in a variety of applications. Product labels, name badges, warning signs, bumper stickers, or simple decorations, the possibility for using stickers are pretty limitless. Most companies now days also print on different materials rather than the simple paper stickers we may be used to. Vinyl prints are great for outdoor use or areas that get a lot of wear and tear and they tend to be more durable as well as easier to remove when that time comes.

Brand Awareness

With the amount of advertisements that bombard people every day, it is important to make sure your company sticks out from the crowd. Stickers can be printed in a variety of bright colors and interesting shapes that are sure to grab the attention of your customers increasing your brand awareness. Also, people put stickers EVERYWHERE, from cars and laptops to walls and tool boxes, chances are someone somewhere will pass your sticker in an unexpected place and become more aware of your brand than they would have had your advertisement been placed on a flyer or other material that would likely be stuck in a drawer somewhere or thrown away.

Time to Humanise Your Marketing

Humanise Your MarketingMarketers, Advertisers, and Public Relations Professionals are constantly conceiving strategies that would make their sales grow. However, many a times these professionals start thinking more about their brand than the audience. Whereas, PR professionals might be thinking regarding the industry trends to find themselves a mention, while advertisers might be looking for ways to send a message to a greater audience at the cheapest price and Marketers might be busy building leads to serve the Sales department. All of them are making a mistake, though! They have forgotten the human being behind the screen; the human who is to buy their products and services. It is this human factor that should drive all their marketing efforts, including Public Relations and Advertisements. Rather than analyzing what went wrong after you set forth a marketing strategy, frame your strategies around the feelings of your target customer.

Take Human Psychology as a Guide

Not everyone in the audience is your target customer. So, the first thing to determine is who would buy your products. Who are they? Where do they live? What is their income? And what motivates them to buy your product? Answers to these few questions are generic but vital to guide all your marketing endeavors.

Putting your feet in the Shoes of your customer

Forget your sales for a moment and think about what would elevate the feelings of your customers. A Marketer might not have a psychology degree, but he would need to know human emotions to drive his efforts. Let him consider himself to be the customer of his own brand. What would I want from it? What would drive me to purchase it? What would I feel after procuring the product? Personalizing all your marketing efforts makes you understand your customer better and you can create a human link to the marketing strategy that you are going to design.

Opt for Human Marketing

Bringing in humanity into marketing is the newest trend in vogue. The amount of success received by info-graphics and concept based videos really tells us how much humans cherish information based content even if it is of a promotional nature. Marketers also need to study how searches are being conducted on search engines and how are the search tags written in the search bar. This would make them understand the reality of the tastes and preferences of the customers.

Over the years consumers have become irritated with brands coming to them with a buying plea. They are after them everywhere, at home, in their office and at parties. Many marketers have made errors of not considering the human nature of their audience and thus have lost a lot of customers over the years. If you want to build a better connection between your brand and its consumers, humanize all your marketing efforts.

Key Questions Which Market Research Addresses

Market researchIntroduction

Market research is the analysis which allows businesses to have a thorough understanding of the markets in which they operate. Such an understanding allows organisations to sell effectively, through targeting customers. It also allows companies to identify new opportunities. To be effective, there are a number of questions which need to be considered. This post outlines some of these questions under three headings.

Try to get answers to the following questions:

1. Existing customers

a. What are their views regarding our products and services?

b. What need is our product or service fulfilling?

c. What factors are important in their decision to buy from us?

d. What do they think of our prices?

e. What service do they expect from us?

f. How do they rate our customer service?

g. How do our customers think we could develop or refine our products or services?

2. Potential customers

a. What customers are we not doing business with – ie who are our potential customers?

b. How many are there?

c. How much of our service or product do they buy from our competitors?

d. What criteria do they use when buying?

e. How can we get them to buy from us?

f. What future improvements or enhancements do they expect from us?

g. Where and when do they buy?

3. Market trends and competitor intelligence

a. Is demand for our product growing or reducing?

b. What are the current economic and market trends?

c. How do we think buying behaviour will change in the future?

d. What innovations are our competitors working on. Could these make our products or services obsolete?

e. What are our competitors’ plans? How are they changing?

f. What are the competitors’ products and how are they priced?

g. What channels are used by our competitors, how do they promote their products and services?

h. What future legislation could impact on our market. Is there any in the pipeline?

A thorough understanding and analysis of the questions set out under these three headings will enable an organisation to build up a much fuller picture of its market.

To answer these questions, there are various resources, including the local business library, the relevant trade association and publications, the Office for National Statistics, reports in business magazines, local authorities, Chambers of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment, the internet, your own data, your customers, and, finally, commercial publishers of market reports (KeyNote; Euromonitor; Mintel; Datamonitor; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and Market & Business Development).

To complete the picture, it is often necessary to undertake field research – both quantitative (statistical information) and qualitative (feelings, attitudes and motivation). Techniques for this often include the use of surveys, discussions, observation and experimentation.

I hope that this is a useful summary of the type of information organisations will require if they are to undertake market research.