Market Research and Planning
To be able to market your business or products successfully, you need to have a good understanding of market trends and consumer behaviours, especially within your target markets. This information will assist in development of a desirable product, ideal price point, distribution channels and targeted promotional activities.
Knowing and understanding key trends and influences in your operating environment can highlight marketing opportunities and potential risks for your business. Here are some strategies you can use to collect market information:
Undertake a SWOT analysis, focused on your marketing capabilities
Analyse the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in your operating environment.
Determine which of these factors might affect the market now and in the future.
Keep in touch with your industry peers
Sign up to e-newsletters and follow related organisations on Facebook and Twitter.
Attend events in your industry to ensure you are maintaining contact and keeping up to date with trends.
Obtain information directly from your consumers
Create dialogue between you and your consumers to gauge their preferences.
Track and analyse consumer trends and sales figures
Observe consumer behaviours (e.g. what they buy, where they buy and when they buy).
What is your most popular or least popular product or service? Consumers can let you know what they like through their lack of action, so use a failed product line or low event attendance as learning opportunities to better understand your audience and feed new ideas and concepts.
The information you obtain from these processes can be incredibly useful, and may positively impact upon a range of marketing decisions, from the timing of announcements and launches to the price of your products and services.