I have always been a firm believer that there is never one correct answer to a question. Some call that argumentative, I call it Independent and Creative Thought. I have also come to the conclusion over the years that by feeding answers to a student, they will ultimately starve. On the other hand by posing a question, you teach them to think and in turn feed their own thought and energies.
You will never get the right answers however, if you don’t know the right questions. So with this in mind, I from time to time write an article, which is consists of mostly questions! Questions covering a single subject, which I hope will provoke you into independent thought, thus creating productive output. Our topic is what? Marketing Research!
Marketing Research is a very important step in the evolution of your business. Without research, you have no basis on which to answer even the most basic questions; questions that you must answer if you truly desire to successfully market your product or service.
1. Your Market.
- Do you know whom your target market is?
- Who are your current customers and do they fall into your target market?
- Are your current customers loyal to your product? Why or Why not?
- If not, how can your create a loyalty strategy?
- What is the current size and geographic spread of your target market?
- What will it be in the future?
- Will you be able to maintain a product and company growth rate to match that of the projected growth rate of your target market?
- Is your product part of a trend market that has a volatile base, which can collapse or increase rapidly?
- Are you prepared for this? How?
- Do you have backend products or services?
2. Your Price.
- Is your market price sensitive?
- If so, how does the price of your product or service stack up against your competitors?
- How are you justifying this price in accordance with the “Price Curve” of your market?
- Is there an obvious perceived value in having a higher price?
- How does your product Service and Support Pricing compare to your competitors?
- Do you offer “credit terms” to aid you in higher pricing strategies?
- How do you think your competitor(s) will react to your pricing structures?
3. Your Competition.
- Are you in or entering a market that is already overrun with competition?
- Have you prepared for this with a well-planned strategy to overcome the over abundance of competition?
- What kind of companies make up your competition and can you compete with them in this market?
- Have you diligently analyzed your competitions strengths and weaknesses?
- Have you honestly analyzed yours?
Obviously these are not all the questions you need to answer to successfully market your product. But if you can answer the questions I’ve prepared here, you will find that the answers to others will come more easily. I hope that you have given these questions more than a quick thought and haphazard answer. The old saying “more is better” certainly applies here. The more data you compile and apply to each question, the better. Also, being the dyslexic-absent-minded professor type, I have found that putting everything on paper makes it clearer, easier to remember and I have it to look back on when I need to refer to something I have long since forgotten.
Recommended Books on Market Research:
- Marketing Research Kit For Dummies
- If You Build It Will They Come: Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity
- The Market Research Toolbox: A Concise Guide for Beginners
- Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (2nd Edition)
- The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Market Research
About the Author:
- Affordable Market Research for Your Small Business
- 15 Pricing Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur
- What Business to Start: Evaluating Business Ideas
- Factors to Consider When Entering a New Target Market
- How to Use Your Competition to Succeed