Monday, September 12, 2011

MondayMorningMarketeer Market Data, Five Things to Determine, Three Reasons to Bother

Market Data, Five Things to Determine,
Three Reasons to Bother
Prepare Market Data Like You Would a Recipe,
Recipe for Strategic Marketing Success

You have got to know the lay of the land in order to prepare a good marketing strategy.  Like any good recipe you have got to have the ingredients and a process for preparation.  Your strategic marketing recipe should be based on good data. Good data collection should be used to start your strategic marketing planning process with data about your industry and specific market, and about your customers.

First is the data collection process.  The data that you will need to collect is: 

Strategic Marketing requires good data!

·         Industry and market data         

·         Customer behavior data

·         Online monitoring Data

And then you have to turn that data into good information that can help you in the strategic marketing process to turn suspects in to prospects and then clients and to turn activity into business.

·         You will want to collect data that reflects market research that you have conducted for the marketing plan.
·         What is Market Data? it’s data from Studies, surveys, market demographics and sales data

·         If you don’t have a large budget you may want to start with Census Bureau for Your Local Community, Use Industry Data, if you are starting anything to do with Food Service, US Food and Hospitality Industry.  Do a Google Search for instance on Manufacturing or the Fashion industry

·         Great site: 
Some Statistics Categories from this site  

·         eCommerce Statistics  (116)
·         Homelessness Statistics  (34)
Think you might be able to find something here?
·         ___________________________

Five Things You Need to Determine

1.  Determine the market, past present and future
·         Preparing the target market section of your plan
·         The outdated and overused way of marketing is to create a product and then try to figure out how to sell it.  In this fast paced world where we now do business, that just does not work.  Before you even begin producing your product or designing your service you must be certain of sufficiently large, accessible, and responsive target audiences.
Investors want to know that you
have a sizeable enough market.
·          If your market isn't large enough, you can't reach it efficiently, or if it isn't ready for you, your business will fail, no matter how good your business concept.
·         A concise description and thorough understanding of your target market will give you focus when developing your product or service, designing your marketing plan, and forecasting sales and expenses. Potential investors want reassurance that you not only have a sizeable market but that you will have a platform from which to reach that market.  It’s also important to investors that you comprehend the opportunities and limitations of the market.
·         You say, why is she talking so much about investors, I am going to bootstrap this myself.  Well unless you are not going to invest in your own business, you are also an investor.  You are investing your time, your income and your ideas and dreams.  You need to make certain your target market is definable and reachable.
·         When preparing the Target Market section of your written strategic marketing plan you need good solid data with the right focus.  To get you started focus primarily on these three areas:
• Description
• Trends
• Strategic Opportunities

2. Who owns the current market share for your product or service?
Ask these questions:  Who are the current players?
Who would be your immediate competition? Please don’t tell me there is none, this is 2011 there is competition everywhere for everything both on and offline.

3. Look at market trends, have there been any recent shifts?
Has a big player gone out of business?
Know the recent market shifts!
Has technology changed the playing field?                
Have celebrities changed their style or buying habits?
Has a movie or documentary created a trend?
What are they talking about on Twitter, FAcebook, LinkedIn, Four Square,
Check Out Google Trends and a publication called Ad Media.
Also check out the website of the Newspaper Association of America

Some of the things they are talking about on their front page:
o   Retailer Consolidation: A Shift In Buying Power .
o   Multi-Channel Advertisers: Clicks And Mortar Plus .
o   Opportunities: Emerging Players With Unique Needs 
o   Competitors: Traditional And New .
o   Population Changes: Workers And Customers 
Of course they are talking about the traditional media business but you can get an idea of how to organize your research.

4. Develop Pricing Strategy
Look at your costs.  Consider material costs and labor costs and overhead costs.  
What are your competitor’s prices?  What would you have to charge to operate at a particular gross margin?
Establish pricing techniques and brief description of these techniques.
Establish both retail and wholesale costing and pricing
Establish if you are going to price below the competition or
Establish value for pricing above the competition
Will you have multiple pricing strategies for different layers of your business.

Although your pricing strategy may be based on a strategy devised by industry standards you should study this plan and the strategies used by competitors. That way you will acquire a thorough understanding of how to price your product, and you can determine if your prices are in line with competitors, if they are in line with industry averages and what adjustments you can make to bring them in line.
The key to success is to have a well-planned strategy, to establish your policies and to constantly monitor prices and operating costs to ensure profits. Keep abreast of changes in the marketplace because these changes can affect your bottom line.
What’s the acceptable gross margin for your particular industry?  This is very important to know, it is a great success indicator if you can operate within it.

5.  Use the data to Develop an Effective Promotional Strategy

·         Advertising Media
·         print media (newspaper, magazine, classified ads, Yellow Pages advertising, brochure)
·         radio
·         television
·         networking
·         business cards
·         Ad specialties such as tee shirts, hats, buttons, pens
·         Online media
·         E mail Marketing
·         Ezines

Develop a promotional strategy that uses various media for promoting your business. Monitor the different media identifying those that most effectively promote your business. Concentrate on developing material for these formats that clearly identifies your services, its location and price.

Three reasons why you want to take the trouble here:

This data will help convince bankers and investors that you understand your industry, your local business conditions, and your realistic profit/growth opportunities. It will also help you in making key decisions in your business as you go along, develop and grow.
Research, Market, Test for a Strong
Here are three great reasons to invest the time in market research:
1. Create a stronger business and marketing plan with compelling, accurate financial comparisons for your industry.
2. When you decide to grow and need investors or bankers, this will improve your chances when applying for loans, opening new accounts, or working to fund your business through angel investors or venture capitalists.
3. If you know your competition you will know where the pitfalls lie and will be able to determine your financial success and also possibly determine their weak points.

Watch for upcoming E-book on this subject, “Choosing Your Customers, Marketing to Them for Life.”
Additional information at:
Expected release date September 1, 2011.

You can listen to a fifteen minute audio version similar to this blog at:  

For More on this Topic:
 "Folly of Marketing Plan in Your Head, 101 Compelling Reasons to Write One" 

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith 2011, Monday Morning Marketeer™ 412-628-5048

Or on its unique radio channel at:
Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding.
Joanne has also been designated by the 2009 U.S. Small Business Administration as the Small Business Journalist of the Year for her work with information relevant to and advocacy of small businesses.
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Phone:  412-628-5048

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