3 The world changes rapidly and frequently Means each business must stay informed about its Market A group of potential customers people or businesses who are willing and able to purchase a particular product or service.
4 Market research is an organized way to gather and analyze information needed to make business decisions can help you decide to start a new business Not just used when starting a business, needs to be an ongoing activity
5 Market Research tends to focus on 3 main areas Business environment refers to any social, economic, or political factors that could impact your business. This includes global, national, and industry-related factors Customers can be individuals or businesses. Need to satisfy customers while making a profit. Need to know who they are and what they want. Competition helps identify them and how they operate helpful in planning sales efforts
6 Making incorrect guesses can lead to wrong decisions. You may want to use M.R. to test a prototype May also want to find the carrying capacity of the industry you want to enter Carrying Capacity refers to the maximum number of companies an industry can support based on its potential customer base.
7 Easier to attract people, banks, or companies to invest in your company if you have done thorough market research Most wont back you if you don t have evidence to back up your concept
8 You may try to sell your product or service to as many customers as possible. This is called a mass market. Not best for most small businesses Most entrepreneurs focus on identifying a target market, or a limited number of customers who are more likely to buy the products or services.
9 One of the goals of Market research is developing a customer profile. This is a detailed description of your target market s characteristics. NEXT 2 SLIDES
10 Consumers a company who sells to individuals is sometimes referred to as a business-to-consumer (B2C)company. Customer profile might include age, gender, occupation, neighborhood, hobbies, etc.
11 A company who sells to other companies is sometimes called a business-to business (B2B) company. Customer profile might include company size, type of industry, geographical location, etc. Don t have to pick just one!!
12 A market segment is a grouping of consumers or businesses within a particular market that has one or more things in common. Target market often includes more than one different segment. Some ways to group, which influence buying patterns areon the next slide.
13 Demographics objective social and economic facts about people. Age, gender, marital status, family size, ethnic background, education, occupation, annual income, own vs. rent, etc. For businesses: industry type, number of employees, annual sales Geographics market segments based on where people live or businesses are located. Could be local, country, climate, state, etc. Psychographics psychological characteristics of consumers such as attitudes, opinions, beliefs, interests, personality, lifestyle, political beliefs, personal; preferences. etc.
15 Types of Research Secondary Data Existing informationthat was previously gathered for a purpose other than the study at hand. Examples economic forecasts by financial organizations, demographic data by the government, etc. Secondary data is cheap and easy to obtain Primary Data new information that is collected for a particular purpose. Obtained directly from potential customers. Useful because it is up to date and aimed at your target market. More time consuming and expensive to collect.
16 Government organizations Trade groups and journals Business magazines and reports Local community resources
17 Interviews and surveys develop a survey to give in person, on the phone, or by . A list-rental company provides lists of names and addresses for targeted markets, typically allowing you to use the list for a single mailing Focus groups small number of people brought together to discuss a particular problem, product, or service. Observations watch which stores people like or offer a sample for free with products and see how they react.
18 When gathering data, watch for potential problems. Data could be presented in a biased way. Four questions to evaluate your data 1. Is the source well known and reliable? 2. How relevant is the data to my industry area and target market? 3. Is this set of data collected and updated on a regular basis 4. Have I confirmed the research results with more than one source or method?
19 Section 2
20 In addition to your target market, another area of market research involves competition Data you collect about your competitors is called competitive intelligence
21 Direct competitors are businesses in your market that sell a product or service similar to yours. i.e. McDonalds and Burger King Indirect competitors are businesses that sell a different product or service that yours but fill the same customer need or want. i.e. Taco Bell and McDonalds
22 Customers may also decide to cook at home rather than buying a meal. Usually, ingredients at a grocery store are less expensive than buying the finished product. In tough economic times, people might choose to provide a service on their own rather than buying it. Manicures, lawn mowing, changing oil, etc. Are flower shops and candy stores competition around valentines day?
23 Competitive intelligence enables you to compare your competitors strengths and weaknesses with your potential business. During this process you will be looking for ways to get ahead of the competition. Your competitive advantage is something that puts your business ahead of the competition.
24 Secondary data sources will help you gather competitive intelligence. Consider all the places your customers can get their product. Stores, as well at the internet!! One way is to pose as a customer. Go to competitors store at different times of the day, week. Note busy times and types of people there. Ask these questions:
25 What products do they carry? How are the products display? How much do they cost? What is their customer service like? Did the staff offer to assist me? Were they friendly and helpful? How many other potential customers are in the store? What do other customer demographics look like? (age, gender, etc.) Psychographics, geographics, buying patterns Does the competitor offer any special purchasing terms, such as credit with no interest? Do they provide any other services like delivery? Returns?
26 It is not enough to simply gather information. Data needs to be organized and analyzed. Usually indirect competition outnumbers direct competition. Group them and rank them rather than listing them. Using a competitive matrix can help A grid that compares characteristics with those of your direct competitors
28 Competitive Matrix shows holes and missing information in your research. It will include differentiators, or unique characteristics that distinguish your business from others. Questions help identify differentiators What product or service (or mix of products or services) can you provide that your competitors don t? What specialized selling or delivery method can give your business a competitive edge? In what unique ways can your business meet customers wants or needs?
29 Just because you currently have an advantage, doesn t mean it will always be there. Competitors could see it and adjust New competition could start Continue to monitor competition!
30 Add your competitors
31 The following slides review the six basic steps of market research. This would make a preliminary go/no go decision on starting a business.
32 Before gathering data, list what you want to find out. What info do you need? What are you trying to solve? What questions do you have? Make a checklist of the info you need. Could include Industry Data Customer Data Competitive Data
33 Based on Objectives, decide which research methods will be best to help you find the info. Secondary research, primary research, or a combination? Which secondary sources? Which primary techniques? Do you need a survey, etc? create it.
34 As you collect the data, you may find more things you need to research. Usually have to adjust as you go Make sure secondary data is relevant to your industry. Use multiple sources if possible
35 Group indirect competitors by industry, product, or service Select the three of four direct competitors who seem to be strongest. Create a competitive matrix with them Look for areas where data is missing and collect more if necessary
36 Compare competitors characteristics. Identify potential differentiators. What could you do or create to set your business apart from competition Create an expanded SWOT that includes competitors
37 Decide whether to proceed with your business or stop. Be as objective as you can. Look at the following: Target Market is there one for your product or service? Is there room? Market size and demand how large is the target market? How often do they buy your thing, how satisfied are they? Carrying Capacity based on the number and strength of your competitors, can your business be supported? Expanded SWOT analysis do your strengths outweigh your weaknesses? How do you minimize threats and expand opportunities?
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