Thursday, 11 July 2013

Laying The Foundation With Effective Research

Visionary continues to share information on how our marketing process works – helping businesses to establish a strong integrated marketing strategy. Let’s consider Research and what it means to your business.

Effective Research will allow you to understand your existing and potential customers, will give you an overview of your competitors and identify the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats for your business (SWOT analysis).

Research should allow you to develop or improve your product and/or service offerings, and also give you an indication of the best communication methods that will reach your desired target audience.

At the ‘thought’ stage of the Visionary marketing process; Research is seen as pivotal to creating successful Strategy. The second stage of Research helps to measure the success of the Campaigns employed – we revisit the second stage later.

Research will lay the foundations for a strong business – it is never too late to start – this step provides you with a continuous understanding of your marketplace. The world in which we do business in is evolving, quickly. If you are not aware of what is happening in the environment that you operate in then you cannot respond to any changes. Therefore you are being reactionary and not proactive.

Here are five questions you need to ask in order to conduct a research audit of your business:
1. What is the external environment your business operates in and what are the opportunities and threats?
2. What does an internal analysis of your business say and what are the opportunities and threats?
3. What products and services do you currently offer? What would you like to offer in the future? What are the potential strengths and weaknesses of each?
4. Who are your current customers? Who is your ideal customer – how can you appeal more to them? What are the gaps between these and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
5. How are you currently marketing your business? What is working for you, what isn’t and do you in fact measure ROI? What are the opportunities and threats for your marketing, especially in the new digital age?
Having a clear understanding of your business, customers and the environment you operate in will ensure you have the strong foundations for a successful business.

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