Marketing Research & Goals

Foundations for Successful Marketing – Part 2

Marketing Research & Goals

Foundations for Successful Marketing – Part 2

Market Research is Your Key to Success

Successful marketing has to begin with research. That doesn’t mean it has to be costly, complicated or timeconsuming. But a basic understanding of who and where your customers/potential customers are, who your competitors are and how they are performing in the marketplace, and the social and economic climate of the times is vital to shaping your overall marketing strategy and the content of your marketing channels.

Partner with an agency or conduct your own marketing research, using such tools as internal and external Stakeholder interviews, online surveys of existing customers/prospects, focus groups, competitive analysis, white papers written by/ for your industry, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of your existing business and possible variations to develop, etc.

The more data you can gather about your marketplace the better, such insights include:

• loyalty drivers
• barriers to usage
• decision-making criteria
• purchase cycles
• competition
• economic and social factors influencing your specific business channels

The data and findings from the marketing research will provide you with critical insights into your market, and allow you to make fact-based decisions on how to develop a strategic marketing plan and implement marketing tactics that will meet your pre-defined objectives. It will also give you a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities you face in selling your products or providing your services.

Plan first, then execute. Not vice versa.

After research comes the all-important task of developing an actual marketing plan. Your marketing plan is the road map or blueprint you’ll use to define your overall strategy and lay out the specific tactics and channels you will use to promote your business.

Many businesses make the mistake of reversing this process, starting with executables or tools (e.g., creating a website, launching an e-mail campaign) without having first created the strategic framework that should serve to shape both the content and structure of your marketing messages.

A well-planned strategic marketing plan can prevent you from wasting time and money delivering the wrong message to the wrong people in the wrong place.

Marketing Goals & Profitability KPIs

Businesses should develop clearly defined goals and objectives, and determine criteria for measuring success in accomplishing those objectives.

Instead of having broadly defined marketing goals, defining more specific clear-cut objectives – for example, increasing annual sales by 10 percent or landing three new accounts each month – provides specific ways to measure success.

Businesses should set clear marketing goals and profitability KPIs (key performance indicators) at the beginning of a marketing campaign, and refer to those metrics when evaluating both the short and long term success of the campaign. Your marketing plan should also clearly reflect your corporate vision and self- defined mission.

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