Marketing Plan

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Market research - Why?

V.     Marketing Plan

No matter how good your product and your service, the venture cannot succeed
without effective marketing. And this begins with careful, systematic research. It is very dangerous to assume that you already know about your intended market. You need to do market research to make sure you’re on track. Use the business planning process as your opportunity to uncover data and to question your marketing efforts. Your time
will be well spent.

Market research - How?
There are two kinds of market research: primary and secondary.

Secondary research means using published information such as industry profiles, trade journals, newspapers, magazines, census data, and demographic profiles. This type of information is available in public libraries, industry associations, chambers of commerce, from vendors who sell to your industry, and from government agencies.

Start with your local library. Most librarians are pleased to guide you through their business data collection. You will be amazed at what is there. There are more online sources than you could possibly use. Your chamber of commerce has good information on the local area. Trade associations and trade publications often have excellent industryspecific data.

Primary research means gathering your own data. For example, you could do your own traffic count at a proposed location, use the yellow pages to identify competitors, and
do surveys or focusgroup interviews to learn about consumer preferences. Professional market research can be very costly, but there are many books that show small business owners how to do effective research themselves.

In your marketing plan, be as specific as possible; give statistics, numbers, and sources. The marketing plan will be the basis, later on, of the allimportant sales projection.

Facts about your industry:

•     What is the total size of your market?
•     What percent share of the market will you have? (This is important only if you think you will be a major factor in the market.)

•    Current demand in target market.

•    Trends in target market—growth trends, trends in consumer preferences, and trends in product development.

•    Growth potential and opportunity for a business of your size.

•    What barriers to entry do you face in entering this market with your new company? Some typical barriers are:

o High capital costs

o High production costs

o High marketing costs

o Consumer acceptance and brand recognition

o Training and skills

o Unique technology and patents

o Unions

o Shipping costs

o Tariff barriers and quotas

•    And of course, how will you overcome the barriers?

•    How could the following affect your company?

o Change in technology

o Change in government regulations

o Change in the economy

o Change in your industry

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