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Marketing Basics - Articles Surfing

Building a business requires an in-depth knowledge of the product, competitors and customers. Market research provides the business owner with a method for gathering timely and specific information on both your customers and competitors.

What Topics Must be Addressed?

' What do customers need?
' What do customers want?
' What do competitors offer?
' What is the estimated loyalty to old suppliers?
' What is the reluctance to change in this field?
' How suspicious will people be of a new business's ability to compete?

Customers do not change companies for value only; they sacrifice good will an intangible commodity that may be worth thousands and take years of effort building. This is not something consumers want to give up easily.

Analyze the Market

Critical analyze of the product or service sold, and an honest appraisal of the product and service, will ensure it is able to meet the demands of the customers. Remember, the product must focus on the needs of the customer. One customer may value price over quality. Another may value service over quality. The third customer may not consider service, price, or locality in their quest to find a product that meets their individual needs.

If the customer does not need a cheaper product, but do need a smaller one, manufacturing a cheaper one that is a bigger is a drastic mistake. If an area has several people who offer daycare in their homes, but no one offers this service to disable children, or gifted children, or parents who work late at night, then focus on these needs before opening a daycare.

I ran into this problem. Daycare in my area had no problem opening early for a child, but none of them worked past six o'clock. I needed to drive across the city to find someone who would watch my children until 7 p.m. There was a need, but everyone was so busy offering the same service, with his or her own perks or discounts, but my need went unmet.

Or, they offered the service at a price that indicated they believed I was asking for private tutors and gourmet meals to be supplied.

To make my point, not one of the daycare centers I interviewed was full. They fought bitterly for each new child. Yet, not one offered a service that met the community's diverse needs.

It was as if they believed the customer was there to supply their needs, not the other way around.

This is why I caution new business owners to tread carefully where they have no experience in an industry. Ignorance of the mistakes a business is making is an unforgivable sin in the business world. It is impossible to enter the customer's head when they remain an enigma.

The customer may become annoyed because they want a toaster that makes toast in half the time, but that does not mean they will pay double for this toaster. A business may market toasters that prepare an instant breakfast is doomed if the consumer views this as a luxury they are unwilling to pay for
To stress this point one only needs to look at the infomercial market.

Thousands of items sold over the television, to an impulse consumer, which would never sell in a store. The consumer in the local store is a different type of buyer than the one who sits up until three a.m. looking for something different that hits an emotional nerve.

In this case, marketers are appealing to the buyer's self-esteem. They want to convince the consumer that all the beautiful people own that item, and if they want their friends to think they have the complete kitchen, they will buy the toaster that makes breakfast in half the time.

That is why it is possible to sell specialty items over the television when those same items would not sell in a store. A person would buy a pizza pocket maker over the television because they do not stop to think. There is no 'cooling down period.' The same person might look at that gill in the store and laugh. How often do you have all the ingredients for pizza pockets in the house?

Submitted by:

Mark Walters

Mark Walters is a third generation entrepreneur and author. He offers free training and investing videos designed to speed you towards financial independence at http://www.cashflowinstitute1.com/Articles.html



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