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1 Market Research Is there a real market for my product/service?

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1 1 Market Research Is there a real market for my product/service?

2 2 Market research comes first* *Why cant you just start in with product sales efforts?

3 3 Purposes of market research Start-up –To determine if there are enough potential customers for your products or services to provide a satisfactory return on your investment –To get the information you need to write your business plan On-going –To stay aware of new trends –To monitor your competitors activities –To know your customers level of satisfaction with your products and services

4 4 Questions to make the right decisions 1.What is the nature of the demand for your services or products? 2.Who is most likely to buy or use your products or services? 3.Who are your competitors, and what products and services do they offer? 4.What is the growth potential for your product or service?

5 5 Excellent market research is Objective and unbiased Reliable and accurate Sufficiently in-depth Relevant to your information needs Continually up-dated and used

6 6 Begin with secondary Research Research done by reputable sources Published for your use

7 7 Secondary Research Sources Internet –Topics related to your products or services –Links to other topics –Trends and new product and service developments –Possible government regulations Library –Hennepin County Libraries –J.J. Hill Reference Library, St. Paul –Reference librarians –SCORE Counselors

8 8 Additional sources Business publications –Found in most libraries –Corporate Annual Reports –Industry publications –Business sections of newspapers Seminars and workshops –St. Paul Science Museum (computer skills courses) –Events listed in the business sections of Sunday and Monday newspapers –U of M Extension, St. Thomas Extension and Hennepin Technical Colleges

9 9 Continue with primary research Information gathered by you

10 10 Sources for primary research Information interviews Internet: Access the websites of competitorsnote how they present themselves Trade shows: Study the displays of competitors, and meet potential customers Yellow Pages and other directories

11 11 Scout out a location Proximity to direct competitors Demographics of the area/neighborhood (social/economic, population age) Access issues: Traffic barriers, amount of foot traffic, and parking availability

12 12 Evaluate Competitors Array of products and services Pricing structures Mood/tone/ambiance/service Style, message, and frequency of newspaper ads, including local shoppers and direct mail

13 13 Knowing Your Target Market Whether your target is a consumer or a business, you must know: –How customers really use your products and services –Usual buying cycles –Loyalty to established brands or suppliers –Unmet needs and wants your products and services can fulfill (or be modified to do so)

14 14 Are consumers your target market? How will you generate interest and motivate buying? What are the demographics of consumers you plan to have as customers (age, gender, income, education)? Can you cluster your market by interest and lifestyle (psychographics)? How far will consumers travel to buy your product? How will you turn your target markets wants into needs?

15 15 Are businesses your target market? What are their decision-making policies? Who has the decision-making authority to specify your products or services? What are their expectations of product and service quality, delivery, price, etc?

16 16 Summary Organize, file, update, and use your research Monitor your customers satisfaction and loyalty Identify your customers changing needs Be aware of your competitors products and services and their strategies

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