Market Research And Target Market Exploration
Our work in this area is done with a specific focus on identifying and learning as much possible about your current and potential target markets. Effective marketing strategy and planning comes from knowing your customers' dreams, hopes, and fears.
- Where to focus your efforts – target market selection.
- Size and potential.
- Awareness and knowledge of your company.
- Determine what's most important in purchase decisions and how you're perceived.
- Target market needs and wants – insights to drive new acquisition and stronger loyalty.
We usually start work with one or a combination of three processes designed to integrate insights, truths, and trends into the company's strategy.
- Review the client's existing insight and research.
- Conduct a discovery session where we provide topics for exploration and focus, review company sales, strategy, and examine existing secondary research along with other pertinent information that's available.
- Conduct market research using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques depending upon the need for information. These include but are not limited to in depth one-on-ones, focus groups, predictive modeling, and tracking studies
No matter which of the above methods are used, our work focuses on determining target market segments most critical to the organization and then looking at the relationship between awareness, attitudes, and behavior (trial and retrial) both within this continuum and towards the organization. Most often this is done in comparison to the businesses' competitive set. The work done here sets the stage for establishing marketing objectives tied to behavior along with developing communication objectives of awareness and shifts in perceptions later in the planning process.
We work with our clients to determine and evolve thinking around their core competency and defining what it is they do for their customers – what true benefit are they in business to deliver. While many companies define what they do in terms of their products, we see products and services as the branches of the tree but the true engine is the trunk or the firm's core competency. Towards this end, we believe strongly that what a company really does for its customers is often really never discovered and this oversight is the root of many ineffective strategy decisions.
American Girl is in the business of empowering and educating young girls. Their dolls are merely one product of many that bring this capability to life and make them unique. Because they manage their core competency and not their products, the firm has strong content and publishing capabilities, stages hugely successful events and has a unique capability that makes their combined product offering extremely differentiated, and expensive! Honda's core competency, the thing they manage to be successful is the building of very efficient engines. While they also manufacture cars, it's their ability to manage their core competency that makes them so successful at a portfolio of products including cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers.
We believe a core competency must meet the following criteria:
- Provides the company a unique capability that is made up of a number of underlying strengths.
- Provides access to a target market by making a significant contribution to the company's perceived customer benefit or value.
- The core competency and resulting capability that leads to the customer benefit must be difficult to imitate and copy.
The work in this area sets the stage for work prioritizing target markets and sub segments. The core competency is also the foundation for refining the company's product portfolio and identifying new products for development.
Pricing and distribution strategies are grounded in this work and start to emerge during this phase. And finally, the competitive set can now be further defined.
Continue to How We Work Part 2