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The First Step to Marketing

ladyoncellphone33269406.jpgA marketing campaign can be a waste of money and time for those involved if the decision makers behind the campaign don't have current or viable research to tell them how to market their product. If you are new to the marketing front, you need to know who you are selling to, their buying habits, the best place/time/way to present what you have to offer to them, and what your competitors are doing. A marketing campaign needs to be new and fresh, but it also needs to be strategically planned on thorough research in order for it to be successful.

There are three areas that you will want to research: customers, competition, and environment. There are also two types of information regarding each of the research areas: primary information and secondary information.


The first area you will want to research in will be your customers. You will be gathering information both about and from your customers. Who is your target market? What are their demographics? What are their needs? How does your product fill their needs? Where does it fall short? Learning the answer to these questions and more will help you focus your research, define your problem, and have the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to a successful marketing campaign.

You will want to gather information for your customer area of research both directly from your customers (primary information source) through talking to them, conducting surveys, and creating focus groups, and from secondary information sources like research your competitors or market researchers have already done. Collecting primary source information can be time consuming when compared to just doing secondary information research, but if you put in the time and effort to get to know your customers' needs and wants, you'll be able to develop a marketing campaign that will capture their attention and make them want to buy from you before anyone else.


Gathering information from and about your competitors will help your marketing campaign to figure out what has worked in the past and what hasn't. It helps you avoid costly mistakes because you are learning from what your competition has done. It also helps you to improve your product or service and helps you see how you can increase or shift your share of the market. This research segment will also help you define how you are unique to your competition. Customers want to know why they should buy from you, what makes you different. Between researching your customers' needs and wants and researching what your competition has to offer, you can find out what makes you different.


You may loose some steam by the time you get around to conducting research on your environment, but it too is important. Environment research refers to the social, economic, and political forces that shape your business sector. By gathering information on your environment, it helps you stay abreast of trends, respond to changes in the market, and anticipate events that could affect your business for good or ill. Right now you can probably see how the economy and the government could have a huge impact on how your business performs. Isn't it important to keep up with what is happening that could affect you and your customers? A drop in interest rates, the closure of a supplier chain, or any number of things could have a ripple effect on you and how you do business. It can affect your marketing campaign, so you need to have the level of awareness to be able to anticipate changes.

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