Market research and its importance for businesses

Most of the new businesses today, try to dismiss the overall concept of market research. Many of them think that spending hours and days on market research just for selling a product or service is not that important. So, such businesses directly jump into the game of selling without even understanding the market properly. For grabbing a potential area in the market, market research is the only tool that can help new businesses as well as the old ones. It is most important for the small-sized businesses where the first 5-6 months can turn out to be precarious. The small and new businesses require customers and sales as soon as possible. Market research is the tool in digital marketing that can help in gathering more customers and sales for you. According to a recent study, 48% of the new businesses are opting for market research for grabbing their individual markets.

Market research and surveying

Survey was the term that was used much before market research came into the picture. There was a time when new businesses used to run behind their potential customers for filling out the survey forms. Gone are those days now. In the digital marketing world, the picture of surveying has completely changed. People now turn towards social media platforms and websites for researching about their potential customers.

According to a recent survey from Forbes, businesses that conducted extensive market research on social media had a growth rate of 20% than the ones which didn’t use market research. The companies which do not use market research had an average growth rate of 15% only.

From the above data, it can be stated that company A was the one which opted for market research and company B didn’t opt for market research.

Market research and consumers

“Market research aims at understanding the reasons your consumers will buy your product or use your service”.

Market research studies each and every element which is required for your company growth such as behavior of your consumers, personal factors, market trend etc. The basic things that market research will answer are Who, Why, What and How.

Market research and setting up your business goals

“The best vision for your vision is insight”.

Without market research, you won’t be able to set up goals for your business. You want to double up your sales, but is it possible without getting to know the size of your target market? No, it is not. With proper market research, you can set up your goals along with the growth plans that you need.

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Innovative Business Ideas

Are you looking to build a large clientele for your new business? If yes, then you have landed at the right place!

Today, we are going to talk about some innovative and uncommon ways that will help grow your business in the most cost effective and shortest time possible. Here are 5 successful ways to achieve growth for your business in 2019:

  1. Target a Specific Audience

In order to grow your business in the right direction, your focus must be on targeting your ideal audience. Once you know who your ideal clientele is, you must create a marketing campaign that speaks our specifically to that community. By doing so, you will be successful in creating an effective campaign that will help you in many ways to establish your brand name in any marketplace.

  • Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is a simple business strategy, in which your clients help promote your products or services through recommendations. Despite the fact that referral marketing is one of the most effective and trusted ways to create a growing user base in the shortest time, it has not been used to its full potential by both small businesses and large enterprises.

  • Partner with another Brand

This might seem like an out of the box idea to grow your business, but associating your business with a brand that already has a loyal following can actually help you in the long run. Working on a partnership or collaboration with another brand can help you reach out to a new audience and give you a platform to increase your brand presence in the marketplace.

  • Associate your Brand with an Important Cause

Associating your business with an important social cause is one of the most creative ways to promote your brand name. This is one marketing strategy that will not just increase the visibility of your business, but also add a higher purpose to your brand values.

  • Create a Viral-Worthy Video to Promote your Product

Last but not least, another great way to promote your business in 2019 is to create a promotional video for your brand products and services that is entertaining enough to catch the attention of your target audiences on different social media platforms. Your video should be unique and viral-worthy in delivering your brand message, so that it succeeds in spreading your brand name through word of mouth as well!

Let’s get started then!

KEY FACTORS INFLUENCING YOUR FUNCTIONAL LEVEL STRATEGY AND HOW DOES IT BENEFIT YOUR ORGANIZATION

Functional level strategies refer to the responsibilities that are handed over to different branches that maintain both your business and corporate level strategies. To be specific, these functional strategies stand for the end results you wish to get from the day to day functions of your certain business departments.

As a business, your functional level strategy must be able to highlight the point that businesses need constant support from various functional departments, like, Human resources, production, research & development, accounting, operations, marketing etc. to fulfill their goals. As the next step towards your corporate level strategy, your business’ functional level strategy would require you to –

  • Improve your human resources team by hiring more and more skilled and expert candidates
  • Increase marketing for better brand value, recognition and name
  • Decrease the likelihood of rejections in the production department

For any business, it is extremely crucial to keep up these strategies and work towards fulfilling the objectives of all branches. But, one thing that you must keep in mind while devising a functional level strategy for your business is to make sure that it is aligned with your business level strategies and corporate level strategies.

For instance, if your business strategy is aiming at increasing your brand value and your corporate strategy is directed towards increasing your organization’s market share, then any of your functional level strategies should not be regarding updating the computers of your marketing department.

How Does Functional Level Strategy Benefit Your Business?

The right functional level strategy can prove to be extremely advantageous for your business, and the reason behind it is its specific nature. Although, it is also the specific nature of functional level strategy that makes it more likely to be complicated and hard to achieve in comparison to corporate or business level strategies.

One of the greatest advantages of incorporating a functional level strategy for your business is that it helps streamline your company goals in a more comprehensive and all-encompassing way. This means that once you have worked to create a functional level strategy for your business, each and every employee working in different departments of your organization will be brought together by a unified goal. This is something that will automatically lead to an improved work-understanding, contributing to your organization’s success as a whole.

How a Business Strategy helps Corporations in winning new Costumers?

Corporate Strategy helps in formulate a winning guide in how the business is competing in the market.

It define what are the objectives (goals and future plans) and values of a corporation and how it compete against competitors. As such, it helps in formulate the long term view of what a company does and what it will do in the future. Moreover it helps in achieving success depending on how is formulated.

Many big corporations and consultancy define their role with the Mission Statement and Vision Statement. Statements in which the say what is the organizational goals for the medium and long term, which is usually 5 to 10 years.

Strategies are an ongoing process which takes time to formulate, but are also always changing due to the environmental forces which influences the market. How to formulate a succesful corporate strategy is the main opportunity for many Businesses.

The Mission Statement and Vision Statement are ideas on how and what the company wishes to be perceived by its customers and is related to the product and or service offering.

To formulate a good mission statement is important to be able to answer to the following questions:

  • What can people do with the information or product offered on the site?
  • What is the Unique Selling Proposition?
  • How will the service or product improve the clients’ lives?
  • What reason for buying on the website and not somewherelse? Or Why read the information and take the advice instead of getting the advice from another site?
  • Why are you offering these products or service aside from making money?

Strategic Friday #2

Thank you for your interest in today’s topic, today’s topic is about strategy in business and corporate settings. And we start by the SWOT analysis, which is connected to the previous strategic Friday article, also found on my blog.

Today strategic tool is a standard for analysing any situation, which can be an organisation, but can also be in regard of personal opportunities.

The swot analysis is composed of two main sections, the internal analysis, in which resources and capabilities, as well as other tools such as the Porter 5 forces, will be used to analyse the current situation of a situation or an organisation, and will be introduced in the future. And an external section, in which, the environmental forces, previously explain will be used to determine whether a particular situation is attractive or not.

Is important to remember, that they component of the analysis, are not only the 4 main components: strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But also the internal four components such as strong opportunities to exploit, the search for weak opportunities, strong threats which have to be confronted, and weak threats which are avoidable.

As a reminder, is possible to see the graph below in regard to this analysis.

Strategic Innovations Type

Welcome back to my blog, for today argument i return on the topic of innovation.

As many of you are now aware, Innovation is a huge subject, and does not have for the moment any specific metric on how to measure technology development.

But, in my studies, i came across on certain definitions that help in defining innovations, and these are the category explained also in method.org about innovation types, http://method.org/note/incremental-vs-modular-vs-architectural-vs-radical-innovation.html

extracted from an HBR Article from 1990 from Henderson and Kim, found at http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2393549?uid=3739448&uid=2&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21102575016673

On one hand there are defined incremental innovations such as incremental innovations which is the upgrade of existing products or services and there are radical innovations which is the total development of new products and services.

On the other hand there are the architectural innovation which are the reconfigurations of the systems of component that constitute the product but the core remain the equal and there are modular innovations which is the reconfiguration of the links between the core processes and the componenst without reconfiguring the architecture.

All this is related to the role of creativity in innovation, more precisely on the types of innovative products is possible to have in innovation management.

Is almost impossible to come up with brand new ideas nowadays, in an instant but there are tricks which are taught on how to be innovative, and this blog post help in analyse the type of innovations available on the market.

To provide an example of the innovations: modular innovation is the creation of a new prototype for example the application of new standards in technology in new innovative products. incremental innovation is more related to upgrades, architectural innovations are more internal revolutions and radical innovations are existing component in new technologies.

Developing an Innovative Company

Today’s post goes and explain the article discusses in HBR on Innovation, my main subject and research for this blog stub.

Every Thursday I will try to put a blog article discussing an article or providing some hints on how to develop a company which is innovative and forward thinking.

This maybe a naive point of view as, at the current time my objective is to gain experience and hindsight, but not all knowledge that I write about, has to come directly from me, and I believe, that Harvard Business Review, with his insights provide some kudos on my side.

As I was saying, today post goes and discuss HBR article, Building an Innovation Factory.

All this articles are from the 2000, but still relevant today, as they discuss Engineering and Design, as well as Business.

The main idea of the article, is that there are four components which help in developing an innovative company:

These components are embedded in the company culture, and companies as such as IDEO, take advantage of this components in developing their corporate culture.

Now, you will be saying, what it has to do with a small business….

I would reply to you, that no matter the size, is important in being innovative, as ideas are the currency of Business.

 

This components, in the text, are referred as the Knowledge-Brokering Cycle:

And they are discussed as, the main building block to keep and retain ideas.

  1. Keep the good ideas:

Ideas, as discussed in precedence, can come from within a firm, or engineered outside a firm, and as such, is important to keep them, as often they are forgotten, and more specifically, in corporate culture, they are often forgotten also because these ideas are tied to the owner of the idea.

2. Ideas have to survive:

In order to flourish, ideas have to be kept alive, to remain alive, this ideas have to be past around, and discussed and toyed with. Effective brokers spread the information.

3. Reinventing the wheel:

This is where the concept gets interesting, innovation arrive when old ideas are captured and remembered in new contexts. For example, using the idea box, one can plot the innovation that the Nintendo Wii brought, and design new ideas for new consoles.

4. Testing concepts:

Testing allow to check if an innovation is viable commercially or is a flop. Brokers in this context can learn valuable lessons even if the idea is not working.

Knowledge brokering cycle

 

Innovation Management #3

Today’s post goes and discuss various technique to stay innovative for corporations.

The easiest method is via brain storming (mind mapping) ideas, the second one is via the idea box.

Both these techniques are better explained in an ebook called: Thinker toys

These techniques are easy to draw than to be explained.

Plenty of material can be found on the internet.

Mind mapping consist in using a blank paper and writing in the middle the concept, or the idea researched, and then connect by lines around it all connections that come to mind, for example, in purchasing a car, the idea is to go and look for all the issues that can arise when buying it.

From this start then is to go and draw connections also with the concept that for outsiders maybe don’t make sense, but for you, the painter of the map maybe easy understandable. There are plenty of software and tools the helps in creating mind map, however nothing beats the original Tony Buzan book which draws also on cognitive science theory. In fact is suggested that when drawing lines or connections, different colors are do be used.

The second approach for idea generation is the idea box.

This is explained in thinker toys as a method which exponentially increases the chances of getting good ideas to the consumer.

Last but not least I’m going to introduce the term of lead user method.

Lead user method is a technique explained in innovation management by Harvard business school.

This technique goes and explains that technological advancements are usually achieved not always by the manufacturer of goods, but mostly by the lead user.

This allow for new products to be developed in collaboration of a network of experts which cooperate in the development of new tech.

This goes hand in hand with the explanation of the S curve, a curve used in innovation management to explain how a new product is marketed to various market segment according to their own skills and expertise.

Innovation Management #2

Creating Market Space

In today’s post, I am going to discuss of a technique used in Marketing and Corporate Strategy which is adoptable to Innovation Management.

This technique is called value curve analysis.

By analysing what is the function and emotion which are targeted by competitors, is possible to target new market and create space for new nieches.

This tool is very practicable, although is difficult to explain, there are plenty of example of companies using this strategy, and is widely explained by Harvard Business School.

An example is the chart provided in personal finance software in the 80s vs pen and pencil use for personal finance calculation.

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 22.34.28.png

the main point to describe is the there are key point into analysis:

This are the points:

Remove the points taken for granted.

Diminuish the factors below industry standard.

Increase the factors above industry standard and create factors which the industry does not offer.

The main key take aways are that is important to look at what competitors offer in the industry, look what buyers are willing to spend money on, look on substitutes in terms of products and services, target emotions and functionality, look across time horizon in following current trends.

Innovation Management

An important initial step in Business and Management is Innovation Management, therefore how to remain innovative and have new product or service ideas.

This is the initial step in innovation management.

With this blog stub, I will try to provide some examples studied in University on how companies become and stay innovative in order to achieve competitive advantage. For who does not know what a competitive advantage is, is simply a term to define how companies succeed.

When developing or inventing new products or services is always important to think how much the market (customer) would pay?

Then in ideating, there are mainly two segments: B2B and B2C.

The main reason is that certain products are made for retail, thus, becomming Business to Consumer, other product or services, are Business to Business products or services, and are mostly defined as used in collaboration or partnership with other companies.

Innovation management key point is the management of creativity, and define the difference between a technology (coding or tacit knowledge),

and innovation, taking novel ideas and technology to market.

The main examples are by the way on the different ways to use a brick, which is an exercise, which i would suggest everybody on doing to find out new creative ways of idea generation.

With this Blog Post i provided a small example of creativity in action, for further get to know the business capabilities, feel free to contact me with the contact page, and I will sort out an appointment for a consultation.