One of the greatest challenges of business start-up is defining the market. While defining the right product is the first step, this step is easily overcome when you have done market research and defined the core segments of your market. Market positioning is the second task because it involves determining a specific price point to meet the customer’s needs. Developing the marketing mix refers to your debilitating array of marketing tools to deliver a message to the customer. “For becoming to the customer, you must understand their problems, needs and interests.” says Sofiya Machulskaya.

As the market is no longer “human” but a computerized system, companies have to look at marketing tools in order to drive the marketing mix. If you are to decide in which segment to market, the campaign must focus on the customer and at least one aspect of their needs and preferences. You must try to unlock the sources of the customer’s problems and issues – if you are after the low end of the market, you will not drive as much attention to fashion in the high end markets. In this case it is important that you find the customers need by going beyond the consumer’s needs list and know what drives them other than their needs list. And this requires performing a marketing survey. Market research helps you find where your customer is: by what they buy, what they don’t buy, what they don’t like and so on.

A survey is carried out by sending questionnaires, conducting a focus group or sending a telephone survey. There are many free tools on the internet, in magazines, books and other sources providing ask-the-market techniques. Most use the telephone survey technique – for the cost of a act of giving feedback by phone. The focus group technique is a more estimate candidate technique, it allows companies to talk about issues that are important to them and ensure they are ‘not important’ to the market.

“The most specialised tools include online questionnaires and online surveys. A fully comprehensive questionnaire and online survey is very complex.” adds Sofiya Machulskaya.  As the complexity of this tool increases, volume and greater reliability increases. It is best to ask questions by phone or in a personal interview that the respondent can fill. Online surveys can be deployed from respondents’ homepages. There are free online survey services or paid online surveys. This is a very ancient single question survey tool, you can find them easily online and have a focus group simply by asking ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Product is what makes your living’ questions. You can even have a focus group by asking ‘Who gets the product?’ However, that question should be really targeted to one market segment that is their best target market (for example: ‘Retail Store Owners’ have the most sales by Christmas!).

If you contact a focus group, they will assess products according to a predetermined list of qualities, from a list available from the member. Better focus groups can be used when there are fairly large numbers of people involved.

There are two important methods to gather prospects information, qualitative and quantitative surveys. The qualitative survey consists of rather unscientific methods like participates calls, personal interviews and surveys conducted by quietly holding highest customer service and consumer product representatives as ‘hubSession Advisors’ to fled centre. This is usually beneficial as the positive team relationship will enable participants to gather more accurate or helpful information. However, the available information is not always accurate because respondents answer short-hand and does not own a strict time frame. The quantitative survey , one of the most important tools to ensure relevance, consists of a large number of survey participants, has an objective to reach a targeted market, offers easy follow up and can be conducted via the internet, from one detailed question to several.

In terms of qualitative surveys , look for a market research company that invoices itself as a market research company providing unbiased summaries rather than a Market Research Company.

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