Oren Chervinsky February 1, at 1: As you are aware, a number of additional blogger sites picked up the story and continued with this important conversation, and I would like to thank you for bringing more light to this growing problem. Your article was forwarded to me by a parent friend of mine in Washington D. I know from my own life, that he is not alone and many parents across the US, North America, and the World are struggling with these very questions.
Keep the subjects simple and the range narrow. Formulate questions that give clear yes or no indicators i. Try to convert data to numerical format and manipulate on a spreadsheet. Use focus groups for more detailed work. Be wary of using market research organisations as this can become extremely expensive.
If you do the most important thing to do is get the brief right. Establish your corporate aims.
Business strategy is partly dictated by what makes good business sense, and partly by the subjective, personal wishes of the owners. There is no point in developing and implementing a magnificent business growth plan if the owners wish the business to maintain its current scale.
State your business objectives - short, medium and long term. State your business objectives - mindful of the trading environment external factors and your corporate aims internal factors. What is the business aiming to do over the next one shorttwo-to-three medium and four-to-five long years?
These objectives must be quantified and prioritised wherever possible. You may project your aims or vision for your business further into the future of course, which is feasible for types of business which are reasonable mature, stable and predictable.
For such businesses some people might regard four-to-five years as medium term rather than long term.
A mission statement announces clearly and succinctly to your staff, shareholders and customers what you are in business to do. Consider what you can be the best at doing for your stated target market or audience. You must define clearly what you are providing to your customers in terms of individual products, or more appropriately, services.
You should have one for each main area of business activity, or sector that you serve. Under normal circumstances competitive advantage is increased the more you can offer things your competitors cannot. Develop your service offer to emphasise your strengths, which should normally relate to your business objectives, in turn being influenced by corporate aims and market research.
The tricky bit is translating your view of these services into an offer that means something to your customer. The definition of your service offer must make sense to your customer in terms that are advantageous and beneficial to the customer, not what is technically good, or scientifically sound.
Think about what your service, and the manner by which you deliver it, means to your customer. In the selling profession, this perspective is referred to as translating features into benefits. For example, if a strong feature of a business is that it has hour openingthis feature would translate into something like: Your business plan, which deals with all aspects of the resource and management of the business, will include many decisions and factors fed in from the marketing process.
It will state sales and profitability targets by activity. There may also be references to image and reputation, and to public relations. All of these issues require some investment and effort if they are to result in a desired effect, particularly any relating to increasing numbers of customers and revenue growth.
You would normally describe and provide financial justification for the means of achieving these things, together with customer satisfaction improvement, in a marketing plan. Quantify what you need from the market.
Before attending to the detail of how to achieve your marketing aims you need to quantify clearly what they are. How many new customers? Limit of customer losses?
Sales values from each sector? Profit margins per service, product, sector? Percentage increase in total sales revenues? Improvement in customer satisfaction? Reduction in customer complaints? Write your marketing plan. Your marketing plan is actually a statement, supported by relevant financial data, of how you are going to develop your business.
The marketing plan will have costs that relate to a marketing budget in the business plan. The marketing plan will also detail quite specifically those activities, suppliers and staff issues critical to achieving the marketing aims.Because each scene needs to be attended to individually, storyboards are useful on another issue in the planning process: reminding .
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