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Marketing For Dummies, 4th Edition by Alexander Hiam

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Chapter 4

Researching Your Customers, Competitors, and Industry

In This Chapter

arrow Identifying creative new ideas for business success

arrow Asking smart questions

arrow Employing effective, inexpensive research techniques

arrow Riding the tide of a growth trend

Big businesses hire research firms to do extensive customer surveys and to run discussion groups with customers. The marketers then sit down to 50-page reports filled with tables and charts before making any decisions. I rarely recommend this traditional approach, because people usually have far less time and money, let alone patience, than this approach demands.

Instead, in this chapter, I help you better understand your customers and competitors and, in the process, better understand yourself. I show you how to adopt an inquisitive approach by sharing simple, efficient ways of learning about customers and competitors. As a marketer, you need to ask questions and seek useful answers — something you can do on any budget. Often a resourceful marketer can learn something useful for free on the web and may even manage to avoid an expensive custom ...

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