Gathering Information about New Markets

Good market research ensures that you don't spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns that customers don't jibe with or new products that they won't pay for. To be effective, organizations need good information about their customers' needs, wants, and characteristics. Generally, if the result of your decision impacts the customer, ask the customer for input into your decision before you make it.

image Market research is an entire discipline, which is too overwhelming to cover in depth here. Instead, this section focuses on how to conduct market research for the purpose of making strategic decisions about which target markets to enter. Those markets result in actions within your strategic plan.

Identifying your information needs

Before beginning any research effort, clearly state your information needs. Undoubtedly, some holes and unknowns about new markets you want to pursue may exist, but you also want to have a better idea of how attractive the potential target market is and whether it identifies with the need you're trying to solve. Ask yourself the following questions about each market you're considering:

  • What market are we trying to serve? How big is our market in terms of number of customers, units sold, or dollar volume?
  • Are there obvious segments in our market?
  • What are the overall trends and developments in our industry?
  • What is the ...

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