Does your business strategy have direction and purpose?
Not sure? … then perhaps you need a some form of marketing analysis / marketing audit!
What Our Marketing Audits Will Give You
Marketing analysis is an in-depth information gathering and reporting process, that gathers and compiles factual evidence about your business and the markets you operate in.
By obtaining these baseline statistics, you’ll have a great starting point to be able to go forward and formulate an effective marketing strategy. You’ll also be able to implement any necessary changes to your business to improve the chance of project survival; be it for a new product launch, service diversification or even acquiring additional market share.
The Importance of Direction
Strategic direction is absolutely crucial in business, but it’s often perceived as the ‘airy-fairy stuff’ the marketing team ‘flaps on about’ all the time.
Yet without being able to recognise your current position, without a destination and without achievable targets, how on earth are you supposed to choose a direction or plot a course to get “there”?
Regardless of the size of business, clear lines of direction will almost always:
Help to Achieve Organisational Goals:
Business goals come from the top! When senior management teams are fully aware of these goals, this information can then be passed down through the ranks so that every single person within the company is adequately equipped to help achieve those organisational goals effectively (See our section on INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS).
Improve Employee Integration, Efficiency & Motivation:
Effective, meaningful direction consists of motivation, leadership and communication. When these three managerial tools are employed consistently in your business, your teams will be properly motivated, have greater feelings of self-worth and will be more likely to contribute maximum effort. They’re also likely to improve inter-departmental relations, encouraging the common conviction of ‘whatever it takes to get the job done’.
Working towards a common goal is always much easier when everyone is singing off the same song sheet!
Facilitate Change: Change within an organisation is inevitable and absolutely crucial to help to improve your chances of survival. As Winston Churchill once said; “There is nothing wrong with change, if it’s in the right direction”.
Organisations who are adverse to change – those who dwell on the past or present, are sure to miss any opportunities for improvement in the future.
Improves Sales Potential:
If everyone in your business is pulling in the same direction, it will become a much more streamlined, efficient machine. Customer confidence will increase, as will your potential to attract more business. Let’s face it – everyone wants to work with a winner!
Any worthwhile project begins with a careful analysis of your starting point, and marketing is no exception. You need to be clear and realistic about your current product, market, opportunities, and challenges so that you can devise a strategic path from your current to your desired situation. To put together a situational analysis, you’ll need to gather information about your product/service, the marketyou sell it in, the customerswho buy it and who your competitorsare.
What is your company’s current product(s) / service(s)?
What is the price point in comparison to your competitors?
Can you establish your market share?
What position in the market does your offering take? Highest quality? Lowest price?
Where can you purchase your product or its components? Are there other options for raw material sourcing?
How do you get your product/service to your buyer?
What is the market for your product? Define it in terms of size in pounds sterling.
What growth do you anticipate in the market – short-term and long term?
Are there any factors you see impacting your market?
Are there anticipated changes in where people live, the average age of the population, environmental regulations, political climate, or other factors that may lead to a change in the size of your market?
Who buys your products now? Give a detailed picture of your customer by segmenting them into groups, including demographics like age, sex, race, income, and reason they are purchasing the product.
Can you segment this information further by tailoring customer profiles?
What are the needs of your customer?
How does your product/service meet the customer’s need?
If you’re looking to expand your customer base – what type of customer are you aiming for?
What other options do your customers have to meet their need?
How do those companies compare to yours, in terms of their size,
age, product range, quality of product/service?
Marketing Analysis – Competitors
A marketing competitor analysis should be seen as an absolutely critical part of your own marketing strategy.
The first step is to identify both your current competitors and, if possible, any new and emerging ones too. You also need to find out:
Who exactly your competitors are and how long have they been trading?
Where they’re located?
What products or services they’re selling?
Why customers choose to buy their products or services?
How much market share they currently have?
How much money they have – are they a profitable business?
You’ll also need to gather information on:
What marketing strategies they have used in the past?
How aggressive they are on the advertising front – and where do they advertise?
How competitive are they?
If their strengths and weaknesses are the same as yours?
This information is highly valuable if you’re going to succeed in differentiating yourself, especially in a crowded marketplace.
Once you know who your competition are, you can start to look at your business as a whole. and the rational first step is to prepare a SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym for; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Strengths and weaknesses are often focussed on the internal workings of the business. So, if you have an experienced work-force , good advertising coverage and are relatively cash rich, then it’s likely you’ll create your marketing strategy based on those things.
Similarly, if your grasp of modern technology is relatively poor or you lack skilled personnel, then these are areas you’ll most likely avoid.
You’ll also need to consider any external factors that might provide you with an Opportunity or pose as a Threat. Economic instabilities, political unrest or even social changes can offer opportunities for businesses; but it’s wise to err on the edge of caution, since they can also create threats which could damage your business and its reputation as a whole.
By carefully considering all of these factors, you’ll be left with a summary report from which you can start to formulate your marketing plan moving forward.
Whilst SWOT analyses basic internal functions, a STEEPLE analysis (previously referred to as PEST or PESTLE) delves much further into the wider external factors affecting your business..
STEEPLE is an acronym for the seven additional areas of potential impact on your business: Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Legal, and Ethical.
It is a very precise analysis that helps business owners to understand how each of the factors impacts (or is likely to impact) their project plans and company as a whole.
Marketing Mix Analysis
The marketing mix is a product or service framework comprising of six elements; Product, Price, Place (Distribution), Physical Environment (Locality), Promotion and People.