We have already learned that Marketing is the process of anticipating, identifying and meeting customer needs and requirements, but once we have identified these basic necessities to 'sell' a product how do we uncover if the customer 'need' will evolve into a 'want' and motivate them to put their hand in their pocket and buy what we have to sell?
The most obvious way is by using market research to uncover the customer requirements; this provides:
Valuable knowledge about the customer
Helps to plan future campaigns
Allows the company to concentrate on the most profitable areas.
Can help maximise response
Helps maximise return on the overall marketing budget
Validates or challenges any previous research findings/prejudices
Can help find new creative expressions for the brand
Generates models of customer behaviour
Helps develop better customer relationships
Following on from this a market focused approach to product development after the assessment of all these areas accurately defines market characteristics; from there it becomes possible to create an appropriate marketing mix to test.
Store loyalty cards are useful in predicting the performance of a new product and this can probably be done within weeks of its launch, interestingly enough I went to Tesco to shop on my way home from work last night, the store was so busy I picked up the essentials for dinner (which turned out to be wine and chocolate!) and decided to do an on-line shop today, when I went on line this morning in my 'favorites' list was my shop from last night. It seems to me that before the launch of loyalty cards it could take manufacturers and retailers up to nine months to deliver a set of customer data to forecast sales (1) now producers have a much clearer view of the market. There are...