table of contents


Digital research and analysis

Understanding Market Research

Defining Market Research

Market research involves systematic data collection and analysis to comprehend the needs and preferences of a specific market. This data aids business owners in making informed decisions about strategies, operations, and potential clientele.

The Process of Market Research

Market research follows a structured process to gather and analyse market data for sound decision-making, identifying niche problems, and opportunities within a business landscape.

Research Objective

A clearly defined research objective serves as the cornerstone, ensuring that the study addresses specific problems or questions pertinent to the business landscape.

Data Sources

Market research utilises primary and secondary data sources. Secondary sources, typically cost-effective and widely available, constitute published data. Conversely, primary sources entail data collected specifically for the research objective.

Data Collection Instrument

Constructing a data-collection instrument is crucial for gathering primary data, usually through observational studies or questionnaires. Pre-testing these instruments ensures their efficacy and suitability before implementation.

Sample Size and Design

Quality outweighs quantity in sample size, aiming to represent the entire population of interest. Sampling methods include random sampling, area sampling, and quota sampling, strategically selecting individuals based on shared characteristics or specific locations.

Understanding Marketing Essentials

Marketing Mix Principles

Understanding your company, its operations, clientele, and products is vital for market comprehension. The marketing mix, represented by the four Ps—Product, Place, Price, and Promotion—integrate to form a cohesive marketing strategy.

The 4Ps of Marketing

  • Price: Determined by production costs, demand, and market dynamics. It can be utilised for differentiation and brand enhancement.
  • Product: The item sold, crucial for meeting performance standards.
  • Place: Refers to points of sale, emphasizing visibility and ease of purchase, whether in physical or online locations.
  • Promotion: Strategies used to communicate the product to the target market.

The Expanded Marketing Mix

The digital age has introduced additional Ps to the marketing mix:

  • People: Identifying demand within the target market and the importance of employees’ belief in and contribution to a business.
  • Physical Evidence: Brand perception and establishment, creating a market presence and identity.
  • Process: Organisational systems affecting service execution and cost minimisation.

USP and Brand Positioning

  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Differentiating factor from competitors, offering compelling benefits to consumers.
  • Brand Positioning: Establishing consumer reasons to choose a brand, ensuring uniqueness, significance, and sustainability across all market touchpoints.

Competitive Brand Positioning

Understanding and leveraging competitive advantages to position your brand effectively in the marketplace. Essential for business strategy and creating value for customers.

Understanding Customer Analysis

Importance of Customer Analysis

Understanding your customer base is fundamental for business growth. Analysing your customers helps define your target market and how best to engage with them.

Three Key Objectives

  • Identifying Target Customers: Defining the customer base your business caters to.
  • Understanding Customer Needs: Analysing what customers require.
  • Aligning Products/Services with Customer Needs: Demonstrating how your offerings fulfil customer requirements.


Understanding customer demographics is pivotal for business success. It influences product/service design, pricing, and marketing strategies. Factors like income, age, residence, transportation, and family status significantly impact business decisions.


Psychographics delve into personality, values, and attitudes. It involves studying consumer preferences, desires, and psychological criteria. This data helps in understanding customers’ personality traits, aspirations, and fears, guiding product/service development and marketing strategies.

Customer Purchase Funnel

The customer purchase funnel represents the journey from leads to customers, highlighting various stages:

  • Awareness: Introduction to potential customers through marketing efforts.
  • Interest: Engaging potential customers with useful information.
  • Consideration: Nurturing leads as prospective customers.
  • Purchase: Conversion of prospects into customers.
  • Loyalty: Establishing brand advocacy and long-term customer loyalty.

Attention Economy

In an attention economy, the battle for consumer attention is fierce. Attention scarcity arises from increased demands on attention and decreasing attention spans. Marketers strive to create engaging, relevant content to capture and retain consumer attention in this competitive landscape.

Exploring Competitive Analysis

Importance of Competitive Analysis

Understanding your competition is crucial for highlighting your unique selling points and gaining an edge in the market. It forms a part of business and marketing strategies, aiding growth plans.

Types of Competitors

  • Direct Competitors: Sell similar goods/services to the same market.
  • Indirect Competitors: Offer substitute products/services or items used as alternatives.
  • Potential New Entrants: New businesses entering your market.

Information Sources for Competitive Analysis

Gather data from:

  • Google: Search competitors’ names for articles and insights about their operations.
  • Site Visit: Visit competitors’ outlets to observe offerings, workforce, and customer engagement.
  • Marketing Materials: Collect marketing tools, brochures, or ads to understand their promotional strategies.
  • Local Newspapers: Check for articles, awards, job announcements, or expansion plans about local companies.

Assessing Competitive Advantage

Consolidate gathered information into a report to identify advantages and improvement opportunities over competitors. Ask crucial questions about competitors’ strategies, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.

Tools for Competitive Analysis

Perceptual Mapping
  • Attributes: Perceptual maps use consumer perception to position products/services based on attributes.
  • Understanding Consumer Ranking: Helps understand consumer perception of companies in relation to their characteristics and competitors.
  • Market Gap Identification: Identifies gaps in the market where products/services could be positioned to meet consumer desires.
SWOT Analysis
  • Strengths: Internal, positive attributes within your control.
  • Weaknesses: Internal factors detracting from your value proposition.
  • Opportunities: External factors contributing to potential business growth.
  • Threats: External risks beyond your control that might affect business strategy.

SWOT analysis evaluates ideas based on internal and external factors, offering a comprehensive view of business positioning and potential areas for improvement or expansion.

Understanding Market Segmentation

Importance of Market Segmentation

Defining your target market is crucial for effective selling. Market research aids in understanding and serving the market optimally.

Purpose of Market Segmentation

Segmenting a market enables targeted marketing efforts towards prospects most likely to purchase your offering, ensuring the best return on marketing investment.

Methods for Determining Market Segmentation

Segmentation assists marketers in targeting specific customer groups effectively, offering insights into customer needs and behaviour, guiding marketing strategies, and aiding in long-term planning.

Criteria for Effective Segmentation

Effective segments are internally homogeneous, identifiable, accessible, and possess effective demand, ensuring a substantial customer base and the ability to reach and cater to their needs.

Steps in Targeting Markets

Step 1: Identify Market Segments

Separate general markets into smaller groups based on shared characteristics or variables to locate specific customer needs within a product group.

Step 2: Choosing Market Segments

Critically evaluate identified segments based on factors like size, growth, company capabilities, and alignment with the company’s mission.

Segmentation Variables and Examples

Segmentation VariableExamples of Variables MeasuredComments
GeographyRegion, mobility, cultural differencesBasic descriptor often insufficient for meaningful consumer segmentation
DemographicAge, sex, income, educationImportant for later advertising media decisions
PsychographicPersonality traits, attitudesDirectly linked to purchase motivation and product usage
BehaviouralOccasions, loyaltyProvides a rich profile integrating variables into consumer routines and lifestyle

Developing Marketing Strategy

Analysis of market segments leads to different target marketing strategies:

  • Undifferentiated or Mass Marketing: Appeals to one large market with a single strategy, not popular due to diverse customer needs.
  • Differentiated or Segmentation Marketing: Targets multiple smaller markets with unique strategies.
  • Concentrated or Niche Marketing: Uses a single strategy for very small markets not served well by larger firms.
  • Customised or Micro-Marketing: Appeals to targeted customers with individualised marketing programs, thriving in the online sphere.

Analysing the Business Environment

Understanding Environmental Analysis

Environmental analysis is a strategic tool that identifies external and internal elements impacting an organisation’s performance. It aligns strategies with the firm’s surroundings.

Impact of Environmental Changes

Daily market changes, beyond control, influence businesses significantly. Continuous analysis of the trade environment and market is crucial.

Macro Environmental Factors

Every business is impacted by macroenvironmental forces. Identifying these forces directly affecting a business involves understanding and analysing them.

PESTEL Analysis Framework

PESTEL analysis, encompassing political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors, aids in assessing and monitoring external environmental factors.

Political Factors

Government policies and stability, trade, fiscal policies, and taxation impacting industries and organisations.

Economic Factors

Interest rates, employment rates, raw material costs, and foreign exchange rates impacting the economy and organisational profitability.

Social Factors

Emerging social trends, changing demographics, education levels, and cultural shifts affecting customer needs.

Technological Factors

Technological innovations influencing markets, distribution, manufacturing, and logistics.

Environmental Factors

Influence of ecological aspects, including climate, recycling, carbon footprint, and sustainability.

Legal Factors

Health and safety laws, consumer rights, advertising standards, and product safety.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PESTEL Analysis

  • Simplifies understanding of the business environment
  • Develops strategic thinking
  • Helps in threat reduction and identifying opportunities
  • May oversimplify data
  • Requires regular updates and varied perspectives
  • Relies on assumption-based data

Micro Environmental Research

The micro environment, also known as the task environment, includes external forces directly impacting businesses.

Micro Environment Factors
  • Suppliers’ influence
  • Impact of resellers
  • Buyer behaviour and needs
  • Competition analysis
  • General public’s influence

Porter’s Five Forces

Michael Porter introduced this tool to analyse an industry’s attractiveness and profitability. It identifies five competitive forces impacting a business environment.

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