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Creating a marketing plan is an integral part of your business plan. You may be confident about your product or service, but are others? By conducting marketing research, you can determine whether you'll have enough customers. It also allows you to study your competition and determine your own unique selling points. This research will form the basis for your marketing.
Customer analysis – what does your market look like?
You'll only know whether your product or service will sell once you know who your customers are. Customer analysis allows you to pinpoint exactly who your potential customers may be, e.g. where they come from, how old they are, and how and where they spend their money.
Competitor analysis – how much do you know about your competitors?
Generally speaking, you won't be the only company selling a particular product or service. Conducting competitor analysis allows you to determine exactly who your competitors are and what they do. Who are your foremost competitors? What sort of products or services do they provide? Where are they located?
Marketing mix – how should you tackle marketing?
Market research forms the basis for your marketing. This involves collecting information about your customers and competitors. You can then use this information as the basis for your action plan, i.e. your marketing mix. This includes details about the 4 Ps – product, price, promotion and place.