Market Research & Planning

Ready to grow? Research the market, conduct competitive analysis, and try out our marketing plan template to formalize your own marketing plans.

Create your marketing plan

Whether your company provides products or services, your marketing plan is essential to your success. Your marketing plan should be a clear, concise, and well thought out document that guides you through your marketing program. Use this marketing plan template with our expert advice.

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Effective competitive analysis

For your small business to succeed, you need to know almost as much about your competitors as you do about your own company and customers. Unfortunately, many small business owners make the mistake of waiting until a competitor has opened up shop across the street and is cutting into profits to find out who and what they're up against. A competitive analysis allows you to identify your competitors and evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses.

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How to select a niche market

A niche market is a subdivision of the market at which a specific product/service is aimed. It gives definition to the characteristics of the specific product/service that is aimed at meeting the specific needs of the market, as well as the price category, product/service qualities and the demography on which this should impact. A niche market strategy may help you focus your resources on obtaining clients for whom your product or service provides the best fit to achieve their goals, address their needs, or solve their problems. Here's how to find one.

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Low cost market research

To run a business, you must know your market thoroughly. This article offers small businesses on a tight budget five cost-effective market research tips.
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Neighbourhood marketing checklist for SMEs

Creating and executing on an effective marketing strategy is something that many SMEs struggle with, and without which many businesses may not be able to succeed. It is because of the “make-or-break” power of marketing that it is important for you as an entrepreneur or business owner to have the necessary tools at hand to develop a marketing strategy that ultimately benefits your business. To address this need, Basil O’Hagan has created a neighbourhood marketing checklist for SMEs to better help them attract customers, make sales, and boost profits.

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Pricing Q&As

Whether you sell a product or service, the price you charge your customer will have a direct impact on the success of your business. Unfortunately, pricing is one of the least understood facets of running a small business. Many small business owners calculate their basic costs, and then pick a price arbitrarily. Arbitrary prices, however, mean arbitrary results. Taking the time to evaluate all the factors that will impact your price – from your expenses to your image to your customers' prices – will help ensure you develop an effective pricing strategy.

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Segment Your Audience

Customer segmentation is understanding customers' unique characteristics and behaviors. Evaluate your customers against five criteria discussed in this article.
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Top Six Pricing Mistakes

When you need to determine the price for your products and services, beware of the common pricing mistakes described in this article.
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