Many companies face a dilemma today as they consider how to effectively promote and manage their products in the future. In order to create an effective marketing strategy, your company must conduct some basic market research to obtain a clear understanding of the future direction of your product or service platform. Market research does not have to be complicated, in fact, simpler is much better. No one understands their market and product attributes better than you, your research study needs to generate meaningful and relative information pertaining to both your short term objective and long term growth platform.

Market research consists of compiling data collection relative to the following list.

Conduct an investigation into your competition. Examine their product attributes, service platforms, promotion strategy, color selection and quality attributes, and customer engagement.
Determine if there are any deficiencies in your product design, packaging, distribution, advertising, product attributes, color selection etc, and propose corrections to these deficiencies to improve the overall market acceptance.
Identify if there are any unmet customer opportunities or customer groups your company has overlooked either intentionally or inadvertently and determine if this market segment warrants entry.
Evaluate if your advertising and promotion program is effective and is targeting your desired demographic or psychographic.
Evaluate the best method to conduct a market research study (either systematic or intuitive) consisting of one or more of the following activities of information resources.
Employee surveys – your first line since they interact daily with customers.
Focus groups – customers, end-users or any rational source for product or service feedback.
Customers – conduct a questionnaire to find out what is important and what future trends you need to be considering keeping your product or service in fashion.
Surveys – conduct a survey (mail or phone) to compile relevant information on your products or service specifically targeted to the end-user or consumer.

Design Matters because design sell. Your marketing platform needs to be centered on cutting-edge packaging, website design, and point of sales design. Tired and old will not work for today’s savvy buyer who Is looking for eye popping fashion.

Video and more video. More than 4 billion on-line videos are watched every day and the majority of video watchers share links. Retention rates among video watchers are mind-boggling compared to print media where 10% of read material is actually retained compared to 95% of video retention. Also, don’t be afraid to share your message and utilize simulated marketing communication to present your message and make your video go viral. Simulated marketing communication is similar to the Pepsi-Max video featuring Jeff Gordon taking an unsuspecting car salesman on a wild ride in a Chevy Camaro with a hidden camera in a Pepsi can. The video was purposely made and went viral with over 2 million hits. Who cares if it was staged by actors, Pepsi Max got their point across!

Email marketing is still effective. Develop creative ways to capture consumer, customer and end-user email lists and use them to send our campaigns to market your company and product.

Measure your marketing efficiency. If you use multiple marketing strategies such as paid search, SEO, email marketing, print advertisement, etc, there are multiple services available to you at nominal cost to measure the attributes success.

Target emerging markets. Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the US population and they represent 25% of new births. US population growth by age from the period 2010 through 2015 shows that people from 25-34 will grow by 6%, 35-44 will decline by 2%, 45-54 will decline by 5%, 55-64 will increase by 13% and 65+ will increase by 16%. These demographics will have a high impact on your business in the next few years, take advantage!