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Marketing Strategy Resources

Role of Data in Marketing Strategy

Data form the foundation for decision making and strategy development. Data come from two main sources: that which already exists, say, in a database or warehouse (referred to as secondary data); and that which is collected to address specific questions as with a focus group or survey (often referred to as primary data).

Your default approach to data should be to extract as much information as possible from existing sources. Collecting primary data should only be done when secondary data are unable to provide sufficient confidence in the decisions that need to be made.

Your marketing strategy provides a basis for believing that the goals of a marketing plan will be met. It illustrates how your goals will be met by identifying who your customers are and what it will take to get them to want to do business with us. Thus the four main processes used to create a marketing strategy are described as follows:

Step 1: Defining

Define the potential users by the type of want or "need satisfaction" that you plan to offer. With Business Source Premier you can search broadly for market surveys and conditions. Here you can find "canned" SWOT analyses from Data Monitor on large and mid-size companies. Use LexisNexis Markets and Industry News to search on topics related to groups of industries. Use IBISWorld Industry Market Research to find industry overviews.

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Step 2: Segmenting

Indicate how you might segment this market (state the variables and levels of the variables; keep it simple, 2 variables with 2 levels). Use Business Decision Academic, SRDS Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions, or Passport to begin your market segmentation research. Explain your choices and how you expect each segment's perceptions, attitudes or behaviors to differ. It's often important to know the applied technology or scientific elements behind even a consumer product. You can use any of the so-called "science" databases for this. Databases that cut across science, social science, techology, business and medicine are Science DirectWiley Interscience, IEEE, and Sage Journals Online

Step 3: Targeting

Identify one segment to target (e.g., those who prefer to drink “real” orange juice as a pick-me-up when out doing fun things). Explain why this segment is important and justify this choice in terms of target’s market attractiveness and the firm’s competitive abilities. Go back to SRDS Nielsen Segmentation & Market Solutions for market segments keyed to major metro, state and city. For very local markets by State, County and City, try Reference USA (Use a Business Custom Search) If your product has a national or international market, start with Passport Global Market Information Database (GMID). A word of caution: GMID won't work for market segments that are smaller than a national level.

If you need statistical support for your decisions, start with the Auraria Library Statistics Guide; then go local, national or international with Colorado By the Numbers, the PEW Research Center or Census and Eurostat. For raw data in aggregate markets useICPSRor (Federal Government data).

Step 4: Positioning

Define your intended position, that is, how you want those in the targeted market segment to think about your offering relative to those of your competitors. Use Business Decision Academic, or IBISWorld Market Industry Research or Social Explorer Professional. With IBISWorld search industries by keyword, company or NAICS Code. With Social Explorer Professional research your market demographics based on the 2010 US Federal Census.

Identify the attributes of the product category and state which are the determinant attributes for this market segment. To fully understand the attributes of your product, you may need to go back again to the applied technology, engineering or science behind your product. For this try ACM Digital Library, IEEEXplore, Science Direct, Engineering Village. which cover not only the technology but the human factors engineering for many products.