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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

FEI Tribe Discovers the Value of Market Research

 
Last week, Zoot and Marka discussed how “rifle” marketing can be used to effectively propel prospects through the “Desire” and “Action” stages of the AIDAR curve. Today, the whole FEI tribe reconvenes to learn why intelligently focused market research is crucial to marketing success. Remember, fire = print.

The sun peeked over Mount Olympus like a friendly god, gently warming the windows of the FEI conference room. Marka gathered her notes and stood before the tribe. “I saw a beehive this morning,” she began.

“She’s lost it,” Zoot whispered to Numo.

“This is going somewhere,” Marka countered. “The bees were on a scouting mission to observe what was happening in their environment and report back so collective decisions could be made for the good of the hive.”

“Like the bees, FEI’s marketing activities must be driven by informed research,” Org interjected. “Right?”

“We need to put ourselves in the toga of a potential FEI customer,” Marka continued. “What levels of demand exist for fire and fire products? Are there new market opportunities worthy of strategic investments? What is our share-of-market by product and share-of-customer for what we do compared to our competitors?”

“Market research will help us identify strategic business opportunities,” Zoot said, brushing a wooden comb through his glossy black hair.

“Step one is asking the right questions,” Marka pointed out. “Our market research should focus on discovering opportunities that complement our existing core competencies.”

“And create new ones?” Zoot asked hopefully.

“Let’s walk before we run,” Marka said. “We don’t want to trip on our togas.”

“Fair enough,” Zoot replied, gazing at Mt. Olympus dreamily. “What if our research determines there’s an opportunity to sell fire in frigid Greenland?”

“Any business that can figure out how to cost-effectively bring fire to Greenland will own that market,” Marka said. “But, the increased materials shipping and production costs required to operate a remote Greenland branch would make it extremely difficult for FEI to stay profitable in that market. Plus, not that many fire buyers even live there. Simply put, it doesn’t make sense for what we know we can do— right now, anyway.”

“Market research only provides guidance, not solutions. Right?” Lucy asked. “How FEI uses this information is up to our marketing team.”

“Yes,” Marka said. “Market research will help us identify opportunities and intelligently plan marketing initiatives in response. Ultimately, once we fully understand the implications of our research, we can accomplish key marketing activities and grow our brand. Market research is an integral part of any successful marketing program.”

“Market research is a several step process that must be carefully planned to ensure best use of time and resources,” Marka added. “We’ll go over Step I next week.”

Today’s FIRE! Point
Market research helps companies intelligently allocate resources in order to grow their market share and gain advantages against competitors. It should be focused on discovering opportunities that are already properly aligned with your company’s core competencies. Market research can help printing companies identify market opportunities and intelligently plan marketing initiatives in response.

FIRE! in Action
Norwegian Targets Those Feeling ‘Singled-Out’

Adjusting to a rise in the average age at which people first marry in America, the cruise line now offers single-occupancy rooms sold without supplement fees. Singles, who account for 35 percent of consumer spending, comprise a fertile market previously ignored by the cruise line industry.

Next week: Marka expounds on Step I of FEI’s market research process.
 

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