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.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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