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COMM320 - Section 3b - Industry and Market Research

Industry Analysis / Market Research
COMM 320 – Winter 2012

Research Overview
? In general, the more you know about the relevant industry,

and the specific characteristics regarding the market, the more likely you will proceed in a realistic way in writing the business plan;
? Research is an information gathering process, it can be time

consuming; it is important to focus on finding key information.
? For business planning purposes, some priorities are the

basic trends in the industry, what is the potential market for the product / service, and how much can the business realistically expect to generate in sales revenue.


Ideas…….and Entrepreneurs!
? This is reality:


Rationale for Research
? Gain an overall impression of the industry, market; ? Help to clarify the business idea / concept; ? Ensure there is an interesting opportunity; ? Estimate potential sales (revenues);

? Establish feasibility (potential profitability);
? For our purposes, it is to find the key information to be

used in the writing of the Business Plan;
? Again, in general, the more you know the better!


Fit and the Plan Concept
Attractive Opportunity

The Entrepreneur's Skills & Expectations

Clarification of the concept for the B-Plan

Available Resources & Capabilities

Text: Figure 6.5 (p. 131)

Fit and the Plan Concept
Attractive Opportunity

The Entrepreneur's Skills & Expectations Clarification of the concept for the B-Plan

Available Resources & Capabilities

The process in action.

Research Methodologies
? There are two basic types of methodologies: ? Secondary: ? This is research that was done and compiled by

someone else. It’s much cheaper to use, but may take time to find, and it rarely comes to you in a “perfect” format to suit your needs.

? Primary: ? This is research you actually do yourself.


Research - Methodologies
? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Internet; Statistics Canada; Libraries; Associations; Government; Regulatory bodies; Magazines, even daily Newspapers.
We will review a variety of resources during our Library sessions.

Research - Methodologies
? Surveys (more later); ? Observation – the competition; ? Interviews – Expert Opinion, etc. ? Focus groups; ? Prototype testing.


Research Elements – Key Points
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

General trends; Forces in society causing change; Perceived “window of opportunity;” Life Cycle; Barriers to entry; Scope (global, regional, local); Target market specifics; Competition; Customer specifics; Spending patterns;

? Later: Revenue projections, operations, benchmarking data.


Primary Research
? Consider a small survey:
? Keep it simple (small sample), make it easy;

? “Expert opinion” interviews:
? ? ? ? ? ?

Critical information: Perception of product/service; Desired features/benefits; Desired availability; Price expectations; Frequency of purchase.


Primary Research
? Talk to key experts:

Representatives of Associations, and potential suppliers;

? Get a focus group of your target market:

? ?

Assess perception of need (Test for awareness/willingness to seek solution); Assess existing methods, use of competition, what are Key Success Factors (KSF); Assess frequency of purchase (or intent to purchase) sometimes referred to as “itch cycle;” Assess budget, perception of value, preferred method of distribution and payment.

? Make and test a prototype:

Make a sample, give out friends, family.


Industry / Research Section
? The general purpose is to show the validity of (illustrate) the

“Window of Opportunity” and business expectations;
? Essentially, you are describing characteristics that will

convince a “skeptic” that an interesting opportunity is there and will grow in the future;
? The Industry Analysis serves as a reference point for the

reader as its sets out what is possible;
? Remember, the reader of your Business Plan is likely NOT

an expert in all fields, present information clearly, easy to read and follow.

Industry Analysis – Key Concepts
? Life cycle: ? Infancy, growth, maturity, to decline; hopefully, you can describe an emerging market; ? Forces / Trends: ? Changes in consumer expectations, societal trends, technology impact, economic issues, any relevant political (regulatory) issues; in general, trends that indicate positive developments in your specific industry; ? Structure: ? Concentrated to fragmented, branded, power of stakeholders; generally, fragmented markets with many small players offer interesting opportunities.


Industry to Market Analysis

The Industry Analysis (broadly stated information) leads to research on the target market, which is more specific; In the Market Analysis the focus is on the describing the target market in terms of segments, numbers of customers, market potential (in dollars), competitors, etc.
Note: While doing Industry / Market research you may find information regarding Operations issues such as: Supply availability; Transportation issues; Seasonal issues (example: agri-businesses). Keep it for later!


? ?

? ? ? ?

Market - Concepts
? It is important to transition from the broad industry to then

describe the target market segments relevant to your growth / expansion / diversification concept.
? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Define scope: local, regional, national, international; Define niches; Key demographic information; Describe competition: Number and strengths; Key success factors: Quality, service, price, expertise;


Target Market - Specifics
? The better you know the target market, the more focus you can

develop on your customers;
? Try to define as exact as you can:
? ? ? ?

Males ages 19 – 34 who like ultimate fighting; Households on the island of Montreal; Weddings in Quebec per year of a certain ethnicity; Offices located within the downtown core.

? These are examples of potential customers, note that “# of

households,” “# of weddings” and “# of offices” are not actual people; yet you can describe the target market with this terminology. Later, you have to know the decision maker who is the actual “customer” who decides on the purchase.

Competition Research
? Note the number, size , and “track record” if you can find out a ? ? ? ? ? ?

little history on them; Use easy to find data, phone directories, newspapers; Use observation, visit them and pose as customer; Try to estimate how much business – market share – they are attracting; Assess their strengths and weaknesses; Assess their ability and willingness to change; Examine their pricing, distribution, promotion methods;

? Think about how the business can be differentiated from the

competitors (you will discuss this in your Marketing Plan).


Customer - Specifics
? The most specific information: ? Who makes the purchase decision? ? Who influences their decision? ? Patterns of behavior; ? Why do they purchase ($, quality, convenience); ? Consumption (or spending) patterns; ? How much do they spend, per purchase;

? How often do they purchase (itch-cycle)?
? Preferred method of payment?


Research - Summary
? Gather as much information as possible, focus on: ? Basic trends in the industry to illustrate an interesting window

of opportunity;
? Market characteristics for your product / service, and statistical

information to estimate market potential;
? Gather all the data you can, we will use it later for:

? ?

Revenue projections; Marketing plan ideas; Operational issues; Financial benchmarking.


First Report - Guidelines
? Try to define as clearly as possible what industry the business

is in, start with the NAICS codes;
? Search for several general articles that describe basic trends in

the industry, look for issues such as growth, change, technology, demographic generalizations, economic (or legislative issues) that may impact this industry;
? Begin to define the customer, and consider the scope, and

begin to look for market specifics related to that scope: ? Specific neighborhood? Montreal? Quebec? Canada?


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