Preparing a Market Study Tutorial

This part of the Principles of Marketing Tutorials provides information and guidelines that professionals and students should consider when presented with the task of researching a market. What follows is NOT a Marketing Plan. Rather it discuss aspect of a Market Study, a component within the larger Marketing Plan. (For more information on developing a Marketing Plan see the How to Write a Marketing Plan Tutorial.) Thus, the information provided should not focus so much on what is being planned but on what has been learned about the market. However, the person doing the research can allude to what is being planned in order to set the stage for why the data is being collected. For example, a marketer can say “Product X is planned to target a specific segment of the XYZ market, consequently, we have investigated certain aspects of this market.”

Those interested in following these guidelines should not limit themselves to what is shown. Feel free to include more if it is appropriate. The guidelines apply to almost all products and services. Additionally, these guidelines can be adjusted in order to be used as a study of an organization as a whole and not just products/services.

Analysis: Current Competitor(s)

Examine the main competitors serving the same target market(s). For much more detail on analyzing competitors see the Preparing a Market Study Tutorial. This section may also benefit from the use of comparison tables. (Length: 3-4 pages).
1. Describe direct competitors in terms of:

  • Target markets served
  • Product attributes
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Distribution including the distributor network(s)
  • Services offered

2. Discuss competitor’s strengths and weaknesses:

  • May need to consider much more than just marketing issues such as:
    • financial standing
    • target market perception
    • R & D capabilities

3. Discuss competitive trends:

  • May need to include discussion of future competitive threats