It is essential for industries to promote their products and services. The promotion chosen should meet the needs of organization and of a consumer. Consequently, in order to achieve this goal, there has to be an intensive market research to gather information about the markets available, customers in the markets and competitor analysis, which assesses the current potential competitors, strengths and weaknesses of the markets. There should also be products lifecycle, which has specific goals to reduce the time taken to promote a product and the subsequent improvement of product quality. This can be accomplished by identifying potential sales opportunities in the market and reducing the environmental impacts at the end. Business activities should also be evaluated by applying the necessary business strategies so that the products can produce profits to the industry (Abouzid 2008, p.57).
Market research is an activity that gathers information about customers and markets and is a crucial tool in business strategy (McQuarrie 2005). It should be noted that there is a clear distinction between the two: marketing research deals with marketing processes, while market research is more concerned with markets available (McDonald 2007). This is a key to getting an added advantage over the company’s competitors and providing a basis for crucial information to analyze and identify the size of the market, competition, and the market needs (Day 1981, p.65).
Consequently, market research can be depicted as a systematic interpretation and gathering of information about organizations or individuals who utilize the scientific data and methods to gain insight and support decision-making (ICC/ESOMAR 2008). It also includes social and opinion research. You can discover what people want, need, and how they act or behave in the research market. Market research is often believed to be the quintessence of marketing (Drucker 1974).
Market research is significant to starting any business and it is impossible without it to make business investment. Earlier, Hilton Hotels focused on acquiring and owning more real estates and hotels. However, it has recently changed its development strategy, and it now focuses on diversifying its operations via franchisees. This has enhanced the firm to increase its income in the form of a fee that is a franchise without incurring further costs to buy new real estates and to put up hotels. Moreover, increasing the franchises has also given the company predictable and stable stream of revenue (Box 1983, p.40). One of the crucial factors in strategic marketing includes the number of customers a business attracts: when a number of travelers coming to a particular region decline, the revenues from the hotel in that region will collapse. On the other hand, when a company owns a brand (for instance, when the hotel is run by a third party), the firm operates at a fixed amount (Antil 2010, p.46; Levitt 1965, p. 90).
The two types of market research include primary and secondary research. Market segmentation is the division of market population into subgroups with the same motivation that is widely utilized for division on geographic differences, personality differences, technographic and demographic differences, psychographic differences, gender differences, and the use of product differences. By definition, market trends can be described as the upward or downward variation of a market in certain periods, and this makes it hard to estimate new figures from the potential customers besides the target market trends. One also ought to know information about one's competitors, customers, products, and to measure marketing effectiveness.
Competitor analysis in strategic management and marketing can be depicted as the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the potential and current competitors. Furthermore, it provides both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify threats and opportunities. Profiling links of all the relevant data sources of the competitor analysis in the support and analysis framework, effective and efficient monitoring, implementation and adjustment is also significant (Bensoussan and Fleisher 2007). Moreover, the traditional scanning environmental places can be realized when many firms face the risk stiff competitive blind spots arising from a strong competitor analysis (Drucker 1974). One can also use a competitor array to analyze the various competitors in the market. Consequently, these simple procedural methods can be done in the following manner: defining scope and the nature of the industry; determining one’s competitors, potential customers and the expected benefits; determining the key success factors in an industry; and ranking the potential success factors by giving each one a weighting, the sum of all the weightings must add up to one (Walsh and Beckert 2011, p. 66).
Additionally, this profiling offers a legitimate source of competitive advantage of the raw materials consisting of superior customer value in the target market. Customer value is depicted as relative to rival offerings hence making competitor knowledge a core component of corporate strategy (Day 1981, p. 63). Consequently, this reveals the weaknesses in competitors that various firms may feature. Moreover, this also enables a company to anticipate the strategic response of their rivals to the firm’s planned strategies together with the other competing firms and changes in the environment. Companies gain strategic agility and offensive strategy that can be implemented more quickly in order to exploit opportunities and capitalize. In conjunction with the abovementioned phenomenon, various defensive mechanisms can be set up in order to counter the competitors from taking advantage of the firm’s weakness (Fleisher and Bensoussan 2007).
Product lifecycle in a market is the stages through which a product goes from its introduction to marketing, maturity and growth to its decline, or reduction, in demand in the market. In such a scenario, not all products reach this end; some tend to increase and some rise and fall. It undergoes the four stages. The first stage is introduction to the market, where there are poor sales as a result of a new launch of the product in the market. Businesses incur losses. It is usually difficult for consumers to know the true potential of a new product in the market (Baum 2007, p. 13). Secondly, the growth of product and its appreciation in the market begin to stabilize due to monopoly, and organizations bring in new ideas and innovation to maintain the sales growth. Moreover, the maturity of the product and businesses set a foundation to their market despite stiff competition from the potential competitors. The last is the decline stage. In this scenario, the product’s class drops due to poor sales strategies and the number of companies that share the same market, thus making it difficult for all new entrants to maintain sustainable sales levels. Consequently, it is not necessary for the product to undergo these stages. However, this depends on the product, its scope and the competitors (Brymer 2009, p. 63; Dhalla and Yuspeh 1976, p. 33).
The P’s of marketing are essential in sustaining a business in the competitive business world. They include:
This is the commodity being sold to the consumer. A business owner should ask questions such as, "Which is the mix of services and products that is suitable for customers and the today’s market?"
Some of the questions that are frequently asked include: “Are prices low or high?” or “Do they match the price of the competitors?” The majority of firms or companies that have substantial profitability of certain products or services do not guarantee the amount, resources, and effort that project them into raising the prices. This can lead to a substantial decline in percentage of their customers. However, the remaining percentage margin is able to generate profit on every sale.
This includes the ways in which one introduces and sells his or her products or services. The methods of marketing and sales will eventually lead to the increase in sales.
This is where the products or services are actually sold. It is important to have a location that is easily accessible to people.
This involves the way products are presented in the market. The visual presentation is a key to the sales of products.
This is the evaluation of how one is positioned in the minds of customers and how customers perceive products and the easiness of buying them.
As a businessman/-woman, one should consider both the inside and the outside milieus of the business and should also consider who contributes to the outcome of every business strategy as well as activities (Dienhart 2010, p. 415).
In conclusion, commodities in the market largely rely on demand and supply of that commodity in the existing market trends. Additionally, when a product is brand new in the market, then the company has to use promotional and research strategies so as to increase the popularity of the product. Definitely, by doing so, the sales levels of the product will increase thus leading to a healthy competition within the market. Similarly, the hospitality sector largely relies on the promotion strategies, and if the promotion is poorly done, then the end result will be the collapse of this sector.