The Market Research Plan
(MS Word, 16 pages) contains the following chapters. The other
checklists, questionnaires, surveys and templates are listed below.
1 Executive Summary
1.2 Points Of Contact
2 Market Research Plan
2.1 Stage 1 – Why You Need a Market Research Plan?
2.2 Stage 2 – Who are your Customers?
2.3 Stage 3 - How Are Your Going To Get The Information?
2.4 Stage 4 – Collect Data
2.4.1 Train Your Staff
2.4.2 Make it Sharable
2.4.3 Avoid Corrupt Data
2.4.4 Design Carefully
2.5 Stage 5 – Analyze Data
2.6 Stage 6 – Generate Report Findings
2.6.1 Descriptive Data Analysis
2.6.2 Inferential Data Analysis
2.7 Stage 7 – Choose Best Strategies
3 Market Plan Budget
Why Use a
Market Research Plan?
As a small business owner, you're looking for ways understand:
- Who are your current
customers and potential customers?
- What do I really know
about them? Where do they live? Do they prefer to shop online or
- What do they want to
- What is their average
income? What’s the disposable income?
- What type of products
do they have (Skoda), like to have (slightly bigger Car), and aspire
to having (BMW)?
- How much are they
willing to pay for my products?
- Can they find my
products where they go shopping? If not, why?
- What do they think of
my business? Do they think we’re reliable, trustworthy, good value?
- How does my business
compare with my competitors?
Marketing Research deals
with moving targets. Last year you couldn’t give away Tablet PCs. Then
Apple launched its iPad. Suddenly everyone wants one.
Marketing research looks
at what makes people choose to buy one product over another. What
makes them suddenly switch brands? What makes them recommend one product
To do this you need to
gather facts, examine opinions and organize them in a structure manner.
This lets you drill down and see what makes people want to buy - not
just what you want to sell them.
5 Key Areas in Market
You can use these twelve
templates (10 Microsoft Word and 2 Excel spreadsheets) to outline
the specific goals for your Market Research Plan and then feed these
results into your Business Plans, Marketing Plans, and
product development strategies.
This Market Research Plan will help you examine five areas:
- Assess the
Competition - Can you compete against the incumbent? How many
competitors are there in the current marketplace? Could you partner
with other companies and deliver a superior product offering?
- Identify your Target
Market – gather information about the age, location and number of
people who’ll be interested in the product. The more you know about
your customers, the more you can tailor your product to their needs,
spending habits and in relation to emerging trend.
- Identify the Right
Price – how much will the product cost? Will you sell it as part
of a bundle? Do you offer discounts? How about international
customers? Will the price be the same in the US as in Japan? And if
customers find out, what next?
- Define the Best
Sales channels - What’s best approach to selling the products?
Over the web, in the high street, through partners, direct mail?
- Determine the Number
of Customers - How many people are looking for this product? How
confident are you that this figure is correct? Will this number
increase or decrease over the next three years?
As you can see, there are
many factors to consider when launching a product. Interviewing,
running surveys and polls are different ways to get inside the head
of your customers (or prospective customers) and see what they think.
Remember, market research is not an exact science.
What works in one area,
may not work in another. Likewise, you may need to run different surveys
or workshop until you begin to see specific trends emerging, for
example, the price may be too high for customers in different regions or
the user interface may confuse customers and cause them to leave the
The over-arching goal is to learn more about your customers and
how their spending habits, preferences and knowledge of
your brand will impact your company's Sales and Marketing strategy.
7 Stages of Successful
You can then use these
forms, checklists, surveys, and questionnaires to complete the seven
stages in the Market Research process:
- Stage 1 – Why You Need
a Market Research Plan?
- Stage 2 – Who are your
- Stage 3 - How To Get
The Information You Need?
- Stage 4 – How Do You
How to Train Your Staff
How to Make it Sharable
How to Avoid Corrupt Data
How to Design Questionnaires, Surveys and Polls
- Stage 5 – Analyze Data
- Stage 6 – Generate
Descriptive Data Analysis
Inferential Data Analysis
- Stage 7 – Choose Best
Market Research Budget
You can also use the
budget section and Project Plan (MS Excel template) to capture
the costs associated with the Market Plan. This helps you identify the
budget amount allocated by category (e.g., milestone or cost
Here are screenshots of
the templates you can download by clicking the Click Here to Purchase
Market Research Template, Stage 3
Market Plan Budget
Market Research, Excel Template
Demographic Analysis Worksheet
Brand Loyalty Survey
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