Analyzing the Market Environment – Marketing Plan Tutorial

Analyzing the Market Environment is the third section of the marketing plan outline . It describes in detail the current and expected future characteristics, condition, and potential business impact of the surrounding market environment.

It is best to break down the market environment into segments as I have done below.

Market Environment Segments

1) Customer – Target Market Details

This research can be a great way to come up with effective customer loyalty ideas, new places to advertise, and even new product ideas.

Customer Profile and Description – It is best to start by creating a typical profile of who your customer is. Here is a list of customer profile data variables you may want to use…
·       Location
·       Gender
·       Age
·       Ethnicity
·       Homeowner or Renter
·       Economic Class
·       Income Levels
·       Education
·       Marital Status
·       Sexual Orientation
·       Attitudes
·       Beliefs
·       Purchasing Behaviors

I have another article that goes well with this topic on lead generation and customer data.

Customer Segments – Also referred to as Market Segments are different customer groups of your target market. These groups will take different shapes for different companies. It may be as simple as Online shoppers, storefront shoppers, and Catalog customers. You may need to have different customer profiles for each of the different customer segments.

Market Size and Expected Growth – Here you give details on the size of your target market as well as the expected growth rate. Figure out what market share you have and what growth you hope to obtain through the marketing plan. You may be able to include a forecast of market share  growth.

2) Competition

Analyzing the competition is crucial to marketing and especially when developing a marketing plan. The better you know your competition the more likely you will be able to find a way to take their customers and grow your overall market share.

You should include the four competition sections listed below

Direct Competition – These are essentially the businesses that offer the same product/service and go after the same target markets as your business. The best way to go about this is to simply list each competitor and compile all the relevant information you can on them. Focus specifically on strengths and weaknesses of each competitor. At the end, be sure to list specific strategies that will be implemented to take a portion of their market share. Just as important is to not any defensive moves that should be implemented to protect your existing customer base from their strategies that may pose a threat.

Indirect Competition – These are competitors that offer products and services that are a substitute option for your target market. For example, a web design company has indirect competition from DIY web design companies.

Opportunities – Here you list all the strategic opportunities to capture market share from your competitors.

Threats – Likewise you need to list all the competitive threats and what action can be taken to shield your current customer base from your competition.

3) Business and Economic Environment

Finally, you need to create a report that details all the relevant outside influences that will have an impact on your business. Below is a typical list that you would use.
·       New Taxes
·       Economic Conditions
·       Culture and Social Trends
·       New technologies
·       Consumer Behavior Trends
·       New Regulation and New Laws
·       Political Environment

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