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Strategy: Cash is king

While sometimes apocryphal, start-up failure rates tell a sombre story: most start-ups don't see their third anniversary. This high attrition rate has many causes, but a primary factor is poor cash flow management.

The power of tittle-tattle

Greetings Anthillians! I've been sipping a glass of fine wine and contemplating the grapevine. Word of mouth has to be the most powerful form of advertising. How else could a brief conversation by the water cooler precipitate the purchase of a $300 dollar bottle of plonk? Professional antagoniser, Ray Beatty, is on the case.

Human caring for customers

How you meet, greet, and treat a customer is purely a matter of choice. Your own attitude and commitment to care is all that...

Surf’s up

Lists. Endless lists. The latest curse of the web are those endless swimming pools of customer data - most popular, most active, most tagged or downloaded. Personally, I hate them. They tell me nothing, other than other people's aggregated bad taste. Worse, they miss one of the internet's most subtle and powerful features - the discovery power of networks.

Surf's up

Lists. Endless lists. The latest curse of the web are those endless swimming pools of customer data - most popular, most active, most tagged or downloaded. Personally, I hate them. They tell me nothing, other than other people's aggregated bad taste. Worse, they miss one of the internet's most subtle and powerful features - the discovery power of networks.

Australia’s innovation blind spot

I recently had the good fortune to host the Commercialisation EXPO 2006 conference held in Melbourne. It covered all the right areas and was a great success, but it is clear that one troubling issue remains - the chasm between innovation and marketing is as wide today as it has ever been.

Australia's innovation blind spot

I recently had the good fortune to host the Commercialisation EXPO 2006 conference held in Melbourne. It covered all the right areas and was a great success, but it is clear that one troubling issue remains - the chasm between innovation and marketing is as wide today as it has ever been.

Your customer is always right. Are you?

You might think that your product or service is the best in the world, but you might also need your head read. Market research is one of the best ways to get into the minds of customers. And it's no longer the expensive and exclusive domain of big corporates. Hell, you don't even need a clipboard! Jodie O'Keeffe reports.

Marketing: directly target your marketing efforts

Direct marketing is a form of advertising that requires a direct response from the consumer. This includes mail, catalogues, advertising, telemarketing, direct selling and email initiatives that are delivered directly to the individual.

Strategy: Customer feedback loops

Being the first to react to changing customer needs and preferences is often the difference between business success and failure. Witness, for example, how quickly Sony lost its early dominance of the portable music device market to Apple, which responded faster and more innovatively to demand for digital audio devices.

Pete Thomond – Disruptive innovator

Pete Thomond spent the past four and a half years working out the secrets of successful innovation. The British academic and business consultant was co-manager of the "Disrupt-it" project, a €3 million European Commission co-sponsored programme of research and business tool development. Now he's spreading the word downunder, as a Research Fellow and innovation consultant at the Brisbane Graduate School of Business. At 29, he's young, but how many people do you know with a PhD in disruptive innovation?

Legal: Great brands – treat them right

So, you've selected a great brand and have started to build consumer awareness and loyalty in it. And, of course, you've done the right thing to protect your rights in the brand by registering it with IP Australia. Your work is finished. Right?

Tony Surtees – Enterprise creator

Highly acclaimed marketing expert Tony Surtees prefers to avoid labels. If he had to nominate one for himself, it would be 'enterprise creator'. His particular ability is to assess changing market places and pick future trends, uncovering opportunities. He lets us in on some tricks learnt so far in his glittering global career.

Working with fear

If you ever feel under the pump at work, spare a thought for these three professionals. How would you have dealt with the pressure to win gold placed on Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics? Perhaps the intensity that greets a police sniper at a siege would be more to your taste? Could you have surmounted your own vertigo to launch the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb business? When it's your job to deal with fear, you'd better learn fast.

Strategy: Securing your first customer

Achieving your first sale can literally make or break a start-up. Many investors will delay committing significant funds until you can identify a customer...

Marketing: Know your customers

Have you ever wondered why customers might say one thing and then behave in a totally different manner? One of the most challenging tasks for...

The secret of success… it's no secret

One of the most disappointing aspects of writing about start-up companies is that in most cases there is no secret to their success. Having...

The secret of success… it’s no secret

One of the most disappointing aspects of writing about start-up companies is that in most cases there is no secret to their success. Having...

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INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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