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Strategic Market-Based Planning (PDF)
Designing & Managing Marketing Research Projects (PDF)
Marketing Management: Guiding the Market-Focused Oranization (PDF)
Connecting with Customers
B2B and Considered-Purchase Marketing
Branding survey highlights
Succession Planning Your Brand
Build a Pricing Toolkit (PDF)
Pricing and price-volume change formula (PDF)
Opportunity audit questions
Marketing Your Station (PDF)
Opportunity audit questions

Here are the opportunity audit questions discussed in the August seminar on Marketing Management. Answer the questions, and use the answers to identify opportunities to take advantage of and problems to overcome as you progress from where you are now toward your long-term vision. Prioritize the problems and opportunities to select the most important to focus on for a specific fiscal year marketing plan.

 
 
About your strategy:

·         What is the "vision" of the company?

·         Is progress being made toward the vision?

·         Have your "competencies" or "capabilities" changed? Are they still consistent with the vision?

·         What factors (internal or external) imply required changes in tactics?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
Problems:
 
About your customers:

·         Is there a group of heavy users of your product(s)? What percent of the purchasers do they constitute? Is that a problem or an opportunity?

·         Who are your "loyal" customers? How are they different from the "switchers?"

·         Is the primary target market growing, stable, or declining?

·         What percent of customers are national accounts? International? Is that consistent with your strategy?

·         Are the majority of customers new or repeat buyers? What effect does (should) that have on your tactics?

·         Are your customers the end-users? If not, what are the needs of the various customers?

·         How sensitive have the customers been to past price changes? Are there different segments with different price sensitivities?

·         Do you have a few large customers or many small buyers?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 
 
 
 
About your competitors:

·         What are the sales and market shares of your main competitors? Have they been growing or declining?

·         Are new competitors emerging? How big of a threat are they?

·         Are there new or potential substitutes for your products?

·         What are the general marketing strategies of your competitors? How have you used this knowledge to modify your tactics?

·         Is there significant price competition in your industry? What tactics might you consider to minimize it?

·         In which products/regions/market segments have your competitors been most successful? Why?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 
About relevant trends:

·         What technological changes are likely? How might they impact your sales within the next several years?

·         What have been the industry trends in terms of product changes, price levels, profitability, etc.?

·         What do leading indicators suggest? How have you modified your tactics to address the leading indicators?

·         What are basic trends in the economy? Have you adjusted your tactics to prepare for the trends?

·         What regulatory or political forces might impact your sales?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 
About your existing product:

·         What about your product is distinguishable by and important to the customer?

·         What does the name of the company or product/service imply? Can it be branded?

·         What does each item in your product line contribute to profits? To customer satisfaction?

·         Are there any products or product features that are a high cost to you but contribute little to customer satisfaction?

·         Are there any products or product features highly important to customers for whom our competitive performance is low?

·         Are product designs conducive to efficient manufacturing processes?

·         What would happen if you made your products more standardized? More customized?

·         What is your company's attitude toward private labeling?

About your new products?

·         Are there product line "gaps" that require new offerings?

·         Are products getting late to market due to the lack of a "system" of product development?

·         Do you have the tactical elements of a product launch in place prior to the launch?

·         Do you incorporate life-cycle analyses into your new product planning?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 
About your pricing:

·         Have you lost significant amounts of business because of your product prices?

·         Are errors frequently made in pricing? What is the perceived cost of buying your product/service?

·         Are you a price leader or price follower? In which markets?

·         What is the three-year price history of your major products/services?

·         What types of discounts do you offer? How does that compare with the competition?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 

About your promotional campaigns:

·         What is the current image customers have of your company/product/service? Is it consistent with your advertising?

·         Did your prior advertising strategy work? Why or why not?

·         What non-advertising promotion did you try? How well did it work?

·         Do you periodically test new media and new messages?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
Problems:
 

About your customer satisfaction:

·         What do your surveys indicate about trends in customer satisfaction? Are there variations by market segment?

·         Have you obtained satisfaction data about the various operations in your company (e.g., billing, shipping, etc.) in addition to product/service satisfaction?

·         Has the value of your repair services changed (due to cost increases, repair person efficiency, or any other reason)?  

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 

About your sales & distribution:

·         Is your current sales force structure appropriate for reaching target market segments?

·         What collateral materials do the salespeople actually use to sell your product/service?

·         How would you describe your relationships with intermediaries (e.g. distributors, retailers, etc.)?

·         What are your channels of distribution? What percent of your product sales are through each type of intermediary?

·         What are your distribution costs as a percent of sales? How does this compare with industry averages?

·         How does your company's policy for distributor/retailer margins compare with those of the competition?

·         What has been the recent history of stock- outs, substitutions, and back-orders?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 

About your integrated marketing plan:

·         Have you always solved price complaints by lowering price? Or have you examined other elements of marketing?

·         Do your routinely consider the entire "system" of marketing?

·         Given changes/trends you've identified in your existing and potential markets, your competition, the environment, etc., what general problems and opportunities need to be addressed in the current marketing plan?

 
 
Opportunities:
 
 
 
 
Problems:
 
 



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