Category: New idea

6 Principles for good analysis

Needs analysis is defined as a formal process focus on how a product addresses the needs of a human. It is not an official business development tool, but is considered a valuable analytical technique to better gauge the marketability of a product or a service to a human consumer. It is often used across many industries, such as software development, automobiles, consumer products and banking services. Needs analysis was originally used for software developers, who used the system in tandem with requirements analysis – a study of the elements represented within a system. In short, if these two systems were applied to Apple Inc., requirements analysis would be involved with all the internal guts of the computers, the ugly complicated bits of hardware and firmware that are hidden from the end user; while needs analysis would be focused on the slick software operating system interface as well as its peripherals – such as the keyboard and mouse – that are directly used by the end user – and as such, affect the end user’s final perception of the product.

6 Principles of Needs Analysis

  • The opinion of end users is essential to unify a diverse, opinionated design team, and their opinion should transcend the desires of your design team.
  • Market research is essential to unify end user opinions, and to use quantitative and qualitative research to find the best direction for product or service designs.
  • Appeal to the lowest common denominator in end user needs. Marketing to the lowest skill levels results in the largest potential market. In other words, follow the KISS principle – “keep it simple, stupid”.
  • Do comprehensive beta tests of your products over a long period of time to allow adequate adjustments before “freezing” your product for the final manufacturing stage.
  • Continue to monitor user feedback after the product launch, and address defects quickly and keep an accurate record to apply to future releases, if they cannot be addressed immediately in the current product.
  • Elegant designs are the end product of successful needs analysis, and will put your product head and shoulders above industry peers.

Gap analysis, which is used to compare actual business performance with ideal performance, is often used in conjunction with needs analysis to maximize a business’ growth potential. Gap analysis insures that a company is allocating its resources for maximum production. Gap analysis is considered a benchmarking tool for efficiency and is used for outlining a clearer road map for future growth, and can be used at both the strategic and operational levels of an organization. In short, it tries to fill the “gap” between where a company is, and where it aims to be. In addition, some organizations referred to “gap” as an acronym – separating the “good”, “average” and “poor” aspects of a business.

5 Areas to Apply Gap Analysis

Workforce organization

The overall efficiency of your company must be examined, from top to bottom. Redundant positions should be cut or combined, and poorly performing business segments should be eliminated or merged into existing ones. If you company has shifted in direction from one industry to another – for example, from personal computers to cloud computing – then your workforce must be restructured to reflect this, and to shed the extra weight.

Business direction

Everyone must be on the same page in the pursuit of your company’s goals. A poorly timed chang in business direction can alienate your existing customers and make it difficult to gain new ones. If your company’s industry is becoming crowded, then a change in direction may be inevitable – but you have to make sure that your employees, shareholders, stakeholders and debtholders are all in agreement.

Production capabilities

If your company is still relying on domestic production plants, then you may have to consider outsourcing your labor to close the gap with larger competitors. Keeping all your production plants within the United States could cripple your margins and affect your ability to price products competitively.

Customer base

Has your company reached the full breadth of its potential customer base, or is it dwindling in a corner, marginalized by larger companies? If there are still a large number of unreached potential customers, it may be time to invest in expensive advertising and PR campaigns to thrust your product into the public eye.

Market Potential

Is the current market saturated? If it’s too saturated, then you should only produce products that have fewer competitors but broader appeal. A vigorous needs analysis can help you craft better products that appeal to more consumers.

A well crafted combination of thoughtful, repeated needs analysis and expansive gap analysis can transform your company and its products for the better. By using both, you can toss out the old and renew your company, allowing you to see avenues of growth that were previously obscured by daily habits, routines and mediocre expectations.

Marketing VS Advertising

Advertising and marketing are concepts that many people consider to describe the same thing, selling a product or service to the marketplace. However, they are distinct concepts and understanding the difference is important to ensure you give due attention to each. This article will help explain the two concepts so you can clearly approach both advertising and marketing for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing

Marketing refers to the strategies and preparation you do to get your product or service ready to sell and identifying the target customers for your product. Marketing is a long term forward looking process whereby you determine how you’re going to package and brand your product and design it to appeal to the target market you seek to capitalize on.

Successful marketing involves significant groundwork in terms of clearly studying your target market. What are the needs of your customers? How will you address them? What is most important to them in terms of how much emphasis you should put on different aspects of your product or service? The needs and drivers for individuals in their early 20’s differ greatly from individuals in their early 50’s, so taking the time to assess your target market comprehensively is important. The branding and messaging you’ll need to reach different groups will vary, and to ensure a successful advertising campaign you need to ensure you effectively communicate to these groups.

Advertising

Advertising refers to the process of actually promoting your product or service to the marketplace. Ensuring that you are effectively getting your product known to your target customers and emphasizing the benefits to them is important when it comes to driving successful sales. So where marketing involves the ground work of branding and researching the needs of your target market, advertising is the process whereby you actually communicate with your target market.

Advertising campaigns can be communicated through numerous venues, television, radio, or online for example, and part of your marketing research will be identifying the most effective venues for your target audience. A product could have a terrific online campaign, but if your market research has identified seniors as the key target market that would not likely be the most effective use of your advertising dollars. For many target customers social media is becoming an ever more popular focus for advertising campaign as it can be a very inexpensive way to reach many different users.

Advertising campaigns also evolve over time for many different reasons. Once your products and services are in the market you’ll get further information about and likely be able to refine what your target market is. Additionally if your product is successful different venues like television, which can initially be too costly, may open themselves up to you. How to effectively advertise your products or services is something that should constantly be re-evaluated (as should the market research).

Advertising vs. Marketing

When considering both advertising and marketing it is important that you take the time to address both aspects of selling your product comprehensively. Market research can be done comprehensively, but if the advertising doesn’t take place the target market will never know about your product or service. Conversely, a brilliant advertising campaign can be launched, but if it targets the market inappropriately your product or service may not sell. Looking at both advertising and marketing and linking the market research to your advertising will ensure your work effectively drives the sales your business needs to succeed.

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