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Win/Loss Analysis: Sustainable Growth

All business strive for continuous success and growth and in the early stages of business development, this might be easy to achieve. However, the more established a business becomes, the more difficult it becomes to improve on last year’s results.

The key to continuous growth is insight-driven continuous refinement.

Perception is Reality

Conducting a win/loss analysis is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve and refine your marketing, communications, sales and business strategies. It is also one of the most important analyses, as your customers’ perception will be directly reflected in your sales.

 

Consumers value brisbane market research consumer behaviour consultancy trends business strategy marketing sustainable growth analysis win loss

 

It simply involves interviewing of 10 to 15 customers within 3 months of their purchase and, more importantly, the same amount for “lost sales”. “Lost sales” are those who enquired about the company’s service or product but failed to proceed to make a purchase. These interviews prove most successful when conducted by an independent third party, as conflicts of interest are avoided, and customers openly give more direct and honest feedback about their experiences with their purchase.

Analysing the gathered feedback will not only give the business a deeper understanding of consumer buying behaviour and its (potential) pain-points, but will also enable the business to benchmark themselves against their competitors and other key industry players. It may even uncover potentially new and successful products or services that customers have always wanted!

This will allow for a strategic and informed refinement of the business’ unique selling proposition (USP), but also act as an early warning system, indicating the need for a product or service to be improved before sales are disrupted.

The processing and analysis of results will enable the business to develop meaningful and strategic recommendations, allowing decision makers of all kinds to make better decisions in their businesses.

Promptly implementing the changes and improvements from the analysis will increase overall effectiveness and put you on the path to success.

Remember, that customer perception is what will make or break your business, especially when we compete globally for the same dollar.

Businesses (and their owners) that want to stay on the trajectory of continuous growth, should dedicate itself to a continuous refinement process, backed by timely win/loss analyses (e.g. monthly or quarterly).

Download now: How to optimise your customer acquisition and retention strategies.

Market Research – The Key to Successful Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of business operations, as it promotes the business brand, products and, importantly, what they stand for, hopefully in front of the company’s target audience and ultimately grow their customer base and sales.

However, every business differs in its products, services, customers, target audiences, distribution and many more factors. So, the success of every marketing strategy depends on market insights, informed strategy and appropriate budget allocations.

In order to develop an effective marketing strategy and maximise outcomes, businesses have to understand their own industry trends and inform themselves about major players within the industry in order to identify threats and opportunities (to their business), prior to potential disruption of sales, but also jumping on any first-mover competitive advantages there may be.

An in-depth analysis of regulations and risk factors, such as impacts of political and financial fluctuations will help risk mitigation or avoidance of some costly missteps down the track.

The importance of an overview of industry external influences, such as substitute and complementary industries is commonly underestimated. Strategy informed with industry insights allows a business or company to position themselves to add more value to their customers’ lives, and also helps to define and improve the company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), i.e. that X-Factor.

A crucial part of market research is the identification and profiling of target customer groups. This will inform the development of new products and/or services, as well as assisting in targeting marketing campaigns, maximising outcome, whilst minimising expenses, i.e. reducing expenditure in areas where it is not needed as urgently.

Every company aiming for sustainable growth and success should trial new products and services and give their customers a voice – they can tell you everything you need to know. This will identify areas of improvement, growth opportunities and minimise of risk exposure. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be implemented and used to measure the success and effectiveness of every marketing strategy and campaign and ensure that organisational objectives are aligned with appropriate budget allocations.

These combined, will then empower a business to effectively allocate their budget accordingly to needed areas, maintain good relationships with suppliers and distributors, and ultimately maximise customer satisfaction and value.

Get your facts and seek feedback to make the right decision!

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Market Research + Economic Trends

To successfully operate a business and grow profits, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the economic opportunities and, equally, threats. Market research provides decision makers with strategic, high quality, objective and comprehensive insights, ensuring long-term, sustainable growth for business.

The economic landscape offers great financial opportunities, as foreign investment fosters local growth on one hand and labour costs, exchange and interest rates and increase competitiveness on the other.

Global economic growth supports Australian economy

The Australian Economy has just completed its 26th year of continuous growth, setting an international record. Australia’s economic future looks promising, while growth has accelerated in around 75% of Australia’s major trading partners. Favourable conditions, such as low interest rates, a relatively weaker Australian Dollar and low unit labour costs, boost Australian competitiveness. This means that expanding manufacturing and service sectors ultimately support domestic financial markets.

Only US trade restrictions, tensions with North Korea and Iran, as well as rising global government debt could potentially cause growth disruptions.

Guaranteed Growth – commodity headwinds support economy growth

The acceleration in economic growth in 50% of countries worldwide (IMF) translates into increased infrastructure spending and consequently fuelling demand for more Australian commodities. This growing demand is strong enough to offset against a slowing Chinese demand, safeguarding the national economy.

A booming Indian population combined with urbanisation and the “Made in India” campaign seeks to grow India’s manufacturing base, fuelling the need for more infrastructure. Furthermore, China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative is estimated to be one of the largest infrastructure projects in history (TIME) while Trump’s US$1 trillion infrastructure program will significantly contribute to commodity demand and set an end to the downturn.

Additionally, LNG contract agreements has commenced multi-year infrastructure projects (0.5% of GDP) and Asian economic and demographic momentum is pushing Australian tourism and education demand upwards (0.5 – 0.75% of GDP), all looking to boost Australian economic growth.

Tightening labour markets and weak wages keep inflation under 2%

Possible growth in wages, as a result of a positive economic outlook, might bring inflation closer to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) 2-3% target. However there still are very few upward pressures on wages or prices. The government’s focus on budget repairs makes tax cuts or welfare increases appear highly unlikely, meaning that an increase in household spending could only come from either wages growth or an increase in small to medium enterprise (SME) profits.

However, Australia is currently experiencing the lowest wages growth on record (only 2% p.a.), a reality of a highly competitive product and labour market.

RBA Governor Dr. Philipp Lowe expressed his hope for a “pickup in wages” and declared it would be “a good thing if workers asked for a pay rise”. Australia could miss the next wave of global economic growth if consumer spending does not increase.

Households – macroeconomic risk?

Weak income growth, decreasing consumer spending and high levels of household debt are posing a serious financial risk to the Australian economy.

It is not just the fact that the average household debt has increased, but more households have debt and carry it for longer. Increasing living costs combined with weak income growth and job security concerns are creating delicate environment sensitive to interest rate fluctuations. This evokes exaggerated consumer responses to economic news. However, it should be noted that unemployment, interest rates and mortgage rates are decreasing and the labour market is picking up. This means at least in the short-term, nothing will trigger any major financial risk factors. If companies recognise the booming economic headwinds in the future and offer their employees higher wages, consumer spending will increase and the Australian economy will once again prosper.

Does your business strategy incorporate opportunities related to economic growth?

Knowledge is power, and market research provides your organisation with business intelligence tailored to your needs and reduces risky decisions on strategic direction

Source: Euromonitor International

Set your Organisation up for success.

Market Research + Political Risk

Many factors influence businesses but few pose as great a risk as political risk. Understanding and forecasting the political landscape and its risks should be an essential part of every business’ operations. Market Research enables management and decision makers to make informed decisions, identify opportunities and, importantly, mitigate risks.

Staying informed on political risk factors influencing and impacting your company is very time consuming. Market research streamlines this process by providing your business with insights tailored to your needs.

As political agendas are driven by market forces and informed by market research themselves, market research will give companies the most accurate and robust future prognosis.

This is an overview of major political trends, likely to affect a range of different industries.

In 2017, a number of issues have fractured the Australian political landscape, but not limited to: citizenship scandals; energy and climate crises; the continuous asylum seeker debate; increasing conflicts between moderates and conservatives; and the list goes on. These have weakened not only, the Labor Party but also the coalition and have ultimately affected the security of Malcom Turnbull’s leadership.

Energy and climate

The hope of a “lasting energy framework” after Alan Finkel’s investigation into the security and reliability of the electricity market was disappointing. Finkel’s “Blueprint for the Future”, outlined an action plan to repair the Australian electricity market by introducing a Clean Energy Target, to conform to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This was starkly opposed by coal advocates and argued that 42% of renewable energy by 2030 was too ambitious and would put service reliability at risk. The Greens also criticised the Blueprint as a “short-term political fix”.

The government now supports the new proposal of a National Energy Guarantee (NEG), proposed by the Energy Security Board. The NEG recommends a reliability guarantee and an emissions guarantee.

The new proposal has already been criticised for renewables’ incentives being revoked and for the lack of penalties for corporate non-compliance. The details of this plan will be released in April 2018. It remains to be seen if the new proposal will withstand the challenges from different interest groups.

Asylum seekers

The decommissioning of offshore detention centres on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea and Nauru, as well as the forceful removal of the remaining asylum seekers has provoked global condemnation and affected our relationships with the rest of the world. However, the offshore asylum seeker processing topic remained one of few where the coalition was united under Turnbull.

Liberals’ ideological issues

The global phenomenon of a continuous split in the political right is very tangible in Australia. With Tony Abbot seeking to position himself as the new voice of a Liberal conservative Australia, in direct challenge to Turnbull’s leadership.

Tumultuous leadership

Last year was marked by an increasingly rebellious Coalition, with backbenchers openly defying Turnbull’s authority. An example of this breakdown saw Senator Bernadi openly defecting from the Liberals and establishing his own, the Australian Conservative Party.

With growing pressure from his own ranks, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation inspired the Nationals to publicly challenge the Turnbull government, forcing a Royal Commission into the banking sector against the Prime Minister’s will.

Things got a little heated when Turnbull recently and openly critiqued former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce for his relationship with a former employee. The following resignation by Joyce might just place more strain on a fragile Coalition relationship.

The Australian Labor Party

Whilst Labor’s strategy of “sit[ting} back and watch[ing] the Coalition self-implode” saw the party in front of the Coalition in two-party polls, Bill Shorten still personally ranked behind the Prime Minister in a two-party preferred polls.

Section 44 – “The Citizenship Debacle”

2017 saw a record number of parliamentary resignations owing to a new interpretation of Section 44, which raised questions over constitutional ineligibility of parliamentary membership due to citizenship requirements. The High Court found five MPs constitutionally ineligible, followed by two members of the government’s ministry, the Senate President and finally two cross-bench Senators. This issue of eligibility is largely unresolved, as additional referrals to the High Court have already been lodged and will roll into 2018.

Aboriginal matters

Parliamentary eligibility issues will continue to dominate Aboriginal recognition matters. The rejection of the establishment of a First Nation’s Voice, recommended by the Referendum Council, was appointed to advise on meaningful recognition of First Nation peoples on civil rights grounds.  Any progress on the recognition issue is unlikely, as no goodwill remains between stakeholder groups and the government.

Same sex marriage

In 2017 Australia became the 26th country to legalise same sex marriage, following a 61.6% vote in favour. The postal survey was conducted despite harsh critique on the plebiscite strategy, for its non-binding nature, exclusion of oversea voters, security concerns, the constitutional eligibility of the ABS to conduct a plebiscite and the government’s justification to spend AUD$122 million of taxpayer money to conduct it. Despite the overwhelming vote in favour, the matter still seems unresolved, as the balance of marriage equality and religious protection remains highly debatable.

Risk Management and Market Research

Considering the volatility of the past year, the political future seems hard to predict. Major new policies seem unlikely in the near future, though past issues seem likely to continue well into 2018.

When seeking to establish an effective risk management plan, success is highly dependent upon the identifying relevant risk factors. Market research can identify firm- and country-specific risks and distinguish between instability and/or government risk, helping you determine relevant threats effectively.

This is particularly important, as the nature of risk varies from firm to firm and is dependent on different exposures. As companies are rarely able to influence country-specific risk or even governmental risk factors, such as subtle policy changes, these can pose a great threat to businesses. Hence, it is of utmost importance to identify and effectively manage these risks. Market research can provide those insights needed to make relevant risk mitigation and management decisions, so that operations and financial performance can be better safeguarded going in to the future.

Sources: Committee for Economic Development of AustraliaInternational Risk Management InstituteStable Research.

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Social Media Digest: Timing

The desirability of your content and products is always built over time (through social media). Treat it like building any face-to-face relationship, except you won’t actually see them. The quality of your content is also very important. No one wants to read you blabbing on about nothing of relevance.

Timing your posts has equal importance to the quality of the content you’re aggregating or creating. The timing of your posts will generally dictate what type of content you’ll write and for whom. As a general rule of thumb, post during (inspired by Kevin Munro @ Checklist):

06:00 – 08:30
(weekdays)

(The Breakfast Club)

Getting out of bed and switching on the TV is just too hard but you still want to know what’s happening out in the big wide world, so you reach for your phone which lives next to your bed.

Posts should be short, precise, light, positive and feel-good, without the sales pitch.

11:00 – 13:00
(weekdays)

(The Lunch Break)

You don’t have much time to eat that sandwich you just bought but you might want to be kept entertained while you eat it with one hand, so you grab for your phone.

Like breakfast, posts should be short and sharp and perhaps humorous, without the sales pitch.

15:30 – 17:30
(weekdays)

(The Distraction/Commuter Phase)

You glance at the clock and realise it’s almost time to clock off but realise you won’t be any more or less productive if you did any more work. You could be on your way home on the bus and don’t want people glancing back at you when you clearly weren’t looking at them, so you grab your phone.

People want to be distracted (yes, that’s right) from what they’re doing so your posts should be short, sharp and funny, without the sales pitch. Avoid too many videos or long articles. People want to be entertained, quickly.

19:50
(weekdays)

(The Recreational Period)

You might be making dinner (or not) and you’re definitely not watching the TV but it’s still on. You’re on your phone.

This period is where people are most engaged with social media. Your posts can be longer and include videos as people have more time to engage with your content. Make sure your posts here are good quality and, more importantly, relevant to what your business is or stands for, without the sales pitch.

Truth is every business’s social media schedule won’t be the same as the next. This will largely depend on the nature of the industry you work in and the type of people your audience is or already are. Adjusting your timeline to suit your target audience and demographic is ALWAYS okay. You can test out different times and see what works best for your business. Always post your content at the start of each period and not after so it’s there waiting for your audience to read.

Now, you might notice a little bit of repetition here: without the sales pitch. That’s right. Your audience does not want to be, nor are they interested in being, constantly pestered to buy something from you. It’s always a good habit to constantly remind your audience you exist without hard selling to them all the time.

Release your potential with market research. Get to know your customers better and how you can tailor your message to them more effectively. Find out what resonates and, equally important, what doesn’t.

Contact us now for a free, no obligation, 2 hour consultation with our Principal analyst.