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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.

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.

Market Research + Risk

Can YOU afford the risk?

Market research and risk is something you do not always find in the same sentence but now you have!  We all have risk within our own businesses and while we cannot be rid of them (oh, do we wish we could), we can only manage them. Failure to manage that risk can potentially harm your brand or, worse, cost you your business.

Depending on your industry and business, risks can come in all shapes and sizes such as:

  • fluctuating currency exchange;
  • varying legal landscapes;
  • differing cultural differences and nuances;
  • potential language barriers;
  • training labour;
  • insufficient transport and logistics solutions;
  • digital security breaches; and
  • protection of intellectual property (IP) and data management.

While these risks cannot be managed all at once (let’s be realistic here), it is important to remember that good risk management practice consists of taking small steps rather than being overwhelmed from the get-go.

Using good quality, third-party market research, you can identify, mitigate and prioritise risks in your business:

Managing risk with market research

Managing risk with market research

Understanding your market and customers helps you identify potential risks for your business, e.g. new competitors’ tactics, malicious suppliers, etc. Using this information, you can proactively develop strategies specifically targeting each of the potential risks that were identified in the research.

Ultimately, as the business owner or decision maker, you can prioritise these risks from the most pressing to the least important according to your mission, strategy and goals in the business. This could mean, for example, protecting IP around your main product (competitive advantage) is much more important than transport constraints due to a public holiday for a software company.

Depending on the industry and what your product is, risks can vary greatly between businesses. It is essential to use the power of market research to understand your markets, customers and external and internal influences to effectively identify, mitigate then prioritise your risks to avoid irreversible damage to your brand and business.

Unlock your potential with market research.
Contact us now for a free, no obligation, 2 hour consultation with our Principal analyst.