Notes from Marketing for Entrepreneurs Seminar Part 1

Yesterday I had the chance to attend a great seminar: Marketing for Entrepreneurs. So much of my work involves helping entrepreneurs brand and market their startup’s venture. Both the company and the products and services it sells.

I thought it would make sense to share some of the marketing tips I learned in the seminar with the many entrepreneurs who are subscribers of this site.

Among the usual topics associated with marketing startups (buying behavior & pricing), one of the most interesting components of the seminar involved the topic of Market Research.

Millennial Buying Power to Increase in 2017Photo: 'Aventura Mall', Viajar a Miami
According to Forbes, Millennial buying power to increase in 2017 Photo: ‘Aventura Mall’, ViajaraMiami

In this part of the seminar, the lecturer identified how important market research is for identifying a startup’s target market and how to analyze your buyer.

Along with the discussion of various ethical issues that may come up in the market research process, the most essential part came when we discussed the 3 Main Market Research Techniques that entrepreneurs can incorporate in their strategy to better reach their customers.

Photo: One Brickell in Miami's Business District
Photo: One Brickell in Miami’s Business District

The lecturer described these techniques as ‘Research Designs’.

The first being, Exploratory Research Design. Involves collecting data informally i.e. looking at profit/sales of company, reading industry articles. This is probably the most common way entrepreneurs acquire their information.

With the popularity of social media, industry articles from Forbes or Entrepreneur mag usually have consumer behavior-type articles which are useful for determining one’s target market.

Forbes Magazine Photo: Pixabay
Forbes Magazine Photo: Pixabay

Next was the Descriptive Research Design. This one is probably the type that we all think of when we hear the phrase ‘market research’. Descriptive Research is more methodical than exploratory and involves market research tools like questionnaires and surveys. Here various marketing variables are tested.

Check out my article on Incorporating Questionnaires in your Market Research

And the final was Casual Research Design. This was probably the most interesting type of research strategy because I was unfamiliar with it. Casual Research differs from the first two types because it deals with Cause & Effect.

Unlike Descriptive, which has multiple variables to test, Casual deals with controlling one variable.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek “We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone." Photo: Luxury Volt
Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek ,“We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone.” Photo: Luxury Volt

For example, entrepreneurs can test the effectiveness of price for their products by setting the price at a specific amount (controlled variable) and seeing how their customers respond to this controlled variable or new price.

Entrepreneurs can see if sales increase or decrease on account of this price change.

Next week, I’ll post Part 2 of my notes from the Marketing for Entrepreneur Seminar!

Cover Photo: Stanford Graduate School


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Business Leader, Philanthropist

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