Clicking On The Competition

There are four flMiii ways marketers can Had relevant or'ine m'ormation on competitors' prarfcci sDrengotaajitj weaknesses, and summary comments and overai perftxmarice ruling ol a pmdtict, service, or surlier.

independent customer goods and service review forums, these forums include well-known Web siies Such as Epinions. com. Rgteiialcom, Consurtierreview.ctim, and Bifcttrtt.wm, Bijrate.com combines consumer feedback from two sources: ils 12 million memt^rg who have volunleeiErl to provide ralirgs and feedback to assist other shoppers, arid survey resutls on service quality cottfitted from ajslomets ol stores lisicd in Bizrate. These sites tiave me advanlage of being independent from the goods and service providers, which may reduce bias. Distributor or sates agent feedback sites. These sites olfer belli positive and negative product or service reviews, b-jt the stores or distributors have bull Itie sites themselves. Amaron. com, for instance, offers an interaciive feedback opportunity through wbicti buyers, readers, editors, and others may rev ew all pi otitis listed ifl the site, ^pec^l^ books. Elaiicewm is an online professional services provider that allows contractors to describe their level of satisfaction with subcontractors and provide (Jetails of the r experiences.

Cvmbo'sitcs offering customer reviews and expert opinions, THis type of silc is concentrated in financial services and high-tech products that require professional knowledge, Zdnel.com, an online advisor on technology product, olferS customer comments and evaluations based on ease of use. Features, and stabilily, alonti with expert revtaws. Zdnet summarizes Ihe number ol positive and negative evaluations and Ifllal download numbers within a certain period {commonty a meek or a month) for each software program. The advantage of this type oí review S:le lies in the fact thai a product suppl er can compare opirrjns Inom the experts with those from consumers.

Customer complaint sites. These forums are cJesigned ma nty for dissatisfied customers. Reviewers at mosl opiricm sites tend to oiler positive com meats due to financial incentives and potential lawsuits for slanderous or libelous negative comments. tn contrast, some Web sites offer a complaining forum with a moderslor. For instance, Plan el feedback corn allows customers to voice unfavorable experiences with spec fie companies. Another site. Complaints.com, is derated lo customers vjJip vranl lo vent ihe t It usual Ions vjilii panicular firms or their offerings.

Sbünre AdatlKt ton Rob 1T. Pettrsonantf Zni!-"1 ïïwg, "Web Prmuc;BeweisHotpSiraltgy. ' MarketingWrts,April 2CKH. p 13.

Needs and Trends

Enterprising individuals and companies manage to create new solutions lo unmet needs. EredEx was cneaied lo meet the need for next-dav mail delivery, Dockers wase renter I io meet tire needs Of baby boomers who could no longer really wear—or fit inio!—tlieir jeailB and wanted a physically and psychologically cum for tabic pair of pants. Amazon was created to offer more ciinice and information for books and other products

We can draw distinctions among.fads, trends, and megatrends. A fad is "unprediciable. short-lived, and wit hunt social, economic, Eind political significance," A company can cash in on a fad such as Uciinie Babies, fttrblcs, and t ickle Me iilmo dolls, but this is more a matter of luck and good timing than anything else,

A trend is a direction or sequence of even 11 ihai has some momentum and durability. I rends are more predictable and durable thad fads. A trend reveals ihe shape of the future a i id provides many opportunities. I ;or example, the percentage of people who value physical fitness and well-being has risen steadily over the years, especially in the Under-30 group, ihe young women and upscale group, and people living in the West, Marketers hf health foods and exercise equipment cater tn this trend Willi appropriate products find communications.

Megatrends have been described lis "large social, economic, political and technological changes (ihatl arc slow to form, and once in placc. they influence us for some time-between seven and ten years, or longer."-1, See "Marketing Insight: Ten Megatrends Shaping the Consuiller Landscape1' for a look into the forces in play during the next decade or so.

Trends and megatrends merit close attention. ¡\ new product or marketing program is likely to be mo re successful if it is in line with si mug trends rather than opposed m (Item, but delecting a new market opportunity does not guarantee Success, even if It is technically feasible, Tor example, today some companies sell portable "electronic liouks": hut there may nut be a sufficieni number of people interested in reading a book on a computer screen or willing to pay (he required price. This is why market research is necessary to determine art opportunity's profit potential.

To help marketers spot cultural shifts that might bring new opportunities or threats, several firms offer social 'cultural forecasts. 1 heVankeluvich Monitor interviews 2,5(10 people nationally

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.

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