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  • Developing a marketing plan - Canada Business Network
    Find out how to use popular research methods to do market research for your business Designing a questionnaire A well designed survey questionnaire can help you gather market research data Types of survey questions Examine different kinds of closed ended and open ended questions that can be used in surveys Sections of a marketing plan Executive summary What is my overall plan Your executive summary should contain the key points of your marketing plan and although it is written last should be positioned at the front of the plan This summary is usually the first section a potential investor or lender will read Polish it to perfection The executive summary should Include highlights from each section Be interesting enough to motivate the reader Be concise Identify yourself Who am I and what are my values Describe who you are what your business is about Share your goals and what inspired you to start your business or make changes For example Company name address phone number and names of owners or partners Business vision mission statement and beliefs in line with your target market Core values and goals of the business and its owner s Describe the product or service What need do I meet Detail how your product or service is unique and superior to the competition Be prepared to back up your statements Identify your target market Who are my customers Through research identify the age group gender lifestyle and other demographic characteristics of the people who have shown interest in your product or service Avoid trying to sell to everyone Provide statistics and analysis that show the reader there is a demand for your product or service You can define customers by demographic characteristics such as Age usually in ranges Gender Marital status Location of household Family size and description Income Education level usually to last level completed Occupation Interests purchasing profile Cultural or ethnic background For example a clothing manufacturer may consider a number of possible target markets toddlers athletes grandparents teenagers and tourists A test market survey of the most likely target groups or those who buy for them such as parents for toddlers can help you separate real target markets from unlikely possibilities Once you have defined your target customers you must learn about their needs and preferences Which of their challenges can you solve What are their needs and expectations regarding this product or service What types of things do they desire What do they spend their money on Where do they shop How do they make spending decisions To develop a profile of your customers and to understand their needs you will have to do some market research Conducting market research Learn more about market research how it can improve your business decisions and how to conduct a market research campaign Know your competitor Who else can woo my customers Most businesses face competition at every stage of their life cycle Competition can be good the trick is to know with whom you

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2690/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Online marketing - Canada Business Network
    you As with all forms of marketing it is about your followers your clients and the value provided to them Commenting You can post your messages on other blogs and forums that focus on specific topics If you sell organic produce use the Internet to find consumers who are interested in organic produce You can answer people s questions while allowing them to contact you or your business for more information Keep in mind that some of these blogs or forums may be moderated so ensure your comments add value to the discussion in order to avoid your message being treated as spam This content can often be found by potential customers for a long time after the publication date This may bring more longevity to your messages than posts on social network streams which are generally short lived Email marketing Sending emails to clients and others who agree to receive information from you is a useful way to keep them informed of new developments in your business while reminding them of your existence They may appreciate emails if you include interesting offers discounts or helpful tips Remember people are busy and many of your messages may not get opened You can track what kinds of email get read by using email marketing software Don t forget to check your inbox regularly most clients expect some form of response within 24 hours Also be sure to give your clients an option to unsubscribe from your emails if they no longer want to receive them Mobile marketing People have different expectations while on the go they want quick access to specific information They may be focused on several tasks at once and most will be using smaller screens When thinking of mobile marketing you may want to keep this in mind Mobile marketing starts with a mobile friendly website Letter size display and graphics are some of the elements you ll need to consider A great thing about mobile devices is that they allow users to share their location and to define their searches geographically In turn your business can engineer promotional efforts within a very defined area such as a mall an arena or a park Coupon offerings directory listings and ads on review channels can be important considerations when marketing go mobile users Social networking General topic platforms can help you build a network of contacts and engage with your existing clients Other websites focus on specific topics or segments while others focus on professional networking and recruitment for businesses On most networks you can run searches for keywords related to your product or service to find questions to which you can respond This will give your name and your expertise more exposure It s also important to remember that social networking statistics such as the number of friends followers or fans you have have an increasing impact on search engine rankings as well Webinars Webinars are live online presentations that your clients can log into using webinar software

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2616/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Marketing strategies - Canada Business Network
    growth Things to consider before expanding your business Identify opportunities arising from your current business Ways to grow your business Business activities to achieve growth Business planning Organizations and resources for growth R D and innovation Improving your productivity with technology Research and development Commercialization Licensing and technology transfer opportunities Financing for innovation Innovative business activities Innovation resources Exporting and importing Exporting Importing Investing abroad Business support organizations Social enterprises and non profits Growing More Government Taxes GST HST Federal tax information Provincial and territorial tax information Tax refunds and credits Registering your business Regulations Regulated business activities Regulated industries Regulatory change Standards Permits and licences Copyright and intellectual property What is intellectual property Copyright Trade marks Patents Industrial designs Integrated circuit topographies Protecting your intellectual property in export markets Product licensing Selling to governments Why sell to the government Preparing to sell to the government Selling to the federal government Selling to provincial territorial and municipal governments Selling to foreign governments Government procurement glossary of terms Considering bankruptcy Government grants and financing Social enterprises and non profits Government More You are here Home Managing Marketing and sales Marketing basics Marketing strategies Marketing strategies Filter by Region Region Alberta British Columbia Manitoba Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon and or Business type Are you planning to put a new product on the market If products like yours already exist you will want a plan to ensure that yours gets noticed Here are three strategies that you can use to attract attention to your product The differentiation strategy Being different To compete using this strategy your product should be unique and different than anyone else s You can use different methods to make your product stand out Have a design that is unusual or more stylish than what already exists Possess quality workmanship and detail Offer more features than other products offer Deliver better performance Offer services that aren t available from your competitors Have a good image Does your product do more than others that are out on the market Do you offer delivery installation or repair services Perhaps you pride yourself on having competent staff that provides good customer service These are all strengths that can help you market your product You can also create an image for your product by using a logo and effective advertising By associating your product to a certain mood you can attract customers who want to experience that feeling Find out what makes your product special and use it to get noticed The overall cost leadership strategy Selling for less If you can produce and sell your product for less you will definitely have an advantage over your competitors Though you may not be able to compete with big companies that can manufacture goods cheaply you can still save money by Buying or shipping in bulk Using new technologies to save time Using experienced workers By becoming more efficient you can cut

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2638/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Pricing - Canada Business Network
    Integrated circuit topographies Protecting your intellectual property in export markets Product licensing Selling to governments Why sell to the government Preparing to sell to the government Selling to the federal government Selling to provincial territorial and municipal governments Selling to foreign governments Government procurement glossary of terms Considering bankruptcy Government grants and financing Social enterprises and non profits Government More You are here Home Managing Marketing and sales Marketing basics Pricing Pricing Filter by Region Region Alberta British Columbia Manitoba Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon and or Business type Pricing is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business The amount you charge for your goods or services will in large part determine what your revenues will be There is more to pricing than simply deciding how much you want to charge per unit sold Pricing is part of your marketing strategy it s a statement about your product s strengths and weaknesses and a means of inventory control When you are deciding on a price you should consider Production cost Your competition Your customers and their expectations Pricing factors No matter what business you re in there are three factors to consider before deciding what to charge for your products or services costs competition and customers Your costs Operating a business involves expenses Your costs may include Raw materials or supplies Salaries Equipment and property The price you charge for your product or service must cover your costs if your business is to survive There are two types of costs Fixed costs These overhead costs like rent utilities and insurance are generally the same every period regardless of how much product is made or sold While these costs are easy to predict they are often overlooked when prices are being calculated Variable costs These costs change in proportion to your business activity If you are producing more you will need more raw materials Variable costs sometimes called unit level costs easily break down to cost per unit Your breakeven price is the total cost of your product fixed cost variable cost expressed as a cost per unit If you charge anything less than the breakeven price you will lose money The difference between what you pay per unit and the price you charge is called the margin If you think your profits are the most important factor in determining your price your baseline price should be the total cost the desired margin Your competition The price your competition charges for similar products or services can give you an idea of what price to set for your own Price benchmarking helps you understand where you are positioned relative to your competition If you want customers to choose your product you ll need to come up with a pricing strategy and decide if you will charge the same price a lower amount or a higher amount in order to maximize your sales potential Same price

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2624/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Website development process - Canada Business Network
    options Create a custom database driven website Purchase low cost software and create a simple website internally Access online tools to enable non technical staff to add and manage content using a content management system Budget You may need two budgets the build budget for developing your website and the maintenance budget for ongoing hosting promotion website maintenance and required improvements as customer expectations increase and change You ll need to consider software hardware and any additional staffing requirements when creating the budgets Project planning Getting organized Assemble your project team If your business is small you may only need one person to work on website development a project team may be required if it is large Your project team should review and analyze your website s requirements If your company is streamlining internal processes by using the website consider an employee survey to help identify bottlenecks in the process or useful functions that might have been overlooked initially A web development business or consultant can assist you with this task Manage build or buy Will your website be built internally or do you need to hire a website development service Base your decision on available resources and the complexity of the project If you decide to outsource the project itemize the requirements and put together a request for proposal that includes the Target audience groups Required functionality Specific performance goals Required development platform or programming language Future or planned functionality Timeframe Maintenance and updates Send the request for proposal to a handful of businesses reduce the results to two or three businesses for a final detailed review Include each step of the review process in the project timeline Websites can be long term investments of both time and money A strong partner will complement your internal resources and provide you with a proactive vision for the future of your website Establish publishing policies and processes The website will need ongoing content maintenance Your content publishing policies and processes should emphasize high quality standards Some points to consider include What content requires regular review to keep it current Who is responsible for this process Who will evaluate the user interface website usability and future changes What documents will be published on the website Who is responsible for converting validating and managing the publishing process Scheduling resources and time A website development company will provide you with a project timeline and schedule If your project is handled internally it is wise to create a schedule for tracking project progress Establish milestones and set deadlines for project phases to be completed Development Building your site Information structure The flow of the information you provide will be a critical component of your website s success Systematic logical information organization leads to a coherent user friendly and flexible website Your website s information structure must be able to accommodate growth Take maintenance issues into consideration as your company grows and information expands Plan your website on paper before the developers start programming Consider your

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2641/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Website analytics and performance management - Canada Business Network
    Integrated circuit topographies Protecting your intellectual property in export markets Product licensing Selling to governments Why sell to the government Preparing to sell to the government Selling to the federal government Selling to provincial territorial and municipal governments Selling to foreign governments Government procurement glossary of terms Considering bankruptcy Government grants and financing Social enterprises and non profits Government More You are here Home Managing Developing your website Website analytics and performance management Website analytics and performance management Filter by Region Region Alberta British Columbia Manitoba Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon and or Business type Do you want to know how effective your website is To find out you need to know how visitors reach your website what they do there and how often they visit When running an online marketing campaign or evaluating the usability of your website it is important to gain insight into your website s traffic statistics You may even want to analyze visits to each individual webpage Throughout marketing campaigns and when evaluating your website you ll also want to know the following details The number of visitors per day and the times at which they arrive Where your visitors came from another website or page search tool or the direct URL What browsers they are using What page they landed on The length of time spent on your website Which are your most popular pages Track various marketing elements You can collect more data for specific marketing campaigns or for improving your website s design A banner ad campaign or a social media marketing campaign often have more than one type of creative concept or headline The campaign may have three or four varieties of images or headlines You will want to track the performance of each element separately and then adjust them accordingly or increase the use of the most effective ones The same principles apply for the actual message wording and overall offer or promotion Tracking of such performance is often called web analytics Pinpoint the origin of traffic You can further measure the performance of an ad by creating a webpage specifically for that ad campaign For example one click on a banner ad could take a prospective customer to this customized or designated page rather than to your regular homepage When analyzing visitor traffic for your specific campaign webpage it will become clear how many visits were the result of the campaign or promotion Similarly tracking tools can help you understand the traffic and navigational tendencies customers have on your website Understand where customers leave your website When you want customers to make a purchase through your website or perform some other sort of action you will want to get conversion rates and reports on the conversion funnel In other words you want to see where customers get lost on your website since there may be a technical or conceptual problem with a given webpage Find the right

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2629/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Measuring the results of your advertising - Canada Business Network
    of an ad include a statement that will allow the customer to receive a free sample great discount or something similar upon request or by saying a magic word Results should be checked over a period of one week to between six and twelve months since people may not immediately react to this type of ad Compare similar ads Prepare two ads only slightly different according to the variable you d like to test and run them on the same day Identify the ads in the message or with a coded coupon so you can tell them apart Ask customers to bring in the coupon or to use a special phrase Run two broadcast ads at different times or on different stations on the same day with different discount phrases Ask a newspaper to give you a split run that is to print ad A in part of its press run and ad B in the rest of the run Count the responses to each ad to see which scenario is most effective Comparing similar ads is also effective in other media such as on the Internet Promote a particular item If the ad is about a bargain or limited time offer you can consider that sales for the following four weeks came from that ad You may need to judge how many sales came not from the ad but from in store displays or were encouraged by your sales associates Check your business traffic An important function of advertising is to build client traffic that also results in customers buying items that are not advertised For example a customer who are attracted to a store by an ad for a blouse may also buy a handbag Some may buy the bag in addition to the blouse and other may just buy the blouse You could hire students to interview customers as they leave the store to determine which advertised items they bought what other items they bought and what they shopped for but did not buy Website traffic works in a similar way Testing attitude or image building advertising Compare advertising and sales records The individual ads are building blocks so to speak which make up your advertising over a season The problem is trying to measure each ad and the effects of all of the ads taken together When advertising is spread out over seasons to measure its effectiveness you need to keep records Your aim is to compare records of ads and sales for an extended time period Keep a record by date of all forms of advertising record their cost keep a copy of each ad and break the file down into monthly quarterly or semi annual blocks By recording the sales of the advertised items on the copy of each ad or in a log you can make comparisons One approach is to make weekly comparisons For example if you run an ad each week compare each week s sales with sales from the previous

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2671/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Developing a promotional brochure - Canada Business Network
    to grow your business Business activities to achieve growth Business planning Organizations and resources for growth R D and innovation Improving your productivity with technology Research and development Commercialization Licensing and technology transfer opportunities Financing for innovation Innovative business activities Innovation resources Exporting and importing Exporting Importing Investing abroad Business support organizations Social enterprises and non profits Growing More Government Taxes GST HST Federal tax information Provincial and territorial tax information Tax refunds and credits Registering your business Regulations Regulated business activities Regulated industries Regulatory change Standards Permits and licences Copyright and intellectual property What is intellectual property Copyright Trade marks Patents Industrial designs Integrated circuit topographies Protecting your intellectual property in export markets Product licensing Selling to governments Why sell to the government Preparing to sell to the government Selling to the federal government Selling to provincial territorial and municipal governments Selling to foreign governments Government procurement glossary of terms Considering bankruptcy Government grants and financing Social enterprises and non profits Government More You are here Home Managing Marketing and sales Promoting and advertising your business Developing a company brochure Developing a promotional brochure Filter by Region Region Alberta British Columbia Manitoba Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon and or Business type Even though a lot of marketing is now being done online print media is still an important part of your promotional activities A brochure is a valuable marketing tool because it is a tangible takeaway from an in person interaction If you are attending trade shows or making sales calls people will likely expect you to have a professional brochure The brochure can serve as a reminder of the encounter it can also introduce your products or services to the customer and lead them to your doorstep Preparation Before designing a brochure think about the information you want to share about your business Benefits and description of your products and or services Your experience in the business Your contact information Find out which techniques motivate people to read the brochure and think about how your brochure will be used by your client Be focused in your messages Remember that too much information could dilute your message Consider your distribution strategy in advance as this can help you determine the number of copies you ll want to order Design and print You may feel comfortable designing your own brochure especially if you have the resources to do so However there are many businesses that can do this for you by providing templates or designing something from scratch If you choose to work with suppliers you may need two services a creative design firm and a printer Sometimes these are combined into one shop Discuss your objectives needs and budget with potential designers Make sure they understand your requirements Often the creative design firm can recommend a printer or may be able to include printing costs in their quote and deal with the printer on your behalf Your

    Original URL path: http://www.entreprisescanada.ca/eng/page/2726/ (2016-02-14)
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