Before doing your next marketing plan, you need to do an opportunity analysis. The analysis will help you lay the foundation for your marketing and communications activities.

If your primary target is the consumer market, think about how they are distinguished by demographics, income and other preference variables. If your primary focus is on business markets, understanding customer end-users’ characteristics is important.

No matter who your customers are, you need to ask yourself these questions. Why do people buy from your company instead of competitors? What benefits do you offer, at what price and to whom? Think about specific features and benefits you offer. What specific market segments can you reach that are not currently being addressed well by competitors? And, how does your marketing and communications mix compare to others?

Successful marketing and communication efforts result from careful strategic analysis and comprehensive planning.