Hi All,
Iam new to this forum.
Wanted a little help.
Iam in the middle of preparing a proposal for test marketing a couple of our products for the local market. We already have a presence in the international market.
Can anybody give me suggestions regarding making a good proposal.
Thank you
17th September 2005 From India, Bangalore

Hr Professional
Business Consultant

Please can you make your question clearer ..
17th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait
Hi Nabeel ,
Thanks for your response.
I am in the process of preparing a proposal to test market a couple of our products in the local market to find out the feasibility in terms of customer acceptability, positioning strategy to be adopted, pricing policy, the target set of customers etc. We intend to run the test for nearly 1-2 months so that we can arrive at viability, before going all out and putting the product in the market.
U C our product ( the ones that we are going to market locally) are traditional ayurvedic preparations; which has a lot pf competition both from the organised and unorganised sector. However the benefits of our product are that these preparations and 100% natural and will show effect as we have ample studies to prove that it works.
Look forward to your valuable suggestions
17th September 2005 From India, Bangalore
Launching a New Product / Service in the Market

In a certain market, and ahead of launching a new product or service there are many factors to measure and take into consideration;

1- Does the market require that product, and what values such a product might satisfy?

2- What are the market price levels for similar products; accordingly what are the measures between those market prices and the production cost of my new product?

3- Who are the competitors in the market, what do they offer, what are the specifications of their products or services? Where do they sell? At which prices? And here we have to obtain a breakdown of their price to reach to their cost, accordingly, then after we will be able to see whether we will be able to compete with the cost or not. Usually mass production reduces cost by an average of 20%.

4- Then the market testing of the products comes next, by sending out samples of the product with promoters to different locations where people may try and fill a survey given by those promoters. Results of the survey from different categories of people will be a good measurement of the market provided that we take into consideration to do that testing at different locations, with different people in age, sex, income, etc…

5- Based on the survey we will then be able to decide our product positioning in terms of quality, price and availability.

6- On the follow-up level we have to keep tracking of the sales for that product and decide which marketing campaigns it needs to promote. What awareness campaigns are required, where to place at which outlets and how to present it to the public.

7- The numerous sales feedback reports will then indicate whether to continue or discontinue that product or service in the market.

18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait


-define your product--what is your product

-what is it made of

-what is cost of this product

-is it imported

-is it locally made

-is there a competitive product

-what is the price differential

-how many competitive brands are there etc

when you answer these questions, it will help to define your product.



-who are your potential users

-how many are there in your country

-how many are there in your city

-is it a niche market -small number of users

-how much / how often / do they buy

-is there any changing trends

-is the demand increasing etc

when you answer these questions/ more, it will help define your potential market size



-how is the economy affecting your market

-who are the potential competitors

-what are the market share of the competitors

-what is the degree of competition

-what is the basis of competition -is it price/ brand etc

-what government regulations affect this market etc

when you answer these questions / more , it will help to understand the impact of environment on your market.



-what brand name do you want

-your product market objectives

-how you plan to position your product

-your product marketing strategy to achieve success etc

when you answer these questions / more , it will help to understand the need for product market strategy



-what are your sales objectives for the first 12 months

-what will be your dollar revenue

-what will be your total cost

-what will your gross profit estimates

-what geographical areas do you wish to cover etc

when you answer these questions / more , it will help to understand the sales target / target market.



-how do want to distribute the products

-is it through your sales team

-is it through distributors

-is it through major retailers

-what will be your trade discounts etc

when you answer these questions / more , it will help to understand the distribution guidelines required.



The promotions depends on your

-market size

-market spread

-market segment

-product positioning

-sales target

-competitive situation etc

Based on the above assessment, we allocate resources








-sales aids etc


-retail ads


-point of sale materials etc


-direct mailings


-online marketing etc







-market needs

-market trends

-market potential and growth

-market characteristics

-market segments














-keys to success

-critical issues



-marketing objectives

-financial objectives

-target marketing


-marketing strategy







-marketing research



-sales forecast

-expense forecast

-contribution margin.



-time schedule



-time schedule

-action plan.


18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait

Want to build loyalty and goodwill with customers? Then you may need to keep up with your competition in promotional items. If you think it's all about a free t-shirt, think again. The latest trends in customer incentives are far more indulgent.

1. Go for Broke

That doesn't mean spend a fortune, but find an item that has a perception of seeming high value when you give it to your client. IPods have been the gift of choice for many companies recently. And their value is still soaring. But so is their ubiquity. Finding an item that is unique will make the gift seem more special to a client.

2. Make It Match

If you're selling software and your client incentive is a duffel bag, there may be a big disconnect. Likely, that promotional product won't carry much weight with your client if it doesn't correlate to his industry or his line of work. Make sure the incentive is something he can use daily, so he'll be reminded of you and your company's product or services regularly.

3. Bond with Services

Rather than a tangible incentive, send a client to a seminar, training session, or some other professional environment that will help him do his job better or learn more about his industry. That may carry far more weight than a product incentive, since it makes the customer think you have his best interest at heart, rather than your own.

18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait
Products testing questionnaire
Use a form to test messages with your target audience.
1. Record Product/s in the products table.
2. Ask the participants to try these product/s
3. Ask the participants the product/s questions that are at end of this document, and record their answers in the Products feedback table.
Use the tables to record the data you collect.
Product/s feedback Questionnaire Example
Are these products easy to find?
Do these products match your budget?
Are these products helpful to you?
Do these products differentiate us or our offerings?
Are these products important to you?
Do these products address specific requirements for you?
Do these Products satisfy the needs you have?
Are these Products believable and credible?
Next to each question you may put the answer/s divided on three categories or levels, YES, NO, MAYBE or 100%, 70%, 40% etc... it would be up to you to decide your questionnaire upon what results you want to get.
Good Luck
18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait

I have used 'PIZZA' as an example.


-What brand name could you remember for a PIZZA

-What other brand names can you remember

-What do you think of this name for a PIZZA


-What attributes differentiate the top 3 PIZZAS

-What attributes are seen from this PIZZA

-What attributes are required by CUSTOMERS


-How often do you buy PIZZA

-How often do you buy the same brand of PIZZA

-Will you take the chance of tasting another brand

-How satisfied are you with your brand of PIZZA

-Would you recommend the PIZZA to others


-How satisfied are you with the quality

-How satisfied are you with the value

-How satisfied are you with the purchase experience

-How satisfied are you with the usage experience

-How satisfied are you with the taste experience

-How satisfied are you with the price


- What combination of factors could influence you to buy

this brand of PIZZA or any other brands of PIZZA.


-Have you heard of this brand of PIZZA

-What do think of it

-How would you describe it


-What motivates you to buy this brand of PIZZA



-What needs could influence you in buying PIZZA

-What needs could influence you in buying any brand


-What needs could influence you in buying this brand



-What types of associations first comes into mind,

when you think of this brand of PIZZA

quality/ taste/universality/value/ service/delivery





-income bracket

-marital status

18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait

Sales Strategy

[x] should be treated as a [long-term / short-term] product.

[ ] If more than one, indicate for each long or short-term.

[ ] Important! How long before product pays for itself?

As such, the target market segments to focus on are [specific customers]. Because of [product]'s special market characteristics, [seasonal / geographic / etc., as mentioned in your Market Analysis] our sales strategy [includes / incorporates]:

[ ] Briefly discuss how your sales strategy will address specific market / environmental conditions.


[ ] How customers perceive your company and product, relative to competition.

[ ] Product / Business / Industry leadership.

[ ] Recommended reading: Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

[ ] A User Focus Group may provide product information needed to position your product.

Our [product, or similar / competition's product] is seen by the consumer as [customer's perception of your product].

Its unique advantages [technical, quality, performance] can be exploited to arrive at a winning position in the consumer's mind.

In terms of market segmentation advantages, we can use [upscale consumers, ethnic appeal, etc.] to arrive at a winning position here.

Repositioning our [product] as [example: from a cost to an investment, vacation becomes an "escape from civilization," etc.].

To be effective, [other products, services, people] depend on the presence of our [product].

We can reposition our competitors by [x].

[ ] What can be said / shown about a competitor's product that will change your customers' minds (about the competitor's product -- not yours)?

The resulting Selling Basis for our product, then, is [x].

[ ] This is your fundamental strategy for all of the advertising you do.

[ ] Test the Unique Selling Basis to make sure that it is:









[ ] How do we set prices? Is there a policy?

[ ] Is our pricing competitive?

[ ] Is there perceived value (it costs more therefore it must be better) inherent in higher prices?

[ ] Are prices based on costs -- standard markup?

[ ] Why are they higher or lower than competing prices?

[ ] How elastic (the effect of pricing on demand for product) is the market for these products? How does consumer preferences affect elasticity?

The prices for our products are determined first and foremost by [competition, costs, suppliers, manufacturers, package deals].

It is important to know that [sliding scales, volume, regulated, competitive, perceived value], pricing is essential to our market profile.

Compared to the competition, our prices are [x].

[ ] List examples of competitive pricing.

[ ] Put copies of price comparisons and reports in the Supporting Documents.

Different seasonal aspects of our market affect our pricing because [example: selling seasons].

We feel that our customers will pay $[x] because [purchasing rationale].

Margin Structure


[ ] Ask friends / customers in retail management about quantities they are likely to buy. What discounts would entice them to order more?


[ ] Ask regarding quantities their customers are likely to order and their Gross Profit Margins / Percentages.

Manufacturer's Representative

[ ] What percentage commissions do they make? Usually between 5 and 20%.

Direct Sales

[ ] Determine cost of each sale -- time and expense involved, package deals.


We can take advantage of volume purchases by [x].

[ ] Volume discount is applicable if scheduled order is placed (For example; 1,200 units ordered for a year=100 units per month.)

[ ] Are there discounts for paying cash or within [x] days?

Cooperative advertising -- manufacturer pays 2-10% of purchases toward your advertising of their product.

We plan to review our pricing and product / service margin every [x] [months].

[ ] Should a new pricing policy be investigated? Are potential profits being lost?

Current Selling Methods

[ ] Activities used in selling your product or service.

[ ] Methods to promote product or service: direct calling, telephone, advertising, mail, radio, television, or other.

[ ] Sample brochure or dummy, advertisements, announcements, or other promotional literature should be placed in the Supporting Documents.

[ ] Margins of safety allowed in sales forecasts.

[ ] Recommended Reading: How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins, International Market Press.

[ ] See Advertising and Promotion, Selling Tactics, and Distribution sections for detailed action plans.

Marketing Responsibilities

[ ] Define who will be make these decisions:

New business development

Dealer support and OEM support

Sales-producing tools

Corporate graphics standard

Brand-name recognition

Direct response promotion

Telemarketing -- scripts / training

Product position and identification

Next Steps

Based on the strategic plan, decisions that must be made now include [x].

The information needed to make those decisions is [x].

[ ] Data, research results, etc.

Key decisions to be made in the near term [next six months] are [x].

[ ] Include decisions to be made after six months, but before the next fiscal budgeting process.

The information needed to make both of these decisions with confidence includes [x].

[ ] Primary research projects (topic, time frame, budget).

[ ] Secondary research studies (topic, vendor, time frame, cost).

The most sensible research recommendations are to [x].

[ ] List questions you need immediate answers to.

[ ] Use data collected from a focus group.

[ ] Before proceeding further, review the marketing strategy statements you have made so far against the following tests:

[ ] Are the strategies consistent with your evaluation of the marketplace and your capabilities?

[ ] Is the return on marketing investment sufficient to justify the risks? What are the chances of a competitor executing a similar strategy? In that case, what would happen?

[ ] Are the strategies consistent with the political environment within the company?

[ ] Have you made sure your strategies are based on facts, and not assumptions?

[ ] Does the overall strategy leave you critically vulnerable to a shift in market behavior? Are all your eggs in one basket?

[ ] Is your appraisal of the competition open-minded and honest?

[ ] Is your strategy legal?

[ ] Is the success of your strategy based on your ability? What are the chances of failure?

[ ] Have you thoroughly examined alternative strategies? Do you have a sound, logical rationale for your recommendations?

Distribution Channels

[Company]'s marketing department plans to sell our [product] through several channels.

The determining factors in choosing these channels are [x].

[ ] Customer profile

[ ] Geography

[ ] Seasonal variations

[ ] Efficient use of funds

[ ] Feasibility of using channels of similar products already on the market

Key competition uses the same [x] distribution channels. Our mix of distribution channels will give us the advantages of[list advantages] over our competition.

A partial list of [Company]'s major current customer include:

[ ] List the top 5 to 10 customers.

Our distribution channels include:

Executive Sales

[ ] This type of selling is usually most appropriate for very expensive products or services [executive jets, yachts and large estates come to mind] where it is important to deal principal to principal when negotiating the sale.

Because our customers tend to be top corporate managers, it is important that our company president and senior managers present our product to our customers.

Direct Sales

The majority of [Company] sales will be handled internally through direct sales by our staff.

[Company] anticipates hiring [x] additional sales representatives to [cover additional territories, retailers, distributors, markets, sell specific products].

[ ] Include Organizational chart in Supporting Documents.

We have chosen to use a direct sales force because our products require considerable customer education and post-sales support -- directly from the company.

Our price point, pricing structure and profits are such that our costs of sales warrants "person-to-person" selling strategy.

Manufacturer Representatives

Because manufacturers' representatives carry several product lines that are compatible with ours, we feel that it would be appropriate to select manufacturers representatives carrying [x], and ...[complementary and compatible products -- automotive products to parts stores, marine supplies to boat dealerships, etc.].

Also, manufacturers selling [dissimilar products yet appropriate to their customers', customer -- publishers selling computer software to bookstores...]

[ ] Contact customers and retailers and ask them whom they would recommend to represent your product. (Firms and people they respect and use.)

[ ] See also Advertising and Promotion, Direct Mail to locate appropriate reps for your firm.


One of the key elements designed into the [Company] marketing plan is the targeting of our distributors. We will select distribution channels already in existence and staffed with professionals possessing appropriate backgrounds and clientele.

[Company] products are very pertinent to the nature of distributor's business and to the well-being of their customer base. Also, it is significantly less difficult for us to reach these people and educate about the benefits available in using [product].

This strategic marketing approach takes full advantage of the fact that these professionals are already involved with parallel products and services. They already have a track record of experience.

By operating within these distribution channels in this manner, we can maintain control of our market. In addition, we can generate growth at a reasonable pace and obtain excellent sales results.

[ ] Distributors must mark up your prices 15-30% to their retailers. Your sales revenue will have to be reduced in order to allow distributors their profit margin.

[ ] Consider using advertising and direct mail to locate appropriate distributors.


[ ] What Dealers Want From Manufacturers:

Price Point -- attractive and reasonable

Profit Margin -- worthy of sales emphasis

Technical Support -- accurate and immediate response

Quality -- design, construction and packaging

Advertising and Public Relations -- customer awareness and demand

Effective Sales Materials -- ease and expedite sales process

Competitive Advantages -- features and benefits

Stocking and Delivery -- available when needed

Market Stability -- maintain profit margins and market position

Possible Retail and Wholesale Outlets include:

[ ] The SIC Code (Standard Industrial Code)

[ ] Collect mailing list catalogs -- look at all the possible outlets for your product or service.

[ ] Look in your Telephone Directory's Classified Advertising under Mailing Lists.

[ ] Complete the chart above -- the list may prove to be a valuable resource for resellers.

[ ] List any national or regional chains or independent stores that currently carry could carry your product.


With Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) we can incorporate our [product] into their product line by [explain how your product can be included within theirs -- they sell your outboards with their boats, your windshield wipers with their cars].

For manufacturers of [their biggest system / product] we can sell [product] as part of their [x].

We can also provide a private-label line as an additional product for [x] distributors.

[ ] See Joint Marketing Agreements in the Company Overview section, to include in your Marketing Plan.

Direct Response Mail

We will be exploring the benefits of incremental, coordinated direct mail programs in the [example: last two quarters of 19[xx]. We anticipate a strong profit potential as we strengthen our direct response capabilities. We will be approaching this scientifically, as we improve our customer targeting ability. We propose [example: two 50,000 piece campaigns, each preceded by a 5,000 piece test].

All direct mail activities this year will be directed to our existing customer base. In addition, we will [example: test external lists].


[ ] Look in your telephone directory under Direct Mail for mailing houses. Some also handle inquiries, and others provide an 800 number.

We will use an [in-house / contract] telemarketing service to perform the following functions.

Provide outside sales support

[ ] Literature mailing

[ ] Follow-up calls

[ ] Order entry

Respond to inquiries

[ ] Order entry

[ ] Literature mailing

[ ] 800# Order / Support Hotline

[ ] Marketing research

Generate New Business

[ ] Contact distributors, retailers, customers.

[ ] Schedule appointments.

[ ] Write a comprehensive telephone script that everyone can use when responding to inquiries.

[ ] Carefully address each issue [questions, objections, etc.]

[ ] Write out your responses as you would say to them.

[ ] Practice with a tape recorder, or call your own answering machine -- keep adjusting it until you would.

[ ] Distribution opportunities.

[ ] If available, include a chart of CDI / BDI (Category Development Indices / Brand Development Index) performance.

[ ] What is our ACV (All Commodity Volume) distribution? The competition's?

International Market

[ ] It is important to consider your worldwide opportunities from the start.

[ ] List target countries in order of priority



Usage of product

[ ] See Advertising and Promotion, Selling Tactics, and Distribution sections for detailed plans of action.


The primary means of distribution will be [x].

[ ] How your products are (can be) distributed.

[ ] Make a chart to show how they get to the end-user consumer.

Additional channels planned are [x]. An important advantage to these alternate channels is flexibility.

By using more than one method, [Company] will have more control and also more to respond to special needs and circumstances.

Other features of our secondary channels are low cost, quick start-up, increased capacity.


Regional target areas are [where you will begin sales].

Reports indicate that these areas generate the highest level of consumer interest.

Because our distribution network is [already set up or in use, easy to implement, cost-efficient, etc.] we can enjoy [national / international] delivery immediately.

This, in turn, will reduce shipping time and increase customer satisfaction.

To date, [many of, [x] of, none of] our competitors are able to achieve this.

Product Roll-out Program

We have selected from [x] key market areas.

[ ] Areas based on proximity -- easy to sell into, contact, deliver to, have customers come to.

Manufacturers' Representatives we have chosen are:

Name Territory Type

[ABC Sales] [Western U.S.A.] [Marine Supplies]

Distributors we have chosen are:

Name Customer Type

[DEF Distribution] [4,500] [Sailboat Dealers]

Retailers we have chosen are:

Name Number of Outlets Type

[GHI Stores] [31 in So. California] [Sailboat Dealer]

There are [x] number of dealers in each region.

[ ] See Advertising and Promotion section under Direct Mail for ideas on locating dealers, wholesalers.

[ ] List regions in order of roll-out sequence.

[ ] List key distributors, retailers, etc. in each as top priority.

Trade Incentives

[ ] Allowances, Co-op Accruals, Warehouse Flushing Promotions, etc.

Customer Service

Our customers emphasize that service and support is one of their major concerns. They are constantly impressed with the support we provide. Hot-line service is currently available to all customers enrolled in a maintenance / support program.

We intend to provide free pickup and delivery for customers in the [x] areas by using [our own trucks / couriers]. The purpose for this service is to assure customer satisfaction and loyalty allowing us to increase sales as well as maintaining a high profile within our service area.

Another service to add value is to provide warehousing of customer inventory. This allows us to book larger orders and provide faster order response.

Support to manufacturers' representatives will allow them to perform efficiently as a sales force. We intend to treat the manufacturers' representatives as an extension of the [Company] direct sales force, and they will be given the same support as the [Company] internal sales staff.

Technical backup to OEM support groups is currently supplemented by [Company]. The OEM staffs respond to the needs of their customers, and when they encounter a support issue that requires more information, they may direct their customer to [Company] or they may contact [Company] to obtain the necessary information.

Technical support to marketing and sales functions will be strengthened. Pre- and post-sales situations involving the application, presentation, and demonstration of [products] will be supported by [staff].

Returns and Adjustments Policy

At this time, general trade customs for handling returns are [describe how returns are generally handled]. We will use the following policies:

"If for some reason [x] is not right for your business you may return it for a full refund within 30 days of receipt of product. You must call [enter phone number] for a Return Authorization number [RA#]. Refunds are made only on the price of the package plus applicable taxes and do NOT include shipping costs."

"Credit card refunds are credited to your account and cash / check payments are refunded within 30 days of receipt of returned merchandise in good condition with RA#."

We intend to [follow / depart from] industry custom by implementing a returns and adjustments policy whereby [explain your plan and how it will work]. Our reasons for [following / departing from] customary procedures are [give reasons -- advantages, benefits for you and your customers].

18th September 2005 From Kuwait , Kuwait
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