Marketing Education

Marketing Education

Marketing Feasibility Study

David Howse Marketing Design

Executive Summary

The goal of this feasibility study of a marketing agency is for the Central Newfoundland market. To determine this feasibility, three exhaustive research initiatives were carried out. The first type of research was in the form of personal interviews with local business experts that included bankers, accountants, business development officers at the local, provincial, and federal level, and business instructors at the College of the North Atlantic’s Grand Falls-Windsor campus – to be referred to as “the experts” or “the expert group.” The second type of research was a paper questionnaire distributed to 187 local businesses in Grand Falls-Windsor – to be referred to as “the questionnaire” or “local businesses.” The third form of research was a literature review; I used trade journals and online sources to add validity to my research. Finally, some information presented in this study comes from my personal opinion. If, at any time, I do make an interjection or an inference from the research data, I will make such comments obvious.

A consensus of opinion was apparent after the second expert interview: marketing was grossly neglected, greatly needed, but probably totally misunderstood. The greatest deficit in understanding came from the new entrepreneur, though the seasoned entrepreneur didn’t fair much better. It is not so much that local entrepreneurs hate the concept of marketing; it is that they see it as an expense, something on their accounting statements. The reality is that proper advertising is a long term investment in the brand equity of a business. It is a part of the marketing experience that creates goodwill that shows up on the balance sheet. Marketing also drives every positive number on the income statement. For some reason, these very important facts have gone unnoticed.

Though this is a feasibility study, it is first and foremost a research based business report. I strongly feel that the information presented in this report to be of superior quality, reliable and valid. The personal interviews, of which there were ten, generally lasted one hour each and provide a balanced distribution of view points including a 60:40 male/female split. The local business questionnaire represented about 38 percent of all businesses in the A2A postal code. A summary of the research methodologies can be found in Appendices 1,  2 and 3.

I would like to make one point of terminology clear. The operational definition of an advertising agency is synonymous with that of a marketing agency. All forms of marketing are covered by both entities and the respective term is merely used as a matter of convenience. I may use these terms interchangeably throughout this report. Finally, I would like give special thanks to Susanne Ivey, Tom Pinsent, Paul Chafe, and Penny Moss for their support and valuable advice. The feasibility study is a project normally reserved for a group of four to eight students and without this support, I would have not been able to complete such a thorough report.

The conclusion of this research: a locally operated marketing agency for Central Newfoundland is feasible but I do not believe, at this time, that I would be the right person for the job. For the reasons of an unforgiving margin for error, a two-year period of low cash flow, and the patience and training required to induce the local entrepreneur to use such a service make this proposition best left to another party.

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