U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

For questions & comments about technology developer tools & resources, please contact:

Carlos Pachon
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: (703) 603-9904 | Email: pachon.carlos@epa.gov

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis Concepts and Techniques

Market analysis contributes to all the steps in a business from the initial determination of customer needs to final delivery of a product or service. It can be divided into the following general functions: Market research, market strategy development, the identification of specific markets to serve, and use of market analysis in decision making.

Market Research

Market research entails identifying potential customers and their needs. It strives to develop a thorough understanding of the industries in which the potential customers operate, the regulatory environment, and competing products and services. Market research involves systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of data relating to the marketing of goods and services. It employs a variety of different types of activities, such as analysis of industry data, demographic data, competitor activities, and customer surveys. Marketing research is an organized way of finding objective answers to questions every business must answer to succeed, such as:

  • Who are my customers and potential customers?
  • Where are they located?
  • Can and will they buy?
  • Am I offering the kinds, quantities and quality of goods or services they want?
  • Are my prices consistent with buyers' perceptions of the product's value?
  • Are my promotional programs working?
  • What do customers think of my technology and business?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • How does my technology and business compare with alternative technologies and competitors?

Marketing research deals with people and their constantly changing preferences and actions, which can be affected by numerous influences. Because many of these influences cannot be quantified, market research is not an exact science. Marketing research does, however, seek to gather facts and opinions in an orderly, objective way; to find out how things are, regardless of any preconceived notions; and to find out what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell them.

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Marketing Strategy Development

A marketing strategy includes the identification of customer groups which the business can serve better than its competitors and a plan for tailoring its product offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts and services towards that particular market segment. Ideally, the strategy should try to address customer needs which are not being met in the market place and which have the potential for enough business to justify development costs. A good strategy will recognize the resource limitations of a particular small business or business unit within a large company. Thus, a business must use the market information and its own capabilities to focus on the market segments it can serve best.

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Selection of Specific Markets to Serve

Given the limitations of a technology and a business, marketing efforts usually need to concentrate on specific market segments. For example, the following are some ways to segment a market:

  1. Geographical segmentation. Specializing in serving the needs of customers in a particular geographical area (e.g., a city, state, or region close to home, areas that correspond to a government authority such as an EPA region or Corps of Engineers district).
  2. Customer segmentation. Identifying and promoting to those groups of people most likely to buy the product. In other words, selling to the heavy users before trying to develop new users. In the market for remediation technologies, customer segmentation can take a number of forms.
    • Type of site (for example, Superfund, RCRA, UST)
    • Stage of process (for example, site investigation, remedy design, etc.)
    • Ownership (for example, DOD, DOE, Private, other federal, local government)
    • Type of industry causing pollution (chemicals, equipment maintenance, wood preserving).
    • Regulatory authority (CERCLA, RCRA, state)
    • Type of contamination and media
    • Prime contracts versus subcontracts
  3. Product or Service. Linking marketing efforts to related existing products and services, such as site investigations or remedy design.

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Integration of Market Decisions

The efforts in market research, strategy development and segmentation all are combined to aid in developing approaches to the following four key decision areas in a marketing program:

Products and Services. Based on the above considerations, describe the specific products and services and intended customers.

Promotion. Specify the type of advertising, sales, and other promotional activities.

Pricing. Determine price levels and pricing policies (including credit policy). Consider the effect of discounting policies, volume discounts, special strategies for government contracts, total cost to the customer, and the cost of competing and complimentary products.

Distribution. Decide whether to distribute products or services through subcontractors, prime contractors, or your own personnel.

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Links to Sources on Market Analysis Concepts and Techniques

The sources below provide information about basic concepts and techniques in marketing and market analysis. Although the emphasis is on small business applications, the material is also applicable to product development in larger organizations. Resources specific to remediation services and technologies are provided in later sections

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