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Home / Products & Services / Consultancy
IMS Research’s market research services provide an information tool for our clients’ own marketing departments to use. Often these clients require us to take this service one step further and help develop a corporate strategy using a combination of IMS Research’s extensive library of primary data and its marketing expertise.
While we are able to address a broad range of consultancy needs, we have developed two specific services which are designed to help clients to meet their growth objectives.
Marketing Strategy & Planning: This service is ideal for clients who need to develop or update their strategic marketing plan. The process is flexible and can be used for corporate level planning or for individual divisions or business units within a larger organization.
The process will typically involve business or marketing strategy planning workshops, and will take a holistic view of the marketing planning process. When reviewing a client's marketing strategy, we typically use a ten-step process that takes the client through all four broad stages of the marketing planning process:
- Setting Goals/Objectives
- Reviewing the Current Position
- Strategy Formulation
- Resource Allocation and Monitoring
Our aim is always to develop an actionable plan, so that clients can move to implement immediately.
As such, there are a number of specific activities with tangible outcomes that are incorporated into the process. These may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Formalize company vision/mission
- Conduct a market audit
- Define marketing objectives & planning period
- Identify competitive advantage/differentiation
- Determine best strategic marketing mix
- Develop first year action plan as part of 3-5 year overall plan
- Implement and review performance vs. plan
Strategic Market Assessment: As part of our marketing strategy and planning work, we have developed a product which we call a strategic market assessment (SMA). An SMA provides a client with a detailed analysis of the opportunities that exist to grow its business. It may typically involve a two-stage process:
1. Initial assessment of potential product/application/market opportunities for growth. This initial assessment may cast a very wide net, reviewing options across tens of different application or product sectors, with the aim of identifying a handful that meet the client's criteria for success, and prioritizing these.
2. Detailed Review of Identified Areas. This second phase will review in much more detail the handful of areas identified in Stage 1. It seeks to verify the initial findings, look more closely at the strategic fit with the client's existing business, investigate competition, etc.
At the end of Stage 2, clients may wish to take the SMA and develop/implement its own plans to penetrate one or more of the identified markets. Alternatively, it may opt to initiate a third stage with us, which would be to develop an actionable market plan (as detailed in the "marketing strategy and planning" section above).
Whichever type of consultancy project we undertake, the process is always broadly similar:
Client brief: Normally clients will prepare a brief to inform us of their aims/objectives, scope, cost/timescale targets, etc. Where clients are struggling to produce a brief we are happy to help with this process and often a project will start with a free consultation between ourselves and the client.
IMS Research proposal / quotation: Once we have received and clarified the brief, we will produce a proposal document which outlines the specific work that we propose to carry out to meet our client's objectives. Sometimes a number of options will be provided which may vary in terms of the end result and the cost. The prices quoted are fixed and provided the client does not change its aims, this price will not change, even if the project turns out to be more difficult than envisaged.
Execute project plan: Once the proposal has been agreed, we will conduct the consultancy process outlined in the proposal document. With consultancy projects, we normally work very closely with the client so that are are fully abreast of the lastest developments and status of the project at all times.
Delivery/presentation: The format for the project deliverables varies depending on the project complexity but typically uses a mix of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Before delivering the final report, we usually make a top-line presentation of the key findings to the client. This is done in person where logistics allow or via conference call/teleconference where client location makes this difficult.
Follow-up: After a project is completed, we follow up with the client to ensure they are satisfied with the results and see if further work needs to be conducted.
If you have a consultancy project you would like to discuss, please click the button below and one of our consultants will get in contact with you.