It may seem premature to discuss market statistics at this stage. After all, you have not yet put any of your individual prospect details onto MARKETEER'S database. On the other hand, having now set up your own sales areas and key values, you are probably anxious to see just how a typical set of prospects fits into the market framework you have just created.
In view of this, we have set up within MARKETEER'S database details of a statistically significant number of sample prospects. We have placed them in what we think is a typical geographic distribution for a 'nationwide' prospect base.
Although your own business may be biased towards a specific part of the country, this sample base of prospect details should provide a clear means of viewing your own market framework which you set up in the previous chapter. When later you embark on the once-only task of building up the database from scratch with the details of your own existing prospects, this sample data will be seen to have served its purpose.
THE STATISTICS OPTIONS
The first option on the Statistics Menu is for compiling statistics. The second option enables you to print out a report showing the statistics for all the keys together. The next five 'double' options display statistics tables and bar charts for each of the five main keys. The last double option provides the same details for the UK population statistics.
Now please select Option C - SALES AREA TABLE. The two-column tabular display shows the now familiar names of your sales areas. However, the figures shown in the adjacent REFS and %% columns relate to the sales areas we set up originally as examples. If during your study of Chapter 5 you altered the configuration of the sales areas to suit your own business, these figures are no longer meaningful.
COMPILING THE STATISTICS
Before you can print or display any meaningful statistics, you must first re-compile them for your own system of sales areas and key values. MARKETEER compiles its statistics by looking at the value of each key for each prospect currently on file, and counting up how many of these prospects hold each possible value of each key.
Statistics are compiled and presented specifically within a particular market framework of sales areas and key values. We do not know the details of the market framework which you yourself set up during your study of the last chapter.
You must therefore compile your own statistics: we could not compile any sample ones for you. So now please select Option A - 'COMPILE STATISTICS'.
MARKETEER now proceeds to compile the market statistics, as confirmed by the message which appears on the screen. This can be a quick process or a fairly long one, according to how many prospects are currently on file.
MARKETEER compiles 5 different sets of market statistics - geographic, relation, status, event and product. For technical reasons, it does this in 3 separate phases. In Phase 1 it does the Sales Area statistics. In Phase 2 it does the Relation, Status and Event Statistics. In Phase 3 it does the Product Statistics. The phase currently being dealt with is shown on the screen.
For each phase, MARKETEER combs through the database examining each record in turn. The number of the record currently being examined is also shown on the screen, together with the total number of records currently on file. This information is called 'confidence' information. It is there primarily to show you that MARKETEER is getting on with its job during the delay, and that everything is working properly.
You can tell how far MARKETEER is through its current phase by comparing the current 'record number' with the 'total' number of records as shown on the screen. Once all three phases of the compilation are complete, the 'STATISTICS OPTIONS' re-appear. The current market statistics for OUR sample prospects expressed within YOUR market framework are now on file.
WHEN TO RE-COMPILE
Strictly speaking, the statistical picture of MARKETEER'S database changes whenever a new prospect is added, an old prospect is deleted, or the details (key values or dates) of a prospect are altered (updated). The significance of the change depends on the number of prospect records involved since the last compilation.
In order to get the true up-to-date statistical picture of your market, therefore, you should re-compile the statistics whenever you wish to look at them for the first time after the database has been significantly updated. If you merely wish to display them again simply to remind yourself of the figures or show them to a colleague, there is no need to re-compile them prior to displaying or printing them.
SALES AREA POPULATIONS
Please select Option I. You now see a table listing the names of the sales areas which you set up in the last chapter. Against each sales area name are two numbers. The first number (in the column headed 'REFS') when multiplied by 1000 gives the approximate number of Postal Delivery Points (ie postal addresses) in that sales area. The second number (in the column headed '%%') is the number of Postal Delivery Points in the sales area concerned expressed as a percentage of the total number of Postal Delivery Points in the United Kingdom.
Now please press the 'Esc' key and when the Statistics Options return to the screen, select Option P. The bar chart equivalent of this table now appears. The heights of the bars show the percentage of the total United Kingdom postal delivery points in each of your sales areas.
The market potential of a given sales area is related to the number of potential purchasers in that sales area. Generally, these purchasers are not individuals in the sense of every man, woman and child in the population, but rather they are the households and businesses - the domestic and commercial budget centres!
However, there is a vast difference in the purchasing power between a household and a large company, so does this mean that we also need to know the number of employees in each company in order to measure its purchasing power accurately? If we wish to measure the purchasing power (or potential market) of the company itself, the answer is 'yes'. But here we are not so much interested in the company itself as a potential market, but in the general market potential of the sales area within which it is situated.
Suppose a sales area is populated exclusively by one-man businesses. You can easily see that both the domestic and the commercial market within that area is simply proportional to the number of postal addresses in that area. This is true anyway of the domestic market.
But what of the commercial market in an area where the majority of people work for large companies? The answer is that it is much the same as if they were all self-employed.
This is because the total number of addresses reflects the amount of industrial & commercial activity (and therefore purchasing power) in an area whether the people there 'market' their labour individually as self-employed, or collectively as employees of large companies.
Thus, the percentage of postal delivery points in a given sales area is a direct measure of the percentage of your potential market it contains. This bar chart thus shows the percentage of your overall potential market contained in each sales area. If it shows that your sales areas are badly out of balance, you can go back to the Market Definition Options and re-distribute the post areas between your sales areas so that you get a more equal 'population' in each area.
SALES AREA STATISTICS
Let's now take a look at the statistics you have just compiled. Please select Option C - 'SALES AREA TABLE'. A tabular display appears on the screen. Study this display carefully and see exactly what it tells you about YOUR sales areas.
Under the heading of 'KEY VALUES' you see your now familiar list of sales area names. To the left of each name are two figures. The first figure is under a heading called 'REFS' and the second is under a heading called '%%'. For each sales area, the 'REFS' figure is the number of prospects currently on file whose addresses fall within that sales area. The '%%' figure is this number expressed as a percentage of all the prospects currently on file.
This display therefore gives you a picture of the relative distribution of your current prospects among your various sales areas. It is useful for identifying hitherto unexploited areas and for helping you decide where you may best deploy more sales effort to generate more business. Perhaps you should move your sales force around to put the stronger or more experienced people into the areas where business could be improved.
Notice the prominent message on the screen saying that so many 'REFS' are not postcoded. This is telling you that out of all the prospects currently on file, the stated number have no postcodes entered for their addresses! Thus MARKETEER does not know in which sales area they belong. We have done this on purpose to illustrate the point. So please put postcodes in for all prospect addresses.
Now press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Options and then select Option I. The same information is now displayed as a bar chart. The height of each GREEN bar shows the percentage of your prospects who are located in each respective sales area. The bars are labelled A through to R corresponding to the names of the sales areas shown at the side of the bar chart. The RED bars appearing 'behind' the green ones show the percentage of the UK population located in each respective sales area.
Having seen this 'population distribution' of prospects in tabular and bar chart form, let us now take a more detailed look at it. To do this, we need to go back to the Map Displays. Please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu, then press it again to return to MARKETEER'S Main Menu.
When the Main Menu re-appears, please select Option 8 to get to the Market Definition Menu and then 8 again to get to the Sales Area Maps display menu. Then, when the list of sales areas appears, please select your first sales area - Sales Area 'A' for display. Now wait until the map appears and the sales area and bar charts have been shaded in. We shall now focus our attention on the bar charts at the left of the display.
Imagine the rectangle as an empty glass cylinder which can be filled with water. The shaded area - which appears towards the end of the display process - is water which is poured into the cylinder. The scale down the left-hand side is in 'percent' ranging from 0% when the cylinder is empty to 100% when it is full.
The total volume of the left cylinder represents the total number (100%) of the prospects currently on file. The volume of the water (shaded part of the cylinder) represents the percentage of those prospects who actually reside within the sales area currently shaded in on the map.
The total volume of the right cylinder represents the total (100% of) the United Kingdom population. In fact, the national population is represented by the total number of postal delivery addresses in the country (approximately 22 million). This is more significant for sales & marketing purposes than the actual population. The shaded portion of the right cylinder gives the percentage of postal addresses (population) in the displayed sales area.
These bar charts enable you to compare the percentage of your prospects located in the sales area shown against the percentage of the national population it contains. If the prospect percentage is less than the national percentage it means that you are under-exploiting that area compared with your other areas. If the reverse is true, then you have either saturated that area or are under-exploiting your others.
It also enables you to compare pictorially the proportion of the country covered by a given sales area against the proportion of your prospects (and the proportion of the national population) who reside in that sales area. When you have studied this display, please type QUIT (or press the 'Esc' key) to take you back to the sales area display options. Repeat the exercise for each sales area, comparing its area against its percentage populations.
The single sales area displays give an accurate picture of the geographic coverage and percentage populations of one sales area at a time. If you want a general overview of the proportional populations of all your sales areas together, please refer to Option I of the statistics described earlier.
Where finances permit, the displays can be shown live at sales meetings and presentations using a projection monitor and a large screen. Also, VDU cameras are available which can produce a 35mm slide of the screen image directly from the computer's video output.
Now, please select Option 7 as before to get the Statistics Menu again. Since you have not updated the database since you last compiled the statistics, there is no need to compile them again now. So please go right ahead and select Option D - 'RELATION TABLE'.
Almost immediately, a display appears on the screen which is of the same general layout as the one for sales area statistics, except that this time, instead of the names of your sales areas, you see the 'values' that you set up for the Relation Key during your reading of Chapter 5.
The 'REFS' column gives the total number of prospects currently on file who hold each respective value of the Relation Key. The '%%' column expresses this number as a percentage of the total number of prospects currently on file. In theory, these percentages add up to 100. Sometimes, however, they may not appear to do so due to the chopping of a possible odd fraction of a percent from each displayed figure, which nevertheless contributes to the total.
Of course, the sum of the individual figures in the 'REFS' column should add up to the total number of prospects currently on file. The purpose of this display is to give you an idea of the ratios between prospects of different types.
Now please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu, then select Option K - 'RELATION GRAPH'. This same information is now presented as a bar chart with the same format as that of the sales area bar chart. After you have studied this, please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Options.
STATUS OR PROGRESS STATISTICS
Please select Option E - 'STATUS TABLE'. A similar tabular display now appears showing the various values which you set up for the Status Key. The 'REFS' and '%%' figures have the same significance as before.
This display gives you a statistical picture of what we call the 'temperature distribution' or 'heat map' of your current prospect base. In other words, it tells you what proportion of your prospects are 'hot', what proportion are 'cold', and what proportions are at the various stages in between. It is intended to help you plan where and how much you should next apply the 'heat'!
After mulling over these figures, please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu. Then select Option K - 'STATUS GRAPH'. The bar chart version of the Status Statistics is now displayed. Please study this and then press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu.
Please select Option F - 'EVENT TABLE'. The display which now appears follows the same layout as the others, but shows the values of the Event Key and the numbers and percentages of prospects last contacted by each means. This display is intended to give you a feel for your current preferences in 'means of contact' usage and their relative effectiveness.
When you have pondered sufficiently on this display, please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu. Then select Option L to display the Event Graph. Please study this and then press the 'Esc' key again to return to the Statistics Menu.
Please select Option H - 'PRODUCT TABLE'. A display of the same familiar format now appears. However, there is something significantly different about this one!
The difference is in the figures. The numbers of references are significantly larger, and they add up to much more than the total number of prospects currently on file. What is more, the percentages add up to more than 100! This is because, unlike the other keys, the Product Key may have more than one (up to 15 in fact) of its values assigned to each prospect.
Each prospect can therefore contribute to the total number of references to more than one value of the Product Key. This all comes about because the Product Key refers not simply to 'prospects' like the other keys, but to 'product/service sales sources'. And each prospect has the potential of being a multiple 'product/service sales source'.
So what do these figures for the Product Key tell you? They tell you what proportion of the prospects you currently have on file are 'in the market for' each of your products or services. They are treating your total database as a separate market for each product and evaluating that market in its own right. This display is therefore an aid to adjusting your product mix in the light of sales/marketing feed-back.
After you have finished pondering on this display, please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Statistics Menu. Then select Option M to have a look at the information in bar chart form. The fact that the percentages can add up to much more than 100 is evident from the greater average height of the bars.
THE PRINTED REPORT
In many cases, a quick look at a screen display of the statistics figures for a particular key will suffice. However should you need to browse over these figures or make comparisons between the figures given for different keys, then a printed report is necessary.
So let us now produce a printed report for the key statistics. Please select Option B - 'PRINT STATISTICS'. Now the display changes and you are asked to switch on the printer. So switch on the matrix printer. Then follow the instructions given on the screen for printing out the report. The Statistics Report is then printed, after which you are returned to the original Statistics Menu.
This report is a side-by-side presentation of the displayed reports you have seen already. Please press the 'FORM ADV' or 'FORM FEED' (FF) button on the printer and then carefully tear off the report.
Thus ends your first trip through MARKETEER'S statistics facilities. So now please press the 'Esc' key to return to the Main Menu and switch off your printer.
TIME FOR A CHANGE!
Let's put off for a little longer that inevitable donkey work of typing in all the names, addresses and other details for your current prospects. Instead, in the next chapter, we shall have a complete change of subject by examining MARKETEER'S excellent facilities for writing a good sales letter for your direct mail exercises.