Business Plans

Lesson 3: The Market for the New Business Opportunity

IMG_2559You have now researched and presented details about the history and offering of your organization, articulated your business opportunity, and selected the single SBCC product, service, or intervention that your organization should introduce to an existing or new market to improve the health and welfare of your target population.

The next step is to show your funder or investor that the SBCC product, service or intervention you have chosen meets the needs of your target population, and that you will be able to effectively market it to the population.

For SBCC Organizations

Take note that even those SBCC organizations that work in social or normative change, community level interventions, or other programs, likely do so by offering some form of product (curriculum, script, poster, booklet) or service (facilitated meeting, drama, radio program) – all of which can be packaged and priced. In the event that your work can not be packaged and priced as a product or service, you should seek funding through a grant, proposal or fundraising strategy, since business plans, by nature, require that a product or service be available for the market.


Marketing is often considered an organization's most powerful competitive weapon. According to management expert Peter Drucker, marketing is about "creating and continuing to create customers." Before proceeding further in this module, it will help you to familiarize yourself with the language of marketing. A list of terms and definitions is provided here.

Key Distinctions

The Marketplace: The marketplace is where exchanges take place. It is where an organization exchanges something of value (a product or a service) for something that it needs (monetary or in-kind contributions, or coverage or other indications of impact).

The Market: The market represents all of the possible consumers of an organization's products and/or services.

The Target Market/Population: The target market is the group or groups to whom organizations market their products and/or services. It includes current and potential users of the products and/or services. It also may include consumers of services who may be different from users, such as employers and donors, and the supporting community.

Marketing: Marketing is the practice of learning about the target market/population, adjusting products, services and/or interventions to better satisfy their needs and preferences, and persuading these populations to continue their use or support of a specific organization. Marketing practices can influence the level, timing and composition of demand for an organization's products, services and/or interventions.

Marketing Mix: The marketing mix is the combination of efforts an organization makes to increase knowledge of and demand for its products, services and/or interventions. These efforts fall into the categories of: targeted population, price, place, production and promotion.

Market Niche: Market niche is an organization's unique role and image ("brand") within the greater marketplace. An organization's niche should be large enough to provide it with the funds and other resources it needs, fit the skills and resources it has or can easily obtain, offer potential to grow and be of little interest to major competitors.

Market Segmentation: Market segmentation is the process of breaking down a large market into smaller groups that share common needs or interests. Markets can be divided by income levels, geography, health status, age range, gender, etc.

There are three major activities that need to be carried out at this point. The first is to design your market research, including the research instrument or questionnaire and the sampling frame; the second is to collect the market research data and draft a market research report; and the third is to develop a marketing plan.


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Lesson 2: The New Business Opportunity (Prev Step)
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