Steps to marketing research

1. Defining the problem. 

Defining the problem is more or less taking your product and service and finding out how that product or service will fit into the current marketplace. Part of this process may be a test market of a new product to see if the targeted audience responds favorably or unfavorably to it.

Defining the problem consists of two steps one is setting objectives, the measurable goals you wish to achieve. An example of an objective would be increased sales. The second is setting up specific measures of success,criteria used to figure out a solution to your problem.


2. Developing the Research Plan.

The next step in marketing research is to develop the research plan.  The research plan will allow you to sort out the details of which information you need to make a reasonable marketing decision.

First you need to identify the data you will need to make you marketing decisions.  Over the course of doing research there is always a lot of irrelevant data collected so you want to be sure to use just the right data or else your final report will be flawed.  This means that you will to develop the right concepts and methods for collecting your data.

In marketing concepts are those ideas that are formed about a product or service.  For instance when a car company wants to see if a new car model will go over with consumers they develop and show off a concept car.  This give the consumer a basic idea of what the car is going to be like.


3. Collect Information

Once you have the right concepts laid out and the methods you will use to collect data, you can start the actual data collection.  When collection data make sure you collect only the type of data needed to make rational marketing decision.  The data you collect will come from two sources; the primary data and the secondary data.

The primary data, which is the new fact and figures that you have collected specifically for the purpose of helping you with your current marketing decisions.  The secondary data is information that have had previously used or stored which is your internal data, or external data which is that data that can be found at other sources outside of your immediate resources.

It is up to you how you collect the primary data, surveys, questionnaires etc., but no matter how the data is collected primary or secondary make sire that it reliable and useful to your research.


  1. The Final Report

The final report is simply a detailed document where you present your research findings and make recommendations based on those findings.

The final report will give you the information you need to either move ahead with marketing your product or service or to say enough is enough and you realize that it just won’t work.  Remember marketing research must be done whether you are an independent business person or a company making millions of dollars.

Charter party.

Charter Party.

A charter party is a document of contract by which a shipowner
agrees to lease, and the charterer agrees to hire, a vessel or all the cargo
space, or a part of it, on terms and conditions forth in the charter party. If permitted to do so by the terms of charter party, they may enter into subcontracts with other shippers.

It Is the contract between the owner of a vessel and the charterer for the use of a vessel. The charterer takes over the vessel for either a certain amount of time(a time charter) or for a certain point-to-point voyage (a voyage charter).

Types of Charter Party

The main types of charter parties are Bareboat Charter Party (sometimes called a Demise Charter). Time Charter Party and Voyage
Charter Party.

1. Bareboat Charter Party. For this type of charter,  shipowner
leases his entire vessel and the charterer has the responsibility of
operating it as though it were his own vessel. As the implies, the
bare vessel is chartered. The shipowner has, for the period covered by
the charter party, lost control of his vessel. The charterer pays all
expenses: fuel, stores, provisions, harbour dues, pilotage, etc. and
employs and pays the crew. There may, however, be a clause in the
charter party that the master and the chief engineer must be approved by the shipowner. The charterer is responsible for the upkeep, preservation and safety of the vessel. Before delivery to the charterer the vessel is surveyed by representatives of both parties and the same is done on redelivery.

2. Time Charter Party: A time charter party is a contract whereby the lessor places a fully equipped and manned ship at the disposal of the lessee for a period of time for a consideration called hire. The lessor may be the ship owner or demise charterer and the time charterer will be the lessee. The hire is payable at specified intervals during the term of the charter. On the other hand, a “time charter for a trip” is a time charter for a particular voyage or voyages. In such a case, the lessor places the fully equipped and manned ship with the lessee till the completion of the voyage. In such charter, hire is paid at periodic


3. Voyage Charter Party: This is a charter party for the carriage of a full cargo, not for a period of time, but at a stipulated rate per ton, for
one voyage only, between named ports to be named on arrival in a given
area. It is a frequently used charter party of which there are many
varieties, and most commodities and trades have a particular type to suit
their purposes. Shippers of large quantities of bulk cargo such as
phosphate, coal, grain, etc., have charter parties with special titles such
as “Fosfo”, “Americanized Welch Coal Charter Party”, “Baltimore
Grain Charter Party”, etc.
In a voyage charter party the charterer assumes no responsibility
for the operation of the vessel but generally pays stevedoring expenses in and out. A statement to that effect will be included in the charter party.


For More Information or questions,  visit ‘ask a question’ page.


Business Models.

Business Model is a representation of its core business practices. Despite the size or industry in which a business operates, a business model details how an organization creates and delivers products or services, specific business processes, infrastructure, customer acquisition strategies and the intended customer base. Brick-and-mortar and e-commerce form two categories under which business can operate. In the current business environment, business models come in a variety of forms that include direct sales, franchise, freemium and subscription models.

Consultants at IBM Global Business Services, interviewing 765 corporate and public sector leaders world-wide, found that firms that were financial outperformers put twice as much emphasis on business model innovation as underperformers. Going a step further, Giesen and colleagues (Giesen, Berman, Bell, & Blitz, 2007), also from IBM, looked at the relationship between business model innovation and firm performance.

They identify three types of business model innovation, namely industry models (innovations in industry supply chain), revenue models (innovations in how companies generate value), and enterprise models (innovations in the role the structure of an enterprise plays in new or existing value chains).

They report two key findings:

1) each type of business model innovation can generate success,

2) innovation in enterprise models that focuses on external collaboration and partnerships is particularly effective in older companies as compared to younger ones.

Business Models, Innovation, and Technology Management
The business model concept has also been addressed in the domains of innovation and technology management. Two complementary views seem to dominate the research. The first is that companies commercialize innovative ideas and technologies through their business models.

The second is that the business model represents a new dimension of innovation, which spans the traditional modes of process, product, and organizational innovation, and involves new forms of cooperation and collaboration.Business models can not only entail consequences for technological innovations; they can also be shaped by them. Calia, Guerrini, and Moura (2007) show how technological innovation networks can provide the resources necessary for business model reconfiguration. They present the results of a case study of a technology company in the aluminum industry, finding that the impact of technological innovation, when it is the result of a collaborative effort in a network of technological partners, might not be limited to the new product’s technological features, but can result in changes in the company’s operational and commercial activities, which ultimately
correspond to a change of the business model.


Sourcing refers to a number of procurement practices, aimed at finding, evaluating and engaging suppliers for acquiring goods and services. The scope of strategic sourcing extends beyond supplier price negotiation and takes into account the total cost of ownership.

A systematic and fact‐based approach for optimizing an organization’s
supply base and improving the overall value proposition.

What Strategic Sourcing Entails.

1. Focused on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) incorporating
customer needs, organizational goals, and market conditions
2. Getting the best product/ service at the best value.
3. Driven by a rigorous and collaborative approach.
4. Addresses all levers for savings.
5.  Decisions based on fact based analysis and market intelligence
6. A continuous process.



Purchasing refers to the process of ordering and receiving goods and services. It is a subset of the wider procurement process. Generally, purchasing refers to the process involved in ordering goods such as request, approval, creation of a purchase order record (a Purchase Order or P.O.) and the receipt of goods.

Procurement is the overarching function that describes the activities
and processes to acquire goods and services. Importantly, and distinct from “purchasing”, procurement involves the activities involved in establishing fundamental requirements, sourcing activities such as
market research and vendor evaluation and negotiation of contracts. It can also include the purchasing activities required to order and receive goods.

The procurement process can be divided into five key steps:
a) Define the business need.
You need to understand what the fundamental business requirement is. At this point, it is important to understand the difference between a requirement and a solution. For example, the business
requirement is to source some software to help to get information published on the company intranet. An item of software to publish information on the company intranet is a solution – not a requirement. The requirement is to be able to publish information on the intranet. It may be that an outsourced solution is a better option.
b) Develop the Procurement Strategy.
Depending on the scale of your project, there could be a very wide range of potential solutions and approaches to your business need and a number of ways of researching the market and selecting a supplier.
c) Supplier Selection and Evaluation.
After researching the market and establishing your procurement approach, you need to evaluate the solutions available. This may involve a formal tender process or an online auction. Your criteria for comparing different solutions and suppliers are critical. Weight the key criteria heavily and don’t attach too much importance to aspects that will have little impact on the solution.
d) Negotiation and award.
Even when you have selected a supplier it is important that detailed negotiations are undertaken. This is not just about price. Think in terms of Total Cost of Ownership. A cheap product is not so cheap if the
carriage costs are huge or if the maintenance contract is onerous.
Consider carefully the process by which the goods or services will be ordered and approved; how they will be delivered and returned if necessary; how the invoice process will work and on what terms payment will be made. Considering the whole Purchase to Pay process (P2P) at the outset can reduce costs and risk significantly
e) Induction and Integration.
No goods or services should be ordered or delivered until the contract is signed, but this is not the end. It is vital that the supplier is properly launched and integrated. The P2P process needs to be in place and needs to be understood on both the buy-side and the supplier-side.




For more details on this subject, drop a comment or send a question (s) on our ‘ask a question’ page.



Oxygen is a chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table and is a highly reactive non metal and oxidizing agent that readily forms compounds (notably oxides) with most elements. By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium.

Key point: The chalcogens  are the chemical elements in group 16 of the periodic table. This group is also known as the oxygen family. It consists of the elements oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), and the radioactive element polonium (Po).

Oxygen was discovered independently by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, in 1773 or earlier, and Joseph Priestley in Wiltshire, in 1774, but Priestley is often given priority because his work was published first. The name oxygen was coined in 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier, whose experiments with oxygen helped to discredit the then-popular phlogiston theory of combustion and corrosion.

Oxygen is a highly reactive element and is capable of combining with most other elements. It is required by most living organisms and for most forms of combustion. Impurities in molten pig iron are burned away with streams of high pressure oxygen to produce steel.

Oxygen can also be combined with acetylene (C2H2) to produce an extremely hot flame used for welding. Liquid oxygen, when combined with liquid hydrogen, makes an excellent rocket fuel. Ozone (O3) forms a thin, protective layer around the earth that shields the surface from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Oxygen is also a component of hundreds of thousands of organic compounds.


Liquid Oxygen is one of the physical forms of elemental oxygen. It is abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries. 

The first measurable quantity of liquid oxygen was produced by Polish professors Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski (Jagiellonian University in Kraków) on April 5, 1883.


Some of the physical Properties of Liquid Oxygen are;

1. Liquid oxygen has a pale blue color.                                                                   2. It is strongly paramagnetic; it can be suspended between the poles of a powerful horseshoe magnet.                                                                          3.  Liquid oxygen has a density of 1.141 g/cm3 (1.141 kg/L or 1141 kg/m3) 4.  4. It is cryogenic with a freezing point of 54.36 K (−218.79 °C; −361.82 °F) and a boiling point of 90.19 K (−182.96 °C; −297.33 °F) at 101.325 kPa (760 mmHg).                                                                                                                    5.Liquid oxygen has an expansion ratio of 1:861 under 1 standard atmosphere (100 kPa) and 20 °C (68 °F) and because of this, it is used in some commercial and military aircraft as transportable source of breathing oxygen.

Key Point:    cryogenics is the study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures.       

For more information on Liquid Oxygen,  use the ‘ask a question’ page.


What is Oceanography? 

Oceanography, the study of all aspects of the oceans, is a very complex discipline, and many  terms have been applied to describe its components. Marine Science is considered a synonym for Oceanography.

Oceanography is the science of the world’s oceans. It is an incredibly diverse field.


Anyone who studies oceanography is known as an OCEANOGRAPHER. Oceanographers use science and mathematics to study and explain the complex interactions between seawater, fresh water, polar ice caps, the atmosphere and the biosphere. Their aim is to understand and predict how the oceans work, as well as working out how to make the most efficient and sustainable use of its resources.

Types of oceanographer

There are four main types of oceanographer:

  • physical oceanographer – studies the properties of currents, waves, tides and ocean circulation;
  • chemical oceanographer – determines the chemical composition of sea water and sediments;
  • biological oceanographer – studies marine animals and plants and how organisms interact with their environment;
  • geological oceanographer – examines the seabed, including the rocks and minerals.



The fundamental concepts of Oceanography have been divided into four groups that, taken  together, apply to or cover all of the major processes within the oceans.  The four groups are aligned with four major academic sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, and geology.

1.Physical oceanography emphasizes the circulation of ocean water at all depths and all time-and-space scales. It is concerned with the distribution of the Sun’s heat, the effects of prevailing and occasional winds, the impact of tides, and frictional and other interactions at the ocean’s boundaries. Ocean-atmosphere interaction and dynamics also play a major role in the study of ocean physics, and theoretical principles of fluid dynamics are readily transformed to the study of the ocean, the most massive accumulation of fluid on the Earth’s surface.

2. Chemical Oceanography, sometimes called Marine Chemistry, considers all of the dissolved and particulate components in the ocean that might become involved in chemical reactions, both biologically influenced and biologically independent, on virtually all time scales from
nanoseconds to millions of years.

Some of these components are: inorganic ions like magnesium
or chloride that exist in high concentrations, minor or trace substances like nitrate or iron that are quite reactive on short time scales, various particles like biological organic debris or minerals, dissolved atmospheric gases like oxygen or carbon dioxide, and stable and radioactive isotopes like carbon-13 or tritium that provide time clocks for or details of chemical processes.

3. Biological Oceanography, sometimes called Marine Biology, is the study of everything in the sea that has characteristics of life, from viruses to whales. It considers the nature of their interactions, often referred to as marine food webs, and the exterior physical or chemical
influences on those interactions. Virtually all of the established aspects of biology, such as ecology and molecular biology, are applied in some fashion to the study of biological oceanography, and some of the most interesting and critical biological questions are in fact marine. The ocean is by far the largest ecosystem on the planet!

4. Geological Oceanography, sometimes called Marine Geology, covers a vast range of time and space scales since it considers processes that occur in minutes over millimeter-scale distances as well as processes that effect entire ocean basins and continents over time spans of millions of years. Its focus is more on the lower boundary of the ocean, the sea floor, than ocean water perse, but processes in the water like the growth of organisms that make shells have considerable
impact on the geology of the sea floor.

The use of stable and radioactive isotopes has been especially beneficial in sorting out geological history and processes, but conventional
sedimentology is a mainstay of the study of the materials that pile up on the sea floor.


Oceanographic research vessels carry out research on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, the atmosphere and climate, and to these ends carry equipment for collecting water samples from a range of depths, including the deep seas, as well as equipment for the hydrographic sounding of the seabed, along with numerous other environmental sensors.

Vessels are arguably the most critical element in any ocean-going venture. Once a ship leaves the safety of its dock, it is an island unto itself on the open seas, its crew at the mercy of the waves. Any ship, from a 15-foot sailboat to a 1,500-foot tanker, must carry all of the food, water, fuel, and equipment that its crew will need to live safely for the duration of the journey.

In the case of research vessels, the ships must also be equipped with special tools and technology that allow scientists to explore ocean environments. Research vessels are highly advanced mobile research stations, providing stable platforms from which explorers can deploy equipment, divers, and submersibles. In addition, these vessels carry state-of- the-art electronics, computers, and navigational and communications systems.



For more information on oceanography, visit  ‘ask a question’ page.

%d bloggers like this: