Competitive Edge Marketing Blog

Competitive Edge was engaged in May this year to conduct independent, impartial, evidence- based research on what the impact of the current liquidation of Timbercorp would have on the investors who had, in many cases, invested their life savings and even mortgaged their house.

Because of the mature age of many of these investors, it would be impossible for them to realise a replacement of capital because they were no longer in the workforce through retirement or choice, and in most cases the maturity of their age prevented them from being able to reap rewards and recover lost capital.

Without going into the specifics of the research brief, Competitive Edge was able to analyse, through an online survey of well over 1,000 affected investors, their ability to pay back funds to the ANZ bank through the liquidator, and the extent to which they could manage these payments in the future without losing their house or large amounts of capital investment that would create pressure on their current and future standard of living.

The research information was cross-analysed and tabulated, and various scenarios where produced that were useful in creating pressure on the parties and Federal Government to open the Timbercorp liquidation and processes that had underpinned investment and current ANZ bank activity and approaches to investors.

There is currently a Senate inquiry.

Competitive Edge was able to measure it for our client, they were able to manage the situation with greater confidence and better detailed information. This allowed them to measure their current position, and to take action to manage it on behalf of investors to achieve a better outcome and negotiation position.

Professional, properly formalised and developed insightful market research that provides evidence-based results allows organisations and groups to measure and manage, because if they can’t measure demand trends, competitive threats, image, distribution, price perception, etc., then how can you manage it?

In addition, if your opposition or competition measure, through evidence-based research and you are not measuring the important and critical success strategies and parameters, then your competitive edge or comparative advantage in the short and long term, will disappear.

The federal government has made 484.2 million available to a fund called entrepreneurs’ infrastructure programme to help Australian businesses grow and innovate.

As a consultant, like most consultants in Australia and western countries , major client relationships with the government is necessary to achieve grants that are always
available for the industrial and service sectors .

Unfortunately most businesses are sceptical of government programs and this combined with their inability to actually understand how to proceed with program applications and proposals makes many of them unable to receive government grants at a time when the business could benefit most from them.

Government grants are good and very helpful for a business if they are properly directed and structured

Government grants are easy to achieve if you have the turnover and necessary criteria for the application if you have a consultant that knows how to proceed to achieve such grants

Government grants can assist you to find the quickest pathway and direction to achieving your growth profit and development goals . Having an external person that is not on the payroll ,but paid for by a grant can make this an enjoyable, inexpensive, and an inexpensive way to achieve better business outcomes sooner.

The first step is to be able to undertake a briefing with a consultant familiar in government grants and with a good track record of consulting in Australia.

The briefing should outline what your business is ,and what it does for clients and how satisfied you are with its growth and development to date. You then need to outline how many people you have working for you, your turnover in sales volume and what are your resources and capacity for growth in the near future.

You then need to give your aspirations for the business and your vision for the business; what it will look like in 10 years and whether you will be with the business or whether you will need a succession plan or sale

At that stage you can then divide the business into sections such as ;marketing and sales ,accounting and finance ,business operations ,product development ,product and marketing .product mix and customer supplied sectors so that the consultant can see where you are strong and weak and estimate development work to achieve outcomes.

Then you can introduce your ideas for future growth and any projects or new ventures you wish to add to your business, along with new products or growth sectors you would like to engage with.

You should tell your consultant at this stage and not at the beginning of the conversation because new ideas and new opportunities et cetera are not going to happen unless you can harness the grant through the consultant understanding your business and assessing your opportunity to gain the grant.

The project can then be scaled and scoped based upon the amount of money you need to match to the grant to achieve the grant outcome in dollar terms for the project and business

The consultant will then write a proposal for you based upon their knowledge of the grant application .The proposal should be written around grant criteria and the outcomes that will be evaluated by a committee or department . All of these must be in sync with what you need for your business growth and development

You need to then clarify with the consultant what their role be who will be doing the project,what they will bring to the business and what you will receive and what the government will receive . How you or staff will assist and when the money is to be paid to the consultant and be received from the government . Finally there is always reporting to the government on out comes expected in addition to measurement of your outcomes from the grant process.

For consultants that know how to prepare the grant proposal and how to work with clients that they have successfully completed grants for this is an easy and simple process . For clients that have taken the time to do their homework and prepare a brief it is even easier and the outcomes can be very rewarding for both parties

No one expects to get a consultant to talk about satisfaction.

Most consultants work in the industry because they enjoy the work ,the freedom to work on different exciting projects and to develop new products and markets and because they enjoy the diversity of business practices and activities that come through been a consultant

Making your project exciting for the consultant will get you a much better outcome and will be rewarding for them as well as you . The money is important . however it is only a part of that process ,because projects that are not exciting and are boring and become bogged down or elongated in time and detail often result in frustration and do not get the best intellectual or professional input.

Consultants do not enjoy them and become reluctant to reference them to future clients

Consultants thrive on a good quick job and high motivation and this gets you a much better result.

If you have produced a good brief and the consultant and you work together well then this grant is often a stepping stone to another grant and to future growth and development.

In previous blogs we have talked about the website as a selling tool.

A selling tool is an important part of a business because nothing happens until there is a sale.

As a selling tool the website should be able to take customers from awareness through to Action to Awareness in a step commonly known as A.I.D.A.

While many companies have brochures these may not be distributed as the number of selling personnel in the market is diminishing with the cost of putting a salesperson in a car on the road to sell to individual clients.

Flyers or brochures belong to the fast moving consumer goods market and are an exception, but most of the business population is involved in distributing products and services through traditional means.

A website with a call to action and often calls to action on each webpage is a very effective tool.

Landing Page Design – Developed By ComEdge

Websites that take you through the companies offering of products and services and then with good visuals and individual product or service pages lead you to a contact page for a final sales page in the form of an online shop have become the norm.

Getting clients to put this algorithm or flow chart of how they introduced a company and then get a final sale or call to action in the form of phone call email or personal follow-up is difficult.

Their final decision on the webpage is based more on look and appeal and often they are influenced by search engine optimisation and other tools that are focused on getting people to their page rather than building an exceptional webpage that becomes, through word-of-mouth, or through traffic a referenced website and a bottom line drawcard.



Recycling of Woody Waste, Fibrous Material and Biomass


Recycling of Biomass from Fruit & Vegetable Production


Recycling of Woody Waste from Viticulture & Wine Production


Recycling of Woody Waste from Timber Production &/or Sawmill Operations

Competitive Edge is an independent market research company based in Victoria.

We have been researching industrial, scientific and environmental markets in Australia and Asia for the over 34 years.

We have a client who has developed a unique recycling process that enables carbon emissions to be reduced and a productive ” Char “to be the output for alternative use in a number of applications, including  energy production and agribusiness production.

Our client’s process has been field tested, and is at the early stage of full commercialisation.

As part of our desire to understand potential markets and their specific recycling needs we are conducting online research via a link.

We have identified your organisation as one that may be able to contribute to a market driven commercial process that can benefit industries, such as yourselves in the future, in meeting environmental parameters and improved cost-effective production targets.

We would appreciate you taking approximately 15 minutes to complete the online survey.

As recognition of your input, we are willing to share with you the major outcomes of the study for your specific market segment in terms of recycling methods, cost parameters and current emission reduction efforts in your segment, and any other significant information that emerges from the study.


To report this, we will need your email address.

Your individual responses are kept confidential by Competitive Edge and only the aggregated data will be given to the client to meet their market planning and commercialisation needs.


We thank you in anticipation for participating in this research.

In-depth interviews are costly in terms of time, and it is difficult to get commitment from interviewees. In-depth interviews are important in getting accurate market research from industrial and commercial organisations. By combining in-depth interviews with follow-up online surveys completed by the same respondent, you can get the data volume and quality you require for accurate and directional research.

Many business people and consultants engaged in secondary or primary research that is very good and evidence based and they determine the propensity of the market to buy and invest in a particular product and service.

Options are then determined on the basis of optimistic, pessimistic and most likely scenarios and quite often market share and volumes are taken from the market research to develop market forecasts, budgeting, margins and profit forecast.

This is a good approach but then it often stops there.

This can happen especially if they want a certain return on investment or a market share or profit figure to reward risk and investment behaviour by stakeholders. Often these market share figures can be slightly increased to meet bottom-line expectations and this is then worked back to a total forecast that the market launch has to absorb.

Without regard to the final strategy and the strategic input and sometimes without investigation of competitors, channel captains, major suppliers and importers, as well as consumer knowledge and ability to sell the product or service, market estimates are made and business begins.

The question of the research quality and the approach is not the important considerations here. Most people can get reasonable research about market potential and size.

What is important is what the market share will be and how this will rise over time, especially if it’s a new market entry or a new product or service development.

That is when the saying “it’s not the gap in the market that is important,but the market  in the gap” comes into its own.

If the price point changes through negotiation at board or management level because competitors are seen as too strong or too weak, or the price changes because the distribution channel demand higher prices, or the quality changes, or the packaging size is poorer quality, etc then the product or service can miss the market that was originally research by a cats whisker and the market in the gap is lost or becomes: difficult to gain, too expensive for satisfactory R.O.I, not feasible etc.

Will your final strategy reveal a performing MARKET IN THE GAP ?


Research, Strategy, Marketing, Performance