03 Mar 1999

Maxol Millennium Marketing Challenge In association with Ulster Business Journal


Maxol, has joined forces with Ulster Business to launch the Maxol Millennium Marketing Challenge, a new competition aimed at Small to Medium sized Enterprises that are considering initiating export operations.

'When initiating export operations there are numerous associated business risks, the majority of which have a related cost. This cost is often one of the major deterrents when companies consider whether or not to investigate a new market' said Brian Donaldson, Group Marketing Manager of Maxol.

'This competition is designed to give one winning company the resources to begin the export process which should lead to increased profitability in the long term'.

A total prize fund of £4,000 is available, £2,000 in cash to be spent visiting the target market or a one week research visit to the Irish Institute in Brussels and £2,000 in Maxol petrol through its prestigious Goldcard scheme.

Professor Bill Clarke of the University of Ulster said 'This competition is ideal for companies that are considering international operations. Even the cost of obtaining relevant and accurate research is prohibitive to many small to medium sized firms. The Maxol Millennium Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for one company to gain a thorough understanding of their target market before making the fundamental move'.

To enter the competition companies had to submit a 1,500 word structured report on the topic of 'A New Market for the Millennium'

The report had to focus on the following categories:-

    * Initial market research into the target market to include secondary research conducted
    * Findings and recommendations of the research conducted to include market size and market potential
    * Proposed market entry strategy, together with the initial financial outlay to enter and achieve market penetration.
    * An assessment of any product changes necessary to meet the cultural difference/requirements of the target market.
    * The report must include a thorough appraisal of the dynamics of the project

The competition was open to all SME's established and based in Northern Ireland.

The Maxol Millennium Marketing Challenge's judging panel consists of:- Brian Donaldson of Maxol; Carlton Baxter of Ulster Business; Alan Hingston, Trade Department IDB and Professor Bill Clarke of University of Ulster.

Details of the panel's decisions will be announced shortly.
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