You might have a fantastic idea that could change the market space for good. But without proper market research, the idea that you have conceived is going nowhere. The fundamental rule of any business before hitting the market is to know the market well.
Every business requires accurate and timely information to be successful. It does not matter if the firm is small or large if you have abundant finance, equipment materials, talent pool, and vast experience. But if you do not have a constant flow of right business information, all that we put together earlier is of no use.
Market research for many companies is an elaborate process so that they know everything possible about their customers. Apart from the what, where, when and how questions, Business owners should know their markets, competitors, the customer wants and needs, and more importantly to know the why factor for people to buy products and services.
Identify market needs & goals
The primary step to forging ahead with market research is to determine what you need to find out. The information you seek should decide the type of research you will do. You could survey the focus group, confirm the general trends in your industry, conduct blind tests of the product amongst your target audience. All these methods give you a full scope of things you want to know from the field test of your prototype product.
Forms of Market Research
Market research can be broken down into two categories:
- Primary Research: The research is done specifically by you for you, involves data-gathering about specific usage patterns, product features, likes & dislikes and so on of the target consumers or current users of your products.
- Secondary Research: A third party has gathered data and compiled it into non-customized reports. This does not provide you with information about how your specific customers view your specific goods and services.
Secondary research can also be internally classified into two categories:
External research: This is a research where data is compiled by industry experts, trade associations or companies that specialize in gathering data about various industries. With this data, you can determine your customer demographics.
Internal research: Data compiled by your company for purposes other than market research through which you can gauge how the market responds in the future.
Benefits of market research
There are numerous benefits a business can avail through market research and top ones are:
- It helps you create compelling marketing materials.
- Identify more targeted niches interested in your company
- Suggests ideas for new products and services based on industry pain points
- Minimizes the risk of bad positioning that costs leads without your knowledge
- Gives you early updates on industry trends much before
You are in a position to get inside your customers’ heads with effective market research.
Apart from the above-mentioned methods of market research, businesses can also make do with some familiar and effective methods that we are compiling in this blog for your reading pleasure.
Surveys: Market surveys are one of the best methods to do market research. Setting up surveys to be sent to the customers after a sale can help businesses to get a sense of how satisfied they are, what needs to lead them to make the purchase, where they satisfied with the product and so on. Likewise, surveys can be set out to those people who didn’t make a purchase too.
Just a couple of valid questions in the survey could help you make adjustments for the marketing and sales of the product. The survey can be automated too.
Social Media Groups: Facebook is now emerging as one of the major community-building platforms for business. You have various Facebook groups at your disposal, run by business owners and people interested in a related topic. Facebook groups can be a valuable source of market research.
People are willing to share their goals or frustrations within a private group. You can observe the group’s tone or social norms towards your product and then join the conversation. Engaging in discussion in Facebook Groups fetches you a lot of insights.
Competitors: Competitor analysis can also be used for market research. Have a look at the marketing materials your competitors put out. Look keenly into the kind of messaging they use on their website, how they are creating cross-selling and upselling opportunities, what are they marketing and how does the team looks like. Observing your competitors can help you manage your business and improve too.
Competitor research is not a substitute for contacting your audience directly, but it can prove to be a good starting point.
In conclusion, market research is essential before the start of any business. Affordable market research offers a huge competitive advantage to you as a business and even to the customers to opt for better services and products.