Information may very well be one of the most important resources when it comes to being in business. Hence, as a business owner, you must be aware that it is vital that the information you have on your records are up to date and still relevant. One of the many aspects of your business that you need to spend time on is market research. In this article, we will be helping you in getting started on how you can conduct market research for your business.
What is Market Research?
Market research refers to the process or the set of tools and techniques that you do to understand better your external environment - specifically, your target market. Market research is obtaining the current information about your customers, what they need, and the whole industry in general. This means getting data about their buying habits, urgent needs, latest trends, current buying power, and capabilities. You should also take a look at the industry that you are involved in. This means looking at the state of the economy, your standing in the market, benchmarking, analyzing how your competitors as opposed to how you are doing. There are many different types of market research, but the bottom line is that they all give you what you need to grow. All the information you gather from this would help you have a better foundation about your business and what you can do. Collating these data will give you an analysis of your current situation - your strengths and weaknesses, the threats you must find a way to avoid, and opportunities you must exploit. A good concrete market research example is when you gather information about the demographics of your current market for you to have a better basis on the new product line that you are planning to launch.
How Effective Market Research Helps Your Business?
Conducting effective market research would first and foremost give you a clear and stable cornerstone for your business and for the different endeavors and activities you plan to undertake. Specifically, when you conduct market research:
You have better control of your marketing, design, and pricing strategies. Think of the different types of market research as maps. It guides you towards where you want to go. It doesn’t necessarily give you exact specifications, but it gives you a clear picture of your options and what each path may give or not give you. Hence, you have a better idea of where to steer your car to. In a sense, you have a more well-defined plan on where you want to go and how you would best reach that destination.
You have a better shot at winning the hearts and minds of your customers and consumers. You know how they say, “It is only in knowing that we can truly love.” Hence, doing market research would help you get to know your customers, and your market better, which, will eventually help you develop the perfect ruse and strategy to win their hearts and minds. See, when you know what someone wants and what someone needs, you can move on to figuring out how you can provide it to them and, in the end, build a relationship of trust and confidence with them.
You are never left behind. If you are updated about everything in the industry, you arm yourself with the tools and mechanisms to catch up with everyone else. It is a bit like watching a famous television show. When you watch each episode as it comes out, the conversation with friends or colleagues won’t be awkward or irritating because you can relate to what they are talking about. Otherwise, not knowing anything about it might make them not want to go near you because they don’t want to spoil you. This is the same with the market trends and best practices. If you do not stay up to date with what is “in” and what is going on, customers might not want to be associated with you or might not feel attracted to what you have to offer.
Types of Market Research
There are many different types of research, sometimes taking it varies from the different industries and markets. Here are some types of market research examples that you can use for your business.
Interviews are a good way to really get to know your customers and consumers. This is a more personal and more intimate way to gather information about them. Since this is usually a face-to-face conversation, this type of market research really allows a natural flow of information because people are naturally drawn to good conversations.
∙ Competitive Analysis Research
When you conduct market research, you have to be aware of the fact that you do not only need to look at your consumers, but also your competitors. Sometimes, looking at how the competition in your industry is going would give you a much deeper understanding of what is working and what is not. This would give you a much better idea about what your customers are responding to - which marketing strategies are working best and which are they not paying much attention to.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
∙ Brand Awareness Research
Another one of the most useful types of market research is brand awareness research. You conduct market research like this one, you talk to your audience and gather information about what they know about your business and your brand. It tells you which of the brand marketing strategies you are currently using are working. It would give you an idea of what they associate with your brand and your business, and what they remember most about your brand image.
∙ Customer Satisfaction Research
Customer feedback is always a good market research tool. By knowing what your customers think about your product or service, you can gain a better understanding of how your efforts are translating into. You gain good insights into your customers’ experience. And you can establish a better framework for doing any of your marketing strategies, and for improving your products or services.
A buyer persona refers to the ideal characteristics you are looking for in your target market. Doing so would help you visualize the kind of customer segments that you are targeting. This involves establishing their age, their location, their gender, their jobs, their income, their interests, and other demographics. This is how you should start your market research because this will help you identify a guide or basis of the real audience that you are targeting.
2. Look, See, and Observe
Observational research is one of the most basic types of market research that are usually used in many other types of research. You can do this with your customers or your focus groups knowing that you are observing them or do it without them being conscious about it. The notes you take during this step of the market research will help you really create a good framework and basis about how your customers act and react to different marketing strategies.
3. Engage, Ask, Interview
The next step in your market research could be to actually talk to your customers or focus groups. Hearing it directly from them, and allowing them to actually express their opinions and their thoughts would help you realize many honest and accurate particulars about your business and your different endeavors. It might also help your customers be more trusting of you because you were much more transparent to them.
4. Summarize and Analyze
Once you finish your market research, the next step is to collect everything you have and put them together. Find tips on how you can better handle these kinds of information and how you can best collate them. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by all the data you gathered. Once you establish a good working model for your data, you can easily come up with different conclusions about the market research you conducted. You now are in the stage of analyzing and discussing among your partners how you want to respond.
5. Communicate and Share
You can share what you’ve learned with the rest of the world but that requires very specific criteria on when to release it because it might not work out best for you. However, what you must do is communicate with your team and your partners. You must share your thoughts and insights about the market research you have conducted. This will allow you to have more productive brainstorming about what to do next - about how to best respond to what you have just learned.
Strikingly is a website builder that can help you conduct this market research of yours in many ways. You can add a way for customers to reach you at the end of your website so that customers can send you a message about any opinion that they might have. You can integrate a product review form on your website. This would allow you to send customers a form asking about their experience with your business after they have received your product. You can also integrate a live chat feature on your website so that you can talk to your customers in real-time. Conduct your market research, sign up with Strikingly and let’s build you a much better online presence to grow your business.