Market research represents a number of activities conducted in order to gather valuable information about customers and competition. It is commonly done by businesses that want to get more familiar with their target groups. Typically, market research is not the research of the entire market, but is concerned with just one bit of it that’s of most interest to a certain company or industry. It should be a part of every business strategy and implemented at various stages, starting well before you launch a new product or even before you start a business altogether. Here a few basic ways one can benefit from it.
Learning about your customers
Naturally, in order to reach your potential customers, you need to know very well what your target group likes, and what their habits, passions and preoccupations are. Getting acquainted with their opinions on your industry, your brand and various products is indispensable. Before investing in anything at all you’ll need some very concrete and straightforward feedback about all this. Without doing proper analysis that will provide you with some exact numbers it’s impossible to design a thorough and serious business plan.
Knowing your market doesn’t come down only to what people think about your branch or your newest line of products. It’ also about getting familiar with more general habits and practices of the target group in question. This will help you genuinely understand people that make up your target group and get some fresh ideas on how to stay close to them. Also, find out who their role models and idols are – this info can be very useful when it comes to choosing a potential influencer you’d like to link to your brand.
Market research can help you find practical advertising solutions for different segments of your target group. Finding a common interest or habit for different groups of people you wish to reach can be very beneficial. Also, have in mind that the market is a living, dynamic entity that changes over time. Teenagers today don’t want the same things as teenagers ten years ago. Finally, target groups for specific industries and products change as well. For instance, companies that make gadgets of all sorts didn’t use to address older generations back in the days, but today these people make up a significant share of their market.
Analyzing the market has been made much easier with the development of new technologies. There are all sorts of tools you can use in this respect, but having a direct, authentic feedback from particular individuals is equally important as having comprehensive stats, graphs and numbers. Focus groups and phone surveys are traditional, common methods used for decades for this purpose. Among relatively new methods, using paid surveys online as a means of market research has many advantages and is definitely worth considering.
Learning about your competition
Analyzing your competitors can be a very effective method to get to know your market. You can learn a lot by studying the brands that belong to the same niche as yours. Watch the big players, their business and marketing strategies and check how they differ from yours. Monitoring the feedback for different companies from your industry is also valuable – avoiding repeating their mistakes can give you some competitive advantage over them. Try to spot new trends and recognize what the industry is lacking at the moment. At the end of the day, just delving into workings of your competition and trying to understand how they function is thought-provoking in itself and can result in some new ideas for your business.
A natural consequence of getting acquainted with your customers and competitors is minimizing unnecessary expenses. Investing money in something that your target group is obviously not interested in would be pure madness. Just knowing the scope of your market and the financial capability of the people you want to reach is invaluable. Studying all these factors is absolutely crucial for making any serious financial projections for the future.
Choosing the right timing
You might have a product that’s brilliant and ground-breaking, but then again, this product might sometimes be a bit too ground-breaking to be profitable. There’s the right time for any new brand, product or service to be launched and sometimes it’s just too soon for that. For instance, you want to invest a great deal of money into an app that adds great features to a certain social network. However, if that social network is still not popular or developed enough, no matter how innovative your app is, you might end up losing a lot of money. Sometimes good ideas and solutions need to wait for the right time to be introduced, and you need to do proper research to be sure if this is the case with your project.
All in all, market research is not just a useful little business strategy, it’s a must for any serious company. Sometimes your instincts and intuitions will be helpful but you’ll also need concrete info and deep knowledge of what people you’re targeting feel, need and want. Try listening to them carefully. Caring about your customers is necessary if you want to reach them properly, keep them interested, build your brand and make your business grow steadily.
Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.