Market research is an important element for any business that often makes the difference between success and failure. Today’s market has become increasingly volatile due to the numerous global events happening. What may have been a tried and tested trick that worked a few years back will most likely not enjoy the same success in the current business environment.
Apart from analyzing the past and current market trends, market research also involves the difficult task of finding ways to get better. They often make predictions on how the market could likely shift and determine what businesses must do to stay adapt to the changes and keep thriving when the time comes. While large corporations have the resources to hire some of the best market researchers, most small businesses cannot afford this due to limited budgets. In this article, we will go over some key tips to help you improve market research for your business.
1. Understand the Basics of Market Research
Market research has a vital role to play in the decision making process. However, you may find yourself drifting from market research to a whole new playing ground. Differentiating between market intelligence vs market research has often proved challenging to many businesses.
While market research is specific to your organization and focuses on addressing a specific question related to customer needs and preferences, market intelligence is broader and entails your entire market; including consumers, products, and competitors. Understanding the scope and specifics of market research ensures that you stay on topic and gather data that is relevant to your research goals.
2. Always Look Out for New Opportunities
You can always be sure that the market is going to change regardless of the industry you are based in. Due to this dynamic nature, you need to take advantage of your analytical skills to identify current trends and demographics. Take time to study trend forecasts, key competitors, market gaps, needs, and demands, and market shares.
With this information, you can easily identify areas where you need to improve. This way, you can get a better understanding of the market and pinpoint opportunities for business strategies, products, and marketing.
3. Understand Your Clientele
You can only accurately target customers in your market if you know who they are. Analytical data gathered from questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and online interactions can prove vital in this type of market research.
You need to create a customer profile that can identify specific details about the demographic; such as age, interests, and income. It should also identify the specific needs of your customers that are not being met and predict how your target audience may change as time passes. With this information, it becomes easier to create marketing campaigns and products that address the specific needs of your customers.
4. Analyze Your Brand
Usually, companies don’t see their brand from the customer’s perspective. Even minor details like color can have a big impact on how customers perceive your brand. The brand you create often has a bigger impact than the business owners. By conducting a thorough brand research, you can enhance your branding efforts by determining how familiar customers are with the brand and how they view it in comparison to your competition.
Brand research can help determine the kind of reputation your business has among current and potential customers. It also indicates the feeling customers have about your brand’s website, advertising, content and social media presence. With this information, you can easily modify your brand to fall in line with what customers expect to improve overall brand awareness and perception.
5. Embrace Data Collection and Analysis
Data collection is an important element in market research. However, collected data is no good unless you can analyze it to determine trends and changes that affect your business. Data collection is an ongoing endeavor that takes place at every stage.
You will need to conduct extensive research before launching a new product or service but the research should not end there. After the launch, you need to collect market data and customer feedback to understand how the product or service performs and how you can improve. Also look at the efficacy of your marketing campaigns by taking advantage of analytics to create the spine for the success of future campaigns.
6. Solve Problems on a Case by Case Basis
Every project has its unique details and should be handled as such. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that can solve different problems for different elements of the market. If you need to send out a survey to collect data for market research, you need to have a specific goal in mind. Don’t come up with an all-encompassing survey and send it out randomly.
Ideally, you should craft your questions and send them to a specific target audience. If you are researching brand awareness, then your survey will be no good if you send it to customers participating in a survey on customer satisfaction. Each group should receive a survey with questions relevant to their specific topic. Approaching problem solving on a project-by-project basis improves the accuracy of your research and enhances the outcomes.
7. Communicate Efficiently
The data you collect depends on how clearly you communicate. Audiences taking part in your research should have a good understanding of the questions posed to them if you want them to provide useful data. Remember, communication is both verbal and written. Improving your skills in both aspects of communication allows you to pass information clearly and craft well-documented reports that can provide insight on how to improve.
8. Embrace Transparency
Market research often requires you to interact with audiences in some capacity. The interaction could be through in-person interviews, telephone surveys, virtual focus groups, or digital questions.
Regardless of the method you choose, your audience needs to clearly understand how you plan on using the data provided. Failing to explain your intentions and goals may cause customers to provide skewed data especially if they have concerns about providing genuine information and opinions.
9. Don’t Assume
As a market researcher, the biggest mistake you can make is allowing losses to influence your decisions. Once you have collected data, you can easily identify patterns and make assumptions without taking an in-depth look to understand the cause of the trends. You should make all your decisions based on available data, studies, trends, and feedback and not unverified assumptions.
Market research involves more than sending out surveys and creating reports from the information gathered. Market research should provide increased revenue for your business by providing information on how to improve performance if done correctly.