Running a business is not a piece of cake, and everybody is not capable of doing so. Apart from knowledge, you require good skills to manage and run the business or survive in the competitive market at the least. Whether you are a manufacturing company or a service industry, you ought to know your products and services inside out. You have to complete knowledge about your products and what it’s capabilities. Its benefits and uses should be well-defined to you. However, the main area of concern is, how much do you know about the users and the people to whom you want to sell it?
Market research is the key to gain insight into your target audience. Market research is an aim to understand the reasons for consumers to buy your product. It is a study of consumer behaviour and how the social, cultural and personal factors affect the buying behaviour. It is also carried out by experts in a market research agency. It is the process of collecting information on consumer behaviour, trends and an in-depth analysis of the competitors in the market. Market research is conducted by research associates and analysts to drive growth and profits in business.
Why do we need Market Research?
Market research specifically and critically helps in acquiring data about customers and as well as the competitors. Consumer demands and preferences, steer up all aspects of your company activities determining the success and failure of your company.
The market in which your business operates can be very dynamic. Your business can be affected easily by the changes in economic condition, new industrial regulations, demographic changes, changes in taxation policy and technological changes; This would ultimately affect the way you do your business. Here the market research comes to the rescue. It can help in:
- Understanding the character of your customers
- Develop and execute better business plans
- Monitor the level of competition in the market
- Identify the growth opportunities
- Reduce the risk in your business decisions
Businesses that are already running successfully in the market may require to make some significant changes. Monotony in operating a retail or manufacturing industry can lead to stagnant profile without any growth. Market research comes handy in
- expansion or relocation of the company
- New advertising campaign
- Introducing new products or services
- Bring about changes in the existing products
Types of Market Research:
There are two categories in market research: Primary Research and Secondary Research. Primary research is on studying consumers or customers directly. Whereas secondary research studies information that others have gathered and placed on various media for others. Once you have developed your strategy, you may select the ways that you are going to collect the data.
Collection of data through direct contact with the consumers or customers, by focus groups, telephone interviews, online polls, filling out surveys form, etc. This type of research can be possible by hiring research companies, or you can do it yourself. This type of research is beneficial in targeting special groups or individuals, recording the answers to specific questions. However, it is time-consuming and costly if you are particularly hiring a marketing firm to perform this research.
- Secondary Research:
Searching through the existing information, compiled with the data already collected, is classified as secondary research. Such as data about demographics and industrial statistics, a few examples of secondary data available. While conducting secondary research, you may be going through the company records, previous surveys, research papers and books. While it is less targeted, you can still extract valuable data through secondary research. It is less costly and less time consuming as compared to primary data research. You can get many questions answered by secondary research.
Few of the example questions are listed below:
– What are the current economic conditions of a certain country?
– How will the product or service perform in an international market?
– What are the specific industry trends?
– What are the demographics of a certain market? Like population, age, income levels, etc.
There is a huge competition in the market. Running a business without the market knowledge and conducting research about the trends, could give your competitors an advantage over you. You cannot succeed in business without understanding your customers, products and services, and the whole market of a specific industry; This is only possible through the data connection. There are two categories of data collection, which are quantitative and qualitative methods.
Quantitative methods give numerical figures of the data collected and provide the leverage of mathematical analysis. It requires a large number of samples from which you extract the data; This gives the vision to the statistically significant differences. Today we can easily find quantitative data through our website, by using web analytics, one of Google’s tools. Websites provide quantitative information regarding, how long the customers are, how much time the customers are spending on your website, which page is the least visited, and the highest number of visitors on a certain webpage.
Whereas, qualitative methods help in fine-tuning of your quantitative analysis. For qualitative research, the sample group is usually quite small; it usually determines the problems of a certain business by acquiring customer reviews, customer beliefs, and what exactly your targeted customer’s value.
Market Research Uses:
Below is the list of the few market research primary’ uses.
Identify various groups of customers
By conducting correct marketing research, you can easily find the various unmet needs of your customers or prospective customers. You can segregate the data by identifying their wants versus the needs versus; This can be performed by interviewing the customers or group of customers directly, conducting focus groups, reading the magazines, newspapers or library publications, observation and making a complete customer persona based on their demographic and psychographic data.
What is the size of your target market?
Size of your target market is a very important research sector to be conducted to have a clear vision about the market segment that you will be targeting, in the overall market. Here you can identify subgroups that have their unmet needs or specifying their unique preferences.
How to bring changes to what you offer?
Remember, consumers are smart and good explorers. Their needs keep changing, and this calls for development within the single product or service that you are offering. Market research helps in determining the best methods, features and benefits to meet that unmet need of the customers. It also gives an insight into how you can assure that you can meet the needs of your target market.
The most important and critical aspect to investigate through market research is the competition floating around. You can examine the competitors pricing, marketing techniques, location and the products they have to offer. Here you can apply a reverse market research technique by using their services or products, knowing their company operations and visiting their location.
These are a few examples of how you can benefit out of the market research. However, you can conclude a lot of other aspects of your business through various types of research. You can identify if the product is effective enough to provide the customers with what they want out of it. You can determine where your advertising and promotions are paying you back and a lot more insights that we can gather.
Market research is a complicated method yet very comprehensive. It is vital to know the market, your target market, existing customers, competitors, market trend, opportunities of expanding and the steps that can lead to a greater market share to run a successful business. Every action is based on the demand, and direct all aspects of your company’s activities to achieve the goals that you have set for your business.
To read more on topics like this, check out the marketing category.