Introduction to market research

 
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Imagine spending most of the hours in the day working hard on a new product or service for your business, without knowing if there was a demand for it. You're just gambling with your time, efforts and setting up your business up for failure.

That's exactly why market research exists, it's the ideal solution if your gut is telling you to go for a business idea, product or service. Big brands use it as a crucial starting point to understanding your audience better and developing a better offering. And as a business owner, it will allow you to develop your offerings to what your potential customers actually want and that's when you start making money for your business.

WHAT IS MARKETING RESEARCH?

Imagine planning your weekend break, you look at all the best places to visit, which ones to avoid due to crime or unsafe areas to stay away from. Then even on your way to the weekend break, you've done your research you know which routes are best and the ones to avoid. All the research highly likely helped you have a great holiday without the hassle, keep costs of your holiday down, waste less time and enjoy yourself! You can do the same with your business, save money, time and hassle that can have detrimental effects on your business.

As a business owner any credible source sharing news, trends or insights in statistical format or specialist sharing information about their clients or consumers is seen as market research. In other words, any form of information that shares insights that can help your business and are from credible people, brands, governments or publications is powerful to your business as by knowing a relevant outcome you can steer your business in a better direction. 

Market research can be a task or a project that enables a business to understand the field they are in or going to venture into from understanding consumers, new target market to developing your knowledge of your ever changing target audience better. It also is very usual for clarifying or validating any questions they may have or want to find out more about a topic or subject. For example, automotive brands like Audi use market research to see if their target audience will engage and purchase their new Audi models, packages or gadgets in the new models in design stages to understanding how they feel, so they can create better marketing campaigns that they resonate with.

The final outcome of a piece of research can come in the form of documentation, graphs and tables with a summary or a report with statistical data in a spreadsheet format or powerpoint presentation.

Why SHOULD I DO market research FOR MY BUSINESS?

  • Research insights allow you to make good decisions to benefits the business and improve your business. 
  • Why would you avoid the chance to know your target market better or your industry, which could be changing and you wouldn't even know and competitors would be better prepared and put you out of business in the long run? Once many businesses are behind, they don't recover.
  • esearch projects or tasks you may carry out for your business allow you to clarify anything you may have been thinking but were not sure. 

When should I do market research?

  • Before they start a business or in the process, ‘supply a demand’. Then it's time for research!
  • Are you thinking of launching a new product or service? Then it's time for research!
  • Are you are finding your sales are not doing well or something seems to be wrong research. Understand their customers and marketplace better.  Then it's time for research!

HOW CAN I DO market research?

Market research can be a task within itself, but to get small businesses started and so it doesn't seem overwhelming l want to ease you in. Also, give you practical and easy actions you can take to help you.

In it's simplest form, first, you need to ask yourself why you need to do market research, objective? For instance, you may have many unanswered questions or it could be you're launching a new product, service or campaign. Do you want to understand your consumers better because right now whatever you're doing isn't working?

Once you know the aim of the market research piece, you should usually start with desk research (also known as, secondary research). Desk research is done remotely as in many cases the answers you are looking for have already been answered in books (theories), company case studies and newspapers, industry related publications. Yes, it's highly luckily other businesses or people have wanted to carry out research including questions about your target market. After all, many other people and businesses are targeting the people you are and have written industry insights to educate others. With the internet, there isn't any unwritten or unanswered question, especially for businesses.

If questions are more niche or you can't find answers or it's regarding your customers e.g 'Are my customers going to like the new service we are offering?', then that's time for you to find out from your target audience.

Most companies note down the main points in a documentation format with data to back up their findings and industry learnings as it all the helps team members in business stay informed. Although, if you're a small business you may not bother as it may be time-consuming but documenting in bullet points may help in future as it could come in handy in the future.

If you work with a Specialist like myself, they should be able to help as l know my clients rely on me for the digital marketing side and consumers. If you don't have any time, you should just make the effort to try to get to know your target audience and industry better. All these elements intertwined will allow you and your digital marketing expert to shape your business to be a powerful brand.

WHERE CAN I DO MARKET RESEARCH?

As mentioned if you may need to do some research yourself (also known as, primary research) if it's very specific to your business or you don't have any answers after your desk research, it's time for primary research. 

There are many ways you can do market research but it's lengthy, as a result, the way to ease you in is for you to start using platforms such as Survey Monkey where you are able to construct simple surveys for free. 

You can also do market research by just listening on social media platforms, Hootsuite is a great tool for that. And don't forget you can simply create your own polls on Twitter.

If you have any questions about market research, please feel free to get in touch.