Conducting Market Research? Read This First
But today, we’re going to share some critical insights about conducting market research to help you make sure you’re getting the important data you need to move your business forward in the right direction.
Market Research Basics
Let’s begin, as always, with the basics: what is market research and why does it matter?
Market research is “simply” the process of collecting information about your target market and your customers.
With this information on your side, you’re able to
- Learn about your customers
- Find out what your customers truly want or need
- Gauge potential reach or market size
- Keep up with industry trends and competitors
- Discover ways your brand can stand out from the crowd
Regardless of the industry your business operates in, chances are it’s more competitive than ever. Without market research, you don’t have a way of knowing not only how to keep up with your competitors, but to stand out from them as well. Simply put, market research is a non-negotiable for businesses of all kinds. Without it, your business simply isn’t maximizing its potential or its reach.
Market research can also give you a lot of peace of mind about the business decisions you’re making. Rather than hoping your next step is the right step, you’ll be able to back up these choices with cold, hard data from the market!
Types of Market Research
Now, let’s move on to some of the different types of market research and when each of them applies.
Primary Market Research: This is the market research you’re conducting directly. It includes things like customer surveys, user testing, and focus groups. This type of research can require the most time and effort, but it can also come with the most impressive ROI.
Secondary Market Research: On the other hand, conducting secondary marketing research doesn’t require your direct effort to collect. It includes things like studying census data and industry reports. Other entities are responsible for collecting this information, but the onus is on you to study it!
Qualitative Market Research: This type of data isn’t necessarily in the forms of numbers, percentages, etc. Instead, it relates more to the “how” and “why” customers do what they do. One example of qualitative data you could collect when you’re conducting market research is asking customers to explain why they chose a certain product or brand over another.
Quantitative Market Research: The type of data you collect from this type of market research is structured and numerical. For example, it could tell you the percentage of existing customers who would be interested in a new product you’re considering launching.
With even more basics out of the way, it’s now time to move onto some of the tips and best practices for actually moving forward with your research.
Tips & Best Practices for Conducting Market Research
First things first, we encourage you to get very clear about your goals for conducting market research before you begin.
For example, you might be eager to find out what consumers want to see next, what they love and want more of, or what made them choose another brand over yours (or all of the above!). Whatever they may be, knowing exactly what your goals are will help you decide not only what type of market research is right for you, but also who you need to target with your research as well.
On that note, your next step involves determining who your target audience is. An example being, if you do want to know why consumers chose another brand over yours, you might target consumers who visited your website but never made a purchase. On the other hand, if you want to know what consumers love about your product or offering, you would instead focus on those who have made a purchase from your website or brick-and-mortar business.
Next, you’ll need to break down your target market even further with what’s known as market segmentation. Here, you divide your target market into specific groups.
For example, you could sort them into age groups, locations, or marital status. (Learn all about market segmentation before you start conducting market research in this post) Once you do this, you can conduct market research that drives more effective results, ultimately making all of your marketing efforts that much more effective as a result.
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