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Market Research in Business
Market research in Business provides critical information about your market and business landscape. It can tell you how your target customers perceive your Business and the customers you want to reach. It can help you understand how to connect with them, show how you stack up against the competition, and inform how you plan your next steps.
Market research can also be essential in developing your products and services, bringing them to market, and marketing them to consumers. Companies at different stages of growth conduct market research for different reasons.
There is a list of ways that businesses can use market research:
- Determine the viability of a new business. The Business is unlikely to succeed if market research indicates little or no demand for the product or service.
- Identify and develop new potential markets.
- Stay on top of marketing trends and develop strategies to stay ahead or adapt to changing market conditions.
- Test demand for new products or features.
- Ensure optimal product placement – how, when, and where a product should enter the market.
- Improve and innovate your Business. For example, you can identify problems with certain business aspects, such as customer service, early. This can help businesses overcome costly outages later.
- Boost the success of your promotional campaigns. Companies can better shape their branding and marketing strategies by measuring customer sentiment and understanding their brand perception.
5 Market Research Tips for Businesses
The following tips will help to create better market research in business strategy:
1. Define your buyer persona.
Before diving into how customers in your industry make buying decisions, you first must understand who your customers are. This is where your buyer personalities come in handy. Buyer personas, sometimes called marketing personas, are fictional and widespread illustrations of your ideal customers.
Use a free tool to build a buyer persona your entire Business can use to market, sell, and serve better.
Some key characteristics you should want to include in your buyer persona are:
- Job titles
- Family members
- Major tasks
The impression is to use your persona as a guide to effectively reach and learn about actual audience members in your industry. Additionally, you may find that your business lends itself to more than one persona – that’s good! Therefore, you must consider each specific persona when optimizing and planning your content and campaigns.
2. Identify a personality group to engage.
Now that you know who your buyers are, use this information to help you identify a group to engage with to conduct your market research. It should be a cross-section of your target customers so that you can better understand their natural characteristics, challenges, and buying clothes.
The group you identify to engage with should also be people who have recently made a purchase or deliberately decided not to. Here are some additional guidelines and tips to help you find the right participants for your research.
How to Identify the Right People to Hire for Market Research in Business?
When deciding who to hire for your market research, focus on people who exhibit the characteristics that apply to your buyer persona. You should also:
- Aim for 10 participants per buyer persona.
- Choose people who have recently interacted with you.
- Gather a mix of participants.
- Pull a list of customers who have made a recent purchase
- Pull a list of consumers who were in an active review but did not make a purchase.
- Call for participants on social networks. Try reaching out to people who follow you on social media but have decided not to buy from you.
- Operate your network. Let your colleagues, former colleagues, and LinkedIn connections know you are conducting a study.
- The finest method to ensure you get the most out of your discussions is to be prepared. It would help if you always created a discussion guide for a focus group, online survey, or phone interview to ensure you cover all the priority questions and use your time wisely.
3. Prepare research questions for your market research participants.
The finest means to ensure you get the most out of your conversations is to be prepared. It would help if you always created a discussion guide for a focus group, online survey, or phone interview to ensure you cover all the priority questions and use your time wisely. Your discussion guide should be in outline form, with time allotted and open-ended questions for each section.
4. List your main competitors.
- List your top competitors — keep in mind that listing your competitors isn’t always as easy as Company X versus Company Y.
- Sometimes a company’s division can race with your chief product or service, even though that company’s brand may put more effort into another area.
- Content-wise, you may compete with a blog, YouTube channel, or similar publication for incoming website visitors, even if their products don’t overlap with yours.
Identification of business opponents: To recognize competitors whose products or services overlap with yours, determine the industry(s) you are researching. Start at a high level, using terms such as education, construction, media and entertainment, catering, healthcare, retail, financial services, telecommunications, and agriculture.
Make a list of companies that also belong to that industry. You can build your list in the following ways:
Download a market report: Companies like Forrester and Gartner offer yearly free, gated market forecasts on the vendors that dominate their industry.
Search using social media: Social networks make significant business directories if you use the search bar correctly. On LinkedIn, for example, select the search bar and enter the name of the industry you are pursuing. Then, under ‘More,’ select ‘Companies’ to limit your results to companies that include that term or a similar industry term on their LinkedIn profile.
Identification of content opponents: Search machines are your best friends in this area of secondary market research. To find the online publications you compete with, take the general industry term you identified in the section above and develop a handful of more specific industry terms your Business identifies with.
5. Summarize your findings.
To style the process easier, try using your preferred performance software to create a report, making adding quotes, diagrams, or callout clips easier. Feel free to add your style, but the following outline should help you write a perfect summarization:
- Background: Your objectives and why you conducted this study.
- Attendees: Who you spoke to? A table works well to break down groups by persona and customer/prospect.
- Summary: What are the most exciting things you got to know?
- Awareness: Describe common triggers that cause someone to enter into an assessment
- Consideration: Provide the main themes you discovered and detailed sources used by buyers when evaluating them.
- Decision: Describe how a decision is made, containing the individuals at the center of influence and any product structures or data that can make or break a deal.
- Action plan: Your analysis has likely revealed a few campaigns you can launch to introduce your brand to shoppers sooner and more effectively. Provide your list of priorities, a timeline, and the impact this will have on your Business.
Need of Market Research in Business
Market research is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into your customer base, competitors, and the market in general. The goal of conducting market research is to equip your company with the information it needs to make informed decisions.
It’s essential when small businesses are trying to determine if a new business idea is viable, looking to enter a new market, or launching a new product or service. Read below for a deeper look at how market research can help small businesses.
COMPETITION: According to a study conducted by Business Insider, 72% of small businesses are focused on increasing revenue. However, conducting research helps companies gain insight into competitor behavior.
Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses also lets you learn how to position your product or offer. To be successful, small businesses must understand what products and services competitors offer and their prices.
CUSTOMERS: Many small businesses need to understand their customers, only to conduct market research and discover they have wrong assumptions. By researching, you can build a profile of your average customer and gain insight into their buying habits, how much they’re willing to spend, and what features resonate with them.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, you can learn what will make someone use your product or service over a competitor.
OPPORTUNITIES: Potential opportunities, whether products or services, can be identified through market research. You can gather information about complementary products and services by learning more about your customers.
Consumer needs change over time, influenced by new technology and different conditions, and you may find new needs are not being met, which can create new opportunities for your Business.
FORECAST: A small business, as are its customers, is affected by the performance of the local and national economy. If consumers are worried, they will be more restricted in spending money, which affects Business.
Therefore, by conducting research with consumers, companies can get a sense of whether they are optimistic or apprehensive about the economy’s direction and make adjustments as necessary. For example, a small business owner may postpone a new product launch if the economic environment is turning negative.
Hence, Market research is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information. The information could also be about a target market, consumers, competitors, and the industry. This is the foundation of any successful business. Research has several purposes, from identifying a new market to launching a new business. Market research helps entrepreneurs make well-informed decisions. As a result, you can take the guesswork out of innovation and channel resources toward ideas and projects with the most significant potential.