Updated: Feb 23, 2020
Without conducting market research, it is extremely difficult to develop and provide products or service your target market will be excited about buying or using. When the word research is mentioned, some people seem to have adverse flashbacks to high school or college English and Science classes. They think that is going to be a lengthy, arduous procedure that is going to age them ten years in the process, or that they are going to have to spend a ton of money hiring Ph.D.’s to execute. Others think that the information gathered during the market research process doesn’t yield substantive details that they can truly apply to engage and convert their target audience. This is, of course, a misnomer predicated on the misunderstanding of how market research really works to help business owners reach their target audience and increase their revenue.
Truth be told, you have and are conducting some basic forms of market research. Some examples are listening to your customer's feedback, both positive and negative, asking for testimonials, etc. Whether you are making the decision consciously or sub-consciously, you are using this information to make adjustments to the way you do business and what you are offering.
Market research is very diverse in methodology and avenues of collection. The style that you choose to for your business depends solely on the type of data that you are hoping to acquire.
Uses for Market Research
Below we will discuss some of the primary uses for market research.
1. Find several niche markets within your target
Every market has a subset that you may not be aware of unless to actually take the time to research and understand how each one works with the main product or service. Not identifying these subsets can cause you to leave a ton of money on the table in your business.
To do this, ask questions like:
· What are your most significant pain points?
· What is the one thing that you change the trajectory of your business.?
· Based on what we are currently doing, what else would you need to make this process easier?
· Are you willing to pay for simplicity, and if so, how much?
Theses question can be asked directly or through online surveys. You can also do industry research to see what others are saying and dealing with to gauge the needs of your clientele as well. From this information, you can test the waters with new products and services with various price points and assess what works and what doesn’t.
2. What is the actual size of your potential market?
Identify the various subsets/subgroups or market segments that have unique needs that aren’t being met. For this type of information, you might want to start by looking at the demographic and societal trends. This can be done by researching publications online or at your local library, national news channels, social media, as well as in-person through conversations at local networking events. But the best way to get the most accurate information is by putting together a focus group.
3. Identify the gaps of the target markets.
Determine what the best product or service that will meet the needs of How can you develop a product with the features and benefits to fill the gap? Determine your capacity to meet the demand? Conduct some focus groups, including asking about their preferences, needs, and how best to meet those needs. Test your ideas with the focus groups.
4. Competitive Analysis.
Assess your products, services, marketing tactics, pricing, location, etc. Do some competitive analysis. This will help you to understand what your competitors are offering, what’s selling, and at what price point it’s selling at right now. This can be done online or in person.
5. Know your unique value proposition.
This is why others should choose you over the competition. This can be done using a variety of market research methods. Gather your focus group together and tell them on your value proposition and ask for feed. Take the feedback that they offer you to make the necessary improvements to your offerings.
6. Are your products and services meeting the needs of the target?
The best way to determine this is to have a post use/off-boarding evaluation. Ask specific questions related to the service and also ask a few open-ended questions that will allow them to express themselves. Again, use this information to assess your offerings and make improvements where needed.
7. Are your advertising and promotions strategies working?
The best way to determine this is to focus on results and data. Results- how many inquiries you’ve had, how many sales have you closed, how many repeat customers have you gotten. Data – what are you analytic saying about your reach, demographics, conversation, and used or inquired about products and services.
All in all, market research is a necessary component in the success of any type of business. Without doing the research is you are walking blindly into unknown territory with landmines that could be avoided.
To get your copy of the down for your Market Research Questionnaire, click here. This questionnaire is fantastic start for any business type and is delivered in works so that you have the ability to modify it to your needs.