Posted on date 2023-02-06
Why Market Research is Key to Business Success
The world we live in is competitive. For businesses to thrive and stay ahead, getting the right product to the right person at the right time is essential. One way that many companies achieve this goal is through conducting market research.
What is business market research?
Market research is the act of determining what customers want and how you can give it to them. It's also a great way to figure out what your competitors are doing and how you should price your products or services.
For new businesses just entering the playing field or established businesses looking to launch something new, market research can help identify gaps in the market, business opportunities, and market trends.
Do I need to conduct market research?
Yes! A common misconception about market research is that it costs a lot of money, and it's not worth it for small businesses. The opposite is true. Conducting market research can save you a ton of money and headache down the line because it'll help you get your product right the first time. So, you don’t have to be intimidated by it.
What are the types of market research?
Let's start with a basic overview of research in general. There are two main types of research: primary and secondary. Primary research is any research you conduct yourself, and secondary research is any research that someone else runs that you can use to inform your decision-making. While secondary research can be useful, conducting primary research can help you tailor the research to your specific niche.
Another way that market researchers classify market research is as qualitative data or quantitative data. Quantitative data uses numbers and statistics to generate a finding (e.g. kills 99% of germs), while qualitative data can be more anecdotal (e.g. users say it smells nice).
With the basics out of the way, here are the different kinds of market research you can conduct for your business.
One of the easiest, most inexpensive and effective ways of conducting market research is creating a survey. You can do this through a platform like Google Forms, where you can then export the data and analyze the responses. Most of the data you get from surveys will be quantitative. As an incentive for users to fill out the survey, you can offer a discount on their next purchase or work with a market research company to tap into their pool of survey-takers.
We're sure you've had to complete a survey at some point in your life, and now you know that the company behind it was actually using your feedback to inform their business decisions.
Another method of conducting market research is by conducting interviews with people that fit your target customer's qualifications. Interviews can allow for more in-depth responses, so you can ask open-ended questions based on how your conversation with the interviewee is going. However, keep in mind that interviews are highly qualitative and don't necessarily paint a complete picture of how your entire customer base feels.
A focus group is a type of market research strategy where a moderator guides a small group of users to discuss your product. The moderator only prompts the conversation, so a lot of the discussion is organic feedback. Sometimes, the group is recorded or observed through a two-way mirror to better study the conversation and any body language or tone of voice.
If you sell a product or want to test your user experience, putting together a group of people to try it out while you observe their activity might be an excellent way to see if it's being used the way that you intended. For digital products, heat mapping and eye-movement tracking can help you improve your user interface.
A trial period where select stores or customers can try your product out before fully launching can be a good indicator of whether your product will do well. Trials can also be conducted in the form of a taste test, where you get test subjects to try out your product before you officially launch it.
Some things to consider before you begin any of the research methods mentioned above are:
- Sample size
- Scope of your research
- Goals of the study (hypothesis)
- Target audience
How often should I conduct market research?
You can conduct market research whenever you want. However, it's especially important surrounding events like a new product or service launch. This is because you'll want to ensure that you design your product with your end-user in mind, so you don't end up with a product that nobody needs or wants.
But, if you want to stay ahead of the game, you might want to conduct market research at regular intervals, like at the beginning of every quarter or bimonthly. Frequent market research can also help you identify gaps in the market before your competitors do, giving you a head start over them.
DIY vs. Outsourcing
While you can definitely bootstrap your market research, you can outsource it to a market research agency if you don't have the time or want to leverage the agency's expertise. Here are some of the pros and cons of DIY vs. outsourcing:
- May not be as effective
- Can take time away from running your business
- Cheaper than outsourcing
- Conducted by expert researchers
- Can be completed faster because of the agency’s resources
- Gives you more time to focus on your business
- More expensive (upfront, but it's an investment that will pay off)
We specialize in market research, with years of experience helping organizations stay ahead of the game. It's one thing to launch a product but having customers that actually want to buy it is a whole other ball game. Market research is key to achieving business success, and we can help you achieve your goals. Reach out to us or simply fill out the Recruitment form on our website.