In developing a successful marketing strategy, conducting market research may be an important factor. In running a business, making assumptions about your customers, competitors, or general market can cause you to waste a lot of time, money, and effort. That’s why market research is so important. Market research can help you analyze your customers, competitors, and market trends. It will help you understand who your audience is or what your target audience should consist of. It’s also important to understand what your competitors are doing that is working (or not working). Market research also helps you understand trends and how marketing may change. Conducting market research will provide you with an abundance of information to improve your business goals and overall marketing strategy. However, it’s important to review the costs and benefits of market research before getting started.
What are the steps in the market research process?
If you have never conducted market research before, you are not alone. Many business owners do not even think about it. But they may wonder why they are not getting the results they want. Simply researching their target market and competitors can give them an abundance of information. The ultimate goal of market research is to learn information that will improve your marketing efforts. There is no perfect process in place. However, here is a general market research process you can follow.
Define your problem or opportunity.
Maybe you are not getting the results you wanted for a specific campaign. Or maybe you are trying to tap into a new market. It’s important to first understand what you are trying to answer. Determining the questions, problems, or opportunities will help you structure your research. This is the first step in the market research process, and it’s a step you should not miss.
Determine your method and goals.
It’s important to identify your goals and the data that needs to be collected. Then you will need to determine how to retrieve that data. Some examples of data retrieval may include phone calls, focus groups, or surveys. Other simpler methods may include a simple search on Google to find information about your competitors and market trends. The methods used to retrieve data do not have to be over-complicated. Try to keep it simple and efficient.
Choose your sampling method.
How will you determine who the participants are for your research? Obviously, for a simple Google search, you do not need to select ‘participants.’ But what about surveys or focus groups? You may focus on a certain number of participants from the general population, ones who have lifestyle commonalities, or your existing customers. Whoever you decide to target for your research, you should develop a plan for contacting them.
Determine your data collection and analysis process.
Will you want quantitative data for statistical purposes? Or, will you primarily focus on qualitative data based on general observations? Will you use any type of software to collect this data? It’s important to be aware of all the different options available and use methods that are appropriate for your goals. What might be even more important is understanding what the data is actually telling you.
Create your data report.
It’s important to create a report of all of your findings so you can easily reference them and understand them. The report should outline the entire market research process, starting from your initial problem or opportunity to goals, data collection, and more. This report can be useful in forming future marketing campaigns. It is also helpful for whenever you may want to conduct additional research in the future.
Market research can be used to improve your marketing strategy.
When you don’t conduct research, you are basically going in blind. It can be a risky move. Not conducting market research doesn’t necessarily mean your marketing campaigns will fail. But conducting that research will provide you with concrete results that you can use to improve your campaigns. If you have the chance to make something better, wouldn’t you want to? If you have reservations about conducting your own market research, fill out our contact form to schedule your marketing consultation.