Market research is a method used to determine what products, services, or any other feature provides the best value to your customers.
Before you can determine the value that an item or service provides, you must understand what customers want from that product or service.
If you would like to learn more about developing a deep understanding of your market, then continue reading this post.
Let's start by looking at what market research actually is..
What is Market Research?
Market Research is so-called targeted and systematic research, conducted by professional researchers into market behavior.
Behavioural research is best understood as an attempt to understand the 'undercurrents' of market transactions; it is specifically concerned with identifying patterns of consumer demand and the relationships among these variables.
Market research provides insight into the purchasing decisions of both individuals and firms.
Market research techniques can be used in millions of transactions each year across many industries and geographies.
Voice, video, and text surveys are an effective approach for capturing online customer insights and can provide valuable information to improve business results.
All you need to do is understand your market and know how you can reach them.
Are they online?
Do they walk in to your store?
You can choose a survey format that attracts people and engages them in the process.
Three survey tips:
- If you are doing a survey before launching a new product, send the survey to existing customers to see their opinions.
- Set a clear goal for your survey
- Establish a clear set of questions
Focus groups are the most commonly used method for market research.
Do they really work?
They are a great way to gain insights into what your customers want to see from you in order to continue doing business with you.
A focus group is usually has around 3 to 10 participants from a company's target market.
Running focus groups will allow you to get valuable information and relevant consumer perspectives on your product, service, or brand.
Three focus group tips:
- You need to have people from your target market in your focus groups
- Ensure that you hire an unbiased moderator to run the focus group
- Run several focus groups, and compare your results
Great companies take the time to interview customers and competitors to learn not only what makes them tick, but how to become better.
I've found that interviewing customers can be the most cost effective way to gather information for creating marketing campaigns, new business ideas, growing your profits, and running effective promotions.
Three interview tips:
- Interview friends, family, customers, and also competitors
- Write out a clear set of questions to avoid confusion
- Try to interview a wide range of people in your target market for best results
Competitive analysis is an important business research technique that helps companies evaluate their competitors and decide how best to compete.
It provides a comparison of sales figures, marketing strategies, competitors' product quality, etc, that can be used to set up a benchmark for competitive evaluation.
Three competitive analysis tips:
- Identify your competitors
- Perform a competitor SWOT analysis
- Use tools that will help you to keep up with competitors
Competitive analysis tools:
Anyone with a small business knows that business owners are always looking at new ways to improve their performance in terms of market research and making informed decisions.
Without a solid understanding of the best market research techniques available to your business, a large part of your marketing and growth strategy will be useless.
To learn more about your target market, competitors, and customers, you need to observe everything, from what your competitors are doing, to how your customers react to new products.
Observation tells us what is happening in the world around us, and in business, it is a key market research technique that will help you to grow and succeed.
Overt vs covert observation:
- The overt observation method involves asking customers if you can observe them using your product.
- A covert observation is one in which customers are being observed without their knowledge. This method usually gets the best results as people act differently when they know they're being watched. (After observing them, you will have to ask them for their permission to use your observational data.)
I have found that observation is the best market research technique, but you should try all of the techniques that I have explained.