Market research refers to a technique that assists in business planning. It entails collecting information from the ground to inform the company about its customer needs, buying patterns and location, and competition trends.
Effective market research is crucial for all businesses, whether small or large, to understand the market and to make the right commercial decisions.
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Why Do I Need to Conduct Market Research?
Your business should invest in market research for the following reasons:
i) To identify problem areas affecting or influencing your business;
ii) To understand customer needs and model products to meet existing demand or to close a gap in the market; and
iii) To develop strategic, well-informed decisions about your products and services.
How Should You Perform Market Research?
To reduce uncertainties in the progress of your business, you need to gain knowledge on customer needs, market trends, and the most effective distribution channels. This information will inform your decision to invest or not to.
In my experience, I have discovered that business people want to venture more into familiar territories. Here are ways to research and learn about your target market:
a) Determine the key information needed
This step entails identifying areas to be researched, regarding the product or service you want to sell. At this stage, you will have identified your success factors, such as new networks, improved sales, new suppliers, among others.
You will also need to determine what information you want to learn about competitors in the industry, such as pricing, positioning, and distribution channels.
b) Use secondary data to gain more insights
You can obtain more information from businesses that do full-time research, such as Statista. They offer a wide variety of extensive market research content. They are recognized worldwide, hence, their insights can inform your business on existing trends in the target market.
c) Conduct field research
Here, the business can incorporate tools, such as questionnaires, surveys, and interviews to gather first-hand data from product users. This is also an opportunity to learn unmet needs or gaps within your scope of operations, which could be filled by your business.
d) Perform data analysis
Once you have your primary and secondary data, the next thing you need is to analyse and interpret it into meaningful information.
From this step, you will understand existing market gaps, product prices, product quality, distribution strategies, and other insights. It is important that the data is relevant, hence, collection tools should be modeled to gather real time activities.
e) Outsource your research needs
A market research agency will perform tasks b, c, and d above on your behalf. If you are unfamiliar with the market, especially if you operate overseas, then this can be the best approach as it would not only reduce your research costs, but would also reduce risks involved in collecting data in a foreign market.
To ensure the authenticity of the research, you can have all primary data submitted together with the analysis. Secondary data sources can be accompanied with links to reliable market research sites.
Intellini Business Consultants delivers market research solutions. We tailor our solutions to ensure the success of your business and to minimize risks associated with unreliable data. To learn more, talk to us.