Market research is a really important step. Not only does it help you understand if there is a demand for your offering but, by researching your market, you are getting yourself one step ahead of your competition.
Market Research is described as “the collection and analysis of data from a sample or census of individuals or organisations relating to their characteristics, behaviour, attitudes, opinions or possessions. It includes all forms of market, opinion and social research such as consumer and industrial surveys, psychological investigations, qualitative interviews and group discussions, observational, ethnographic and panel studies.” – Market Research Society (MRS), 2005.
Some key benefits of market research include:
1. Guides communication with current and potential customers - where, when and how they purchase your product or service as well as an individual profile. As a result, you can aim your marketing at a specific demographic as well as identifying how to tackle those in a different demographic.
2. Helps you identify opportunities – This can include potential new products or services your brand could offer, whether they are complimentary to your existing products or are a new venture altogether. It will let you identify who isn’t buying your product or service and why.
3. Understand and stay ahead of your competition – Find out what the competition is doing and use this information in order to differentiate your business. Add products or services they don’t offer, use marketing techniques that generate them a lot of engagement and drop techniques that aren’t working for them either.
4. Identify trends – If you want to continue to grow you need to stay relevant and stay ahead of trends and changing customer needs.
5. Helps you plan and make better decisions – With market research you can confidently identify new visions and targets for your business, and plan how to achieve these goals.
6. Allows a greater understanding of your brand - strengths and weaknesses of your business can be identified. This allows for self-improvement in areas such as quality, availability, distribution and/or staff training.
7. Helps you evaluate your success – Information gathered can help you determine if you are reaching your goals. If not, this information can indicate a change in strategy is needed.
While market research can be both costly and time consuming, understanding and applying its findings allows for a much greater chance of success in the marketplace, so it is nothing but an investment. As Peter Drucker once said, today knowledge has power; it controls access to opportunity and advancement.
For advice or assistance with your market research contact our Sales and Marketing Department on 01423 813520 and one of our consultants would be happy to help.