Either you start a new business, launch a new project / product / service or you just want to stay ahead of your competition, a strong and smart marketing research will give you the necessary advantage over the competition. Moreover, in this ever-changing and moving market, with the technology changing it day by day and with consumers always up-to- date and in control of the situation, research becomes more and more important daily. Therefore, market research is a key component of any good product team management process, sales and marketing strategy, or business growth strategy.
"Marketing research can give a business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. For products and services already available, marketing research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customers' needs and expectations. By researching the answers to specific questions, small-business owners can learn whether they need to change their package design or tweak their delivery methods--and even whether they should consider offering additional services," writes entrepreneur.com.
Research deserves its important place in a business activity and should be treated accordingly. We are presenting you some of the steps you must take in order to make sure your research is done right.
- Primary research focuses on gathering data from analyzing current sales and the effectiveness of current practices. It also takes competitors' plans into account, giving you information about your competition. The pieces of information will be received following: interviews (qualitative and quantitative), surveys, questionnaires (online or by mail), focus groups.
2. Secondary research. Analyzing the data that has already been published. and that can help you identify competitors, establish benchmarks and identify target segments. Your segments are the people who fall into your targeted demographic--people who live a certain lifestyle, exhibit particular behavioral patterns or fall into a predetermined age group.
3. Study the Economy: Just like the history is important in knowing and understanding who we are as a culture and what we will be in the future, showing what we can expect, so is knowing and understanding the economy helping your business grow. You can better understand reports about some of the most important big factors affecting the industry you’re in and the customers you hope will spend their money on your products or services.
Being up-to-date with the economics world will help you know how to adjust your business, prevent difficult situations and choose the right time to expand.
4. Read Business and Industry Publications: Whatever your industry, there’s likely a trade group or research firm out there compiling industry statistics and trends that are all insights into your business. Join your industry trade group or follow key industry thought their leaders on social media and media (their TV, print, online appearances). Being part of the industry and its insights will help you find out detailed industry statistics and trends that can help you better understand the past, present and future of companies like yours.
5. Look Elsewhere: Take example from successful local and international businesses. A similar business on the opposite end of the country may give you some great promotional ideas, or an international market could start complaining about rising commodity prices before they affect you directly.
6. Hire a smart internal researcher and a good research agency. Your researcher will be able to present you monthly reports regarding the market and your consumers, while the agency will be a key element when making an important move on the market. They will for sure make the difference.
More ideas and steps you can find here.