Market research is so important to your business. It will give you valuable information that will make sure you make the best business decisions. Don’t just guess your next steps – get the knowledge needed to make informed choices.

Think of it as this: spending time on market research means your product sells quickly and in the quantity you want and need it to. 

Market research is, in summary, learning more about your target customers. There is no one method that you must do. 

Below are the main benefits to putting time and effort into your market research:

·      You will gain a better understanding of who your customer is. Who will buy your product or service? Who is your ideal customer? Will people buy as a one off or regularly? What problem are you solving for the customer? What are the customers expectations? Find out the answers to these questions and you can plan your marketing to meet their needs, be in locations they are in (digitally via Ads or physically) and sell lots!

·      Get to know your competition. Competitors will be getting customers that could potentially be yours if you don’t keep ahead of the game. First of all, you need to identify who your competition is. Who is a key player? Who is smaller but on the rise? Do they have any gaps that you can fill for the customer? What worked well for them? Do they have a weakness that you can see? What language and imagery do they use in their output? Do they seem to be attracting who they want to?

As well as finding out about your competition, you can also use this exercise to identify potential collaborators and allies.

·      Testing. Getting honest feedback about your product or service is invaluable. It can save a lot of time and expense later on if you find out before launch what buyers think. This will also guide you to what the end user thinks the strengths are and what your marketing campaign will focus on. It will also show you potential add-on products to generate extra upselling revenue.

·      Stay relevant. Consumer wants evolve quickly. Nokia were once a huge mobile phone company, but many people will have no idea who they are today. Blockbuster failed to adapt to be able to compete with the likes of Netflix. Apple are incredible at market research – they provide the consumer with something they didn’t even know they needed. Sky also did this with Sky+. No consumer thought that pausing live TV was essential, but Sky found out that it could be something consumers would quickly find they needed. You need to anticipate change and trends in behaviours and speak to consumers constantly.

·      It reduces risk. The process of market research is designed to reduce risk. It is meant to enable you to plan an effective product and campaign. As a part of this process, it will also save money as you will know where you should spend for the best results.

·      Find out any problem areas. Previous customers can be invaluable in finding out why they didn’t become repeat customers. People who didn’t buy for you can also be vital to finding out WHY they didn’t. If your regular customers become less regular, you also need to know why. Identify the threats as well as the opportunities.

·      Your marketing materials will be relevant. No more wondering which images or text to use. Not sure whether customers like your colours? Can they read your logo easily? Does the quality match your price point? If you’re charging a premium, a flimsy flyer won’t do! Find out. This again, saves time and money later on.

·      Revisit your goals. If you’re not hitting your goals, your market research might show you why. Do the research and then look at the business goals, both short and long term as the direction may not be what you originally thought, if they were set without in-depth research. This also makes decision making a lot easier as you will have a much clearer direction.

There are a number of ways to do market research. None are right or wrong, but you should do enough to get a full and rounded picture. Below are a few options:

·      Talk to people you know – look close to you. Who can you reach out to through friends, family and existing connections to get their feedback? This is an excellent place to start, but be careful and don’t only use this, as your circle is likely to be quite similar to you so may not challenge you enough.

·      Social media. This is an amazing way to do lots of research. Instagram and Facebook can provide you with lots of valuable knowledge. This could be through looking at other pages and at your own insights.

·      Email out a survey or add a survey form to your website. Use your social media for polls and questions. Keep it simple though as consumers won’t want to spend ages filling it in.

·      Speak to people in your physical store, if you have one.

Hopefully this blog has given you some inspiration to really get to know your consumer in depth – we promise it’s worthwhile. If you need any help in planning your approach, get in touch with us today, we’re happy to help.