By definition, market research is “an organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers.”1 While this definition is pretty straightforward, it doesn’t quite encompass what market research can be used for. While market research can take various forms including surveys, interviews, and focus groups, the overall goal is the same: gather information from your target audience to deliver actionable insights and make data validated decisions about your business. That being said, here are five ways your business can benefit from performing market research.
1. Market Research Can Help You Better Understand Your Customers
One of the primary benefits of performing market research is it helps to formulate a detailed understanding of your customers’ thoughts and opinions. The following overarching topics are often included in research studies, do you know these answers for your business?
- Who are our customers?
- Who will use our product or service?
- How will customers use our product or service?
- How do customers feel about using our product or service?
- Who influences their purchasing decisions?
- What profiles or “personas” exist among our current customer base?
- Where are our current and future customers located?
These are just a small sampling of the long list of questions that market research can help answer. Any business should know as much as it possibly can about its customers in order to ensure a successful future and to retain and grow their customer base.
2. Market Research Can Help You Better Understand Your Competition
While understanding your customers is a big piece of the puzzle, any business knows that keeping tabs on the competition is just as important. Competitors are certainly conducting market research to study every move you make, so you should be doing the same. Market research can help you study the habits and offerings of your competition. While, yes, it can help you set your prices, market research can also help identify your competitors’ mistakes and help you avoid them.
3. Market Research Can Help You Develop New Products And Services
After studying/researching your customers and your competition, market research can also help you utilize this information to create, test, and further develop new products and offerings. Just think, after collecting customer feedback and information on what your competitors are doing, you could develop a new product or service to give your organization a competitive advantage.
4. Market Research Can Help You Set Goals And Develop Strategies
Now that you know what your customers expect, what your competition is doing, and what new product or service to develop, all that is left is figuring out how to effectively launch it. Luckily, market research can help with that too. Market research can help you develop goals and, in turn, strategies to help complete a successful product/service launch. For example, a popular market research technique is test marketing, specifically In Home Use Tests, or “IHUTs.” These IHUTs give your target audience the opportunity to interact with your product prior to launch and provide feedback critical to its success.
This applies to services as well. A focus group is a great way to receive in-depth feedback from current and potential customers. Using a focus group, your business can identify opportunities to better meet customer needs based on feedback provided directly from them. The art of conversation is alive and well these days!
5. Market Research Can Help Grow Your Business
The overall goal of market research is to gain insights and grow your business through data validation. Think about the following metrics and how they might help your business grow.
- Identifying opportunities for expansion
- Setting realistic goals and expectations
- Getting the upper hand on competition
- Keeping an eye on trends
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how market research can help your business. With this new level of understanding of market research, you can start thinking of ways to collect your own data to make your business better. Now, what are you waiting for? Contact GreatBlue today!
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1McQuarrie, Edward (2005), The market research toolbox: a concise guide for beginners (2nd ed.), SAGE