The importance of marketing research is easy to dismiss. After all, spending hours on market research is the last thing on your mind when you first think of a business idea. Most of us would rather immediately start making and selling products than think about the value of marketing research, but that would be naive.
Every single company should invest some time and money into conducting their own market research before they ever even sell or make and design a single product or service, and here’s why.
New companies are often in desperate need of sales and sales leads. Doing market research before your product or service goes to market could ensure that you hit the right target market at the right time. When you get your market research right, your sales and customers simply won’t stop coming.
In this article, we’ll go over some basic market research strategies and concepts. We’ll go over why it’s important to do market research, and we’ll share some of the resources we use so you can get on with doing your own marketing research and get on with launching your company in a positive way!
Let’s get started with the basics:
What is Marketing Research?
You need to know what marketing actually is before you can comprehend how significant it is to absolutely every business in the world! Market research is not about any particular technique or activity. It is just what companies call their attempt to learn more about their target clients, and it’s usually done before a product or service launch.
While assignments such as surveys and focus groups can assist, they are not absolutely necessary, and they are quite outdated ways to assess and discover your target audience.
Here’s some up to date techniques you can try out to do some of your own marketing research.
- Have brief discussions with contacts that are part of your target market. Let’s say you are looking to launch a photography service for weddings. Talk to your married or engaged friends and ask them about their experience of hiring and working with a wedding photographer. Even a five-minute conversation can provide you with insights into how to run your company.
- Look up groups on Facebook relevant to your target market. This can provide you with a free and a low-effort way to reach and question target customers online. Eventually, if the group rules allow for it, you can go back to these groups to promote your business.
- Add a survey form to your website or social media pages. Offer potential customers or current customers the opportunity to earn themselves a free gift or discount off their next purchase if they complete your survey. This is great if you already have a site and an online presence.
Doing the above-listed marketing research activities are just a few of the basic things you can include in your market research. As long as you finish up knowing more about your customers’ needs, then you’re winning. Getting to know your customers’ likes, dislikes, demographics and more will help you to provide your audience with the right level of service, the right price and the correct products or services to suit their needs and requirements.
What Is The Importance of Marketing Research?
Here are the top reasons marketing research is important in 2021. These top reasons are especially important for small businesses and start-ups.
You Get To Learn About Your Customer & Target Markets
Once you can recognise where your customers are coming from, where you can reach out to them what they’re interested in etc. It will become clearer for you to know what to do and when and who to reach out to and when as well as being able to spot new trends, gaps in the market and new selling opportunities for your customers. For instance:
You Can Shape Alliances With Other Companies
Learning about who your customers are can help you find other small businesses that serve them, such as their demographics. For joint promotions that would be mutually beneficial, you may approach these firms.
You Can Build Profitable Upgrades For Orders
Knowing the other goods and services your customers choose to purchase will help you come up with add-ons, packages of products, and upsells that maximise each order’s average value.
You Will Find New Places To Sell To Your Products & Services
If you know the geographical areas where most of your potential clients live then why not build a compelling, targeted marketing campaign that might attract new customers? Sounds like an opportunity to me.
There Are Lower Risks For You & Your Company
According to research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of companies with workers do not live beyond the fifth year. The way to ensure your company lasts longer is to make sure you have a constant stream of revenue and buyers. You need market analysis to do so.
Your way of checking in with your existing customers and future customers would be routine market research to ensure that you are always fulfilling their needs. Here’s how this can be applied:
You Can Test New Designs, Products & Services Pre-Launch
Try out products and services on a small subset of your audience before you go all-in on a radical change for your company, to see if the change will be welcome. For example, display the new design to your most frequent customers if you intend to do a redesign of a famous product. Test or ask them if the new design is more likely to be bought compared to an alternate new design or the old design.
You Will be Able To Find Out Why Clients Don’t Return
Ideally, there should be returning clients for your small company. You can run a survey of former customers if they don’t come back, or set up a focus group to figure out why you’re not making any repeat sales.
Spot & Fix Your Company As & When You Need To
You need to figure out how to fix it before it totally destroys your earnings if your most famous product sees a major drop in revenue for three consecutive months. Survey the product for the most frequent customers and figure out where the issue lies. It could be anything from a drop in the quality of the goods to a bug in your online store. Unless you ask, you’ll never know.
Learn To Create Relevant Marketing Materials
With comprehensive market analysis, if you’ve ever wondered what text or pictures to place on your fliers, website, or social media pages, you will know exactly what to do. Since target customers have already articulated all their expectations, wishes, and frustrations to you before you have even begun designing your marketing materials, you will know exactly what to address and how to address it.
Here are several other ways it will be easier to build the marketing materials:
Knowing whether consumers see your goods and services as a necessity or a luxury will help you design your product labels, brochures, and websites that suit their market research brief.
Identifying your consumers’ age range will tell you the type of language that you can use in your advertising materials. When addressing retired Baby Boomers, you’ll write differently than you would when addressing young professionals or millennials.
Use Market Research To Learn Where to Advertise Your Business
A minimal budget is one of the issues that small business owners face. Because of this, to give you the best returns possible, your marketing budget should be optimised. Your market research will help ensure you meet your target audience on the platforms where your message is most likely to be heard.
These are some of the budgetary activities that can assist your market analysis with.
Buying social media advertisements
If your market research reveals that your target audience spends most of their time on Instagram and almost never uses Twitter, most of your social media ad budget will be guided to Instagram, and you will need to forget about Twitter though not completely.
Marketing With Posters and Flyers
Knowing the physical environments in which your clients spend their time will tell you where your ads will best be put. Uni students are likely to spend most of their time on campus, so putting up poster and flyer advertisements for them as your target market means you can place them on all bulletin boards on campus and outside local institutions that appear to be regular for their audience like local coffee shops, lobbying groups and groups with specialist interests that might fit your target market better. (This can all be researched online)
Targeted PPC Ads
Online advertising which is often referred to as pay per click (ppc) advertising is targeted advertising that is placed at the top of search engines or promoted directly to a specific audience. With these types of ad you would be able to optimise the opportunity for targeting – especially if you already know who your target clients are.
Learn How To Out Do Your Competitors
You’ll be able to do a much better competitor analysis if you have the right data to use to promote your product, brand or service. The organisation who knows more about its customers appears to win more. You have a great chance to stand out from the competition if you can beat your rivals to find out the needs of your customers and you plan to satisfy those needs. Here are a few ways you can outsell rivals using market research:
Targeting disgruntled clients
Asking target clients about their frustrations with the products of your rivals or reading their product reviews will help you refine and sell your own products to an audience ready to switch brands.
Find a customer segment that is underserved
Your market research might show that there is a segment of the market that has been neglected by your competition. This will give you a new segment of the customer to reach out to.
Identify clients needs that are unaddressed
You might discover some client pain points or desires during your market research that you don’t see addressed in the marketing materials of your competitors. In your own marketing, try to include them and see if the results show an increase in sales.
Set Better Goals for Your Business
It is typically linked to growth in sales or customers when business owners set goals for their company. But you won’t be able to know if your objective is achievable and how to achieve it in the first place without market research.
By the end of the next quarter, you might say that you want to double sales. If you aren’t sure if the size of your target market is more than double the size of your current customer base, how will you know if your goals and objectives are feasible? You’ll just be setting arbitrary goals without knowing the current size of your potential market.
You will be able to determine the specific routes you want to grow your customer base with market research. Do you want your customers to grow through a new untapped market segment, for example? Or do you still have space among your current target audience for growth?
Problem Solving Should Become Easy Once You Have Your Market Research Data
When you have to make tough decisions about your business, the requirement of having access to marketing resources, research and materials should be your first port of call. See, before you throw the towel in, you might come across a target market you have missed or a target market you shouldn’t have even gone near. Sometimes businesses can lose their way when they go off-piste and so taking a look back at any market research you have may be a sure-fire way of getting yourself back on the straight and narrow.
As yourself, questions like: Am I targeting the right people? Are any of my product or service lines failing? Are too few of your products or services targeted towards the wrong segment of your target audience?
As your market research information will provide you with solid facts, there is a real need for market research throughout the entirety of your business and not just for your pre-startup. You will make more informed decisions through market research, instead of resting your company’s fate on guesswork.
FREE Marketing Research
Now that the significance of market research has been made clear, it’s time to get started on your own market research campaign. Don’t be intimidated by the upcoming task. You can start by collecting data on the following two things:
- Your target consumer
- Your rivals/competitors
You don’t need to get all of the info in one gom it may take some time to gather the info you need. After all, the sentiments of your target customers might change over time. Also, you can’t spend all your time on research as a business owner and forget about execution. You can follow this step-by-step tutorial to make sure you have a targeted start:
You can simplify the market research process by using a presentation template on a site like Canva and if, for any reason – you need to present your market research to your business partners, managers or investors then a professional presentation showing the data you have collected could prove to be extremely useful.
You’re now ready to get started and should now understand the need for market research. In order to conduct market research, your company doesn’t have to commit tens of thousands of pounds to focus groups to get extensive surveys. But it’s critical that in the first place, you do some basic market research.
As long as you end up with a comprehensive list of the demographics, desires, and grievances of your target market, as you grow your company, you will be able to reap the above benefits.