One of the key aspects of launching a business is to understand what is Market Research and how to build information for a successful venture. Understanding your customer and what the possibilities are for a business will determine how much you invest and what size of a company is realistic. If you are an entrepreneur ready to turn your idea into a business in these turbulent coronavirus times, you are probably worried about a few things. Do they include:
- Cash Flow
- Picking the right marketing strategy
- Writing a proper business plan
- Doing a good market research
Well, you are not alone. Most startups are facing the same challenges.
But let’s focus on proper market research; how do you do it right with limited resources for your startup?
What is Market Research?
As brilliant as your business idea maybe, you are doomed to fail without proper market research.
Remember the days when customers were, for lack of a better word, clueless? The days when your sales reps were indispensable?
Times have changed, thanks to the Internet.
Today, customers are empowered with information right at their fingertips. That includes all the product reviews they could ever need to influence their purchasing decision.
You now have little to no power over the purchasing decisions your customers make. That is not good news for your business.
That said, you are not entirely powerless. Not if you have adopted good marketing research. Good marketing research will help you understand both your customer as well as your business environment.
You will be able to influence how your customers will research, shop, and ultimately, buy.
Why You Need a Market Research
The number one reason your new business is likely to fail is the lack of customers. A lack of customers will mean you are making no money.
Given your massive investment in great technology, reputation, and expertise, why would your new business lack customers?
If your product or service does not solve or eliminate your customers’ pain point and in a scalable way, no one will be willing to spend on your product/service.
The solution is listening to your prospective customers and adapting your product or service to their needs.
How do you listen to your customers?
Through market research.
How will market research make a difference?
Market research should be done at the various stages of your business’s life cycle. But at the start of your business, you are more likely to hit the bull’s eye with well-executed market research because it will allow you to:
- Come up with the best marketing strategy for your new business.
- Know if your product/service will meet the needs of your market
- Understand the actual value of your product by understanding your potential customers, your competition, and the industry at large
Ultimately, market research should answer the most basic questions you have about your business. Who are your customers, what they are currently buying, why they buy, and what will make them buy your product/service?
What is market research?
Market research is the process of gathering information about a specific market. This information will help you understand the market dynamics and the rationale behind those customers’ behavior and ultimately eliminate the risk of investing in a product/service that no one will buy.
But how do you do market research?
No, it’s not complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg,
Here is how to do your market research without investing a lot of resources.
Steps to Follow when doing your market research
1. Define your Market Research Objectives
What do you want your market research to achieve?
The more focused your research is, the more productive it will be.
Generally speaking, market research should help you either avoid a problem, capture an opportunity, or both. Look at it as digging into past problems to prevent a repeat of the same in the future.
Get all the information about your target market and any factors that impact it.
That will help you draw the scope of your research and determine which type of research applies to your situation.
There are two types of market research that you can carry out:
- Primary market research
- Secondary market research
What is the difference between the two?
You can only choose to do secondary market research if the information you are looking for is already out there. For example, it could be in the form of newspaper reports, previously done surveys, published company data, or government data.
If the information you need requires you to individually or your business to collect new data, then the type of market research you need is considered Primary.
2. Build an appropriate Marketing Research Plan
Like everything else you do, you need a plan for your marketing research too.
A good plan will help you pick the most appropriate research method to offer what needs to be achieved, as identified in step one.
Depending on the resources available to you, there are different ways you can choose to collect data, including:
- Focus groups
- Social media listening
Marketing research is not cheap.
If you are only starting up, you might want to go for a considerably cheaper method. To optimize your marketing research budget, find out if there is relevant information out there that can help you achieve your goal. Why waste your resources to do what has already been done? Instead, tweak your research so that you can save on your resources.
3. Collect Data
Generally, data can either be qualitative, quantitative. For market research, it will be a combination of both with a bias of quantitative data. This will allow for more insight into the investigation.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that the data collected is accurate and unbiased.
To ensure that, you have to avoid suggestive questions and instead combine open-ended and closed-ended questions when collecting information.
4. Analyze the Data You Have Gathered
The data you have worked so hard to collect is not helpful to your business until analyzed. Don’t allow your assumptions before the marketing research to influence how you interpret data or your findings.
Research without action will be useless.
Even if you don’t prepare a formal report, make sure to recommend a course of action based on your findings.
5. Put Your Findings into Action
It’s time to put your findings to the test by developing marketing strategies and campaigns.
The Big Picture
Your first marketing research is over, but it’s only the beginning of many more to come. That’s because of the changing dynamics of business, and you have to keep up with trends or die. Consistent marketing research efforts will make your marketing more effective. All the best as you turn your idea into a business.