Market research is the action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. Market research is often carried out, during the business planning stage of a business. However it’s much more than that and it’s an essential and ongoing component of all successful businesses and here are twelve ways to use market research for your business.
Discover Your Target Market
Too many people make products and then try and find a market for them, however this is completely the wrong way to do things, you should first find the market you want to work with and then create products for it. Market research allows you to find your target audience, even if you already have your product, so that you can get your marketing materials right.
Get to Know Your Potential Customers
When conducting your market research you’ll get to know your potential customers better, when you know them better you will be able to create buyer personas that help you with all your marketing activities which really get results.
Develop New Products and/or Services
Once you get to know what is going on in your marketplace you’ll get more ideas about products and services that you can offer your audience to solve their problems. You could also get ideas from reading industry news or from studying what your competition is doing.
Refresh Your Marketing Efforts
At times your marketing efforts might become stale and even though your audience doesn’t change they can change how they feel about things. For example, what was considered acceptable marketing in the 1950’s isn’t acceptable today, you need to refresh and update your marketing as needed.
Determine Who Your Competitors Are
Do you know who your real competitors are? It’s important to identify who your competitors are so that you can study them and keep your eye on them and what they are doing. Sign up for their newsletter and even purchase some of their products. You shouldn’t copy them, but do use them as a standard bearer so that you can do better.
Educate Yourself to Become an Expert
The more information you learn about your industry and the market for your products and services, the closer you’ll become to being an expert, it just naturally happens, especially if you read as much as possible to ensure your knowledge grows and is kept up-to-date.
Confirm Your Ideas
It’s important that when you have an idea or assumption about anything to do with your business, you do the research to determine if it’s actually right in the eyes of your audience. Sometimes anecdotal stories are wrong; sometimes a result is an outlier and not true. Only market research can help determine what is genuinely right and wrong.
Learn New Opinions
While carrying out your market research you’ll also learn about totally new ideas and opinions you never considered before. You may find during your research that they are wrong or you may find out that they’re right. Only proper research will help you determine this.
Keep Up with New Technologies in Your Industry
Keeping up with market research will also help you learn about technology as is released and developed. Every day new technologies are being discovered that can help you with your business. Without the proper research you won’t know about it and it’s all too easy to get trapped within your four walls and not realize what is happening outside.
Market Research Allows You To Identify New Trends
As you’re doing your research, you’ll start to be able to identify new trends that are happening right now. These trends are things that you need to jump on because as fast as they come, they change and be gone.
Avoid Marketing Mistakes
Business owners who avoid market research are prone to making horrible marketing mistakes. They are at risk of believing their own biases and their own propaganda. If you want a laugh and a cringe or two, see Ad Week’s list of advertising and marketing fails, just make sure yours isn’t the next one.
Link to Ad Week – http://www.adweek.com/topic/fail
Track Your Own Brand
Many people don’t realize that during market research you’ll also be able to determine how you’re doing as a brand getting information out to the public. If you do not run into your own articles, interviews, blog posts and research while searching, then you need to start working harder because if you don’t see them, how can anyone else.
The fact is simple, without market research your success is in jeopardy. Some business owners will achieve accidental success but it will be hard to continue this trend. If you plan for success by conducting market research for your business, you will be set up for success right from day one. If you’ve already started, it’s not too late to conduct market research to ensure that you achieve and maintain success.