Market research is essential to any business. When looking for new growth areas and new opportunities to seize, use market research to look at your entire marketplace and make the most informed decisions.
In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, market research provides business owners the opportunity to analyze their position. Big brands like Starbucks, Nike, Netflix, and Coca-Cola, for example, earmark millions of dollars annually on market research because they want to compete at a high level. They also want to ensure their brand is distinct even though they’re already household names.
Uses of Market Research
Starting a business requires grit, solid planning, and a lot of hard work. But another important factor needed to succeed is understanding who and what your customers need. For you to identify your target market, you can do market research. Here are some examples of how you can use market research for your business.
At any stage in your business journey, you will undoubtedly encounter failure in your business model. Are your products competitive? Do you have a sound business model? Are you reaching the right customers?
The questions and uncertainties that mount need answers quickly. When you are aware of the uncertainties, you are better positioned to plan, allocate resources, pivot. Knowing where your brand excels and spotting your weaknesses can guide for you during times of uncertainty.
With the use of market surveys, you’ll be able to identify shortcomings before they turn into full-blown problems. Data becomes a tool you can use in solving any challenges your business faces. Moreover, the insights you gain from conducting market research can spur creativity and help you innovate better.
Knowing Your Customers
Running your business isn’t guesswork. Data is power, and when you handle and process it correctly, you can make better decisions. That is why knowing what your customers want and what their opinions are about you and your competitors are important.
Through market research, you can gain relevant insights that could guide you in serving your customers well.
Inability to be Self-Critical
To succeed as an entrepreneur, being self-critical is important. Often, when business owners are too possessive of their ideas, they fail to question them and stop thinking critically.
Not having ideas about what your customers need can cost you over the long haul. What if your buyers are not satisfied with your product or service? What if your customers expect more than what you offer?
With proper market research, you can design and develop meaningful and useful products that your customers will truly love—data doesn’t lie. Thus, when you develop market strategies, such as pricing, marketing, sales, and distribution, make sure that they are based on the correct understanding of your customer base.
Using Online Surveys to do Market Research
Many businesses have been reliant on traditional data collection methods like surveys or focus groups for many years. Today, market research is at a crossroads as newer tools for extracting insights have emerged. Collecting information from your target markets and audiences has become more reliable and easier to conduct using the online survey format.
Here are some of the steps companies may take when launching market research:
- Look at the entire market from a broader perspective.
- Collect and gather audience insights.
- Analyze strategies companies employ in introducing and marketing their products and services, and their industry rivals’ strategies.
The availability of survey software tools has helped startups create targeted marketing strategies, enhance customer service, and so much more. Startups use these quantitative surveys to collect, analyze, and use data to plan and craft strategies for a more robust and feasible business model.
When conducting survey research, businesses can distribute questionnaires to respondents in person, over the phone, by email, or through an online form. For surveys to effectively get what you need, you must know how to mix and match the range of question formats. A final distinguishing factor of a good survey lies in the way you ask the questions. Good questions can lead to good analysis.
The Benefits of Online Surveys
Online surveys are much cheaper to conduct than other survey research methods. Even if respondents receive incentives, the cost per response is often far less than the cost of administering a phone survey or paper survey.
Another benefit is the number of potential responses you can receive since your respondents can take your surveys anywhere or on whatever device they choose.
When you want your survey-takers to be as open and honest as possible with their answers, conduct your survey anonymously to get the most accurate results.
Respondents are more candid in their responses when it is clearly stated that they will not be linked to their answers.
Getting your survey to the right audience is easy. You can distribute your survey through email or social media and take it just as quickly on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device.
Keep market research at the top of your to-do list for your business. With market research, you can build a strong foundation for a new or old venture, securing it from threats and weaknesses while it grows.
From knowing who your target audience is to exploring your competitors, market research surveys can give you a competitive edge, letting you thrive in a new market landscape. Since it is a key part of your business planning, the insights you gather can help you innovate, allocate and navigate the course of your business.