In the world of business, we hear the words “market research” a lot. But what does it mean? How can we use market research to bring our business to success? In this article, we cover the significant know-how of market research so you can effectively use this business strategy.
What is successful market research?
Anyone can conduct market research. But for it to be effective and valuable, there are a few things you should pay more attention to.
Things to look for
1. Market trends
Evaluate what’s trending right now in the market. Depending on the industry you consider, these trends may stay stable over the years or change within weeks. Industries that evolve very quickly are technology and fashion. Others like food, machinery, and furniture might take longer to change.
2. Economic trends
Consider the economic trends of the country you want to function in. Are people buying more or saving? What kind of products are they investing in? Questions like these will help you figure out what kind of product to get behind and how to market them well.
3. Government regulations for the industry
Government regulations change often. Unlike celebrity updates, these don’t get the limelight in the news. That’s why you must go the extra mile and find out what regulations have been put in place in the manufacturing and sale of products. If you want to enter tricky industries like tobacco, cosmetics, or food, research well and read between the lines. It can be dangerous to be implicated in a complication.
How to research a business idea
1. SWOT Analysis
Any business class will teach you how to perform a SWOT analysis. You analyze your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. While this is not market research per se, it can help align the resources available to you with the market and help you streamline your ideas.
2. Market segmentation
If you already have a business and are looking for new opportunities, try segmenting your market according to demographics like age or gender, or personal interests. You can modify your products, making them more specific to a target population and rebrand it, potentially driving up sales.
3. Analyzing competitors
You should be staying up to date with what your competitors are doing all the time. Your goal should be to obtain more and more market share so that your business flourishes. Having the right data, tools, and strategy can help increase your own company’s competitiveness by helping you tackle development opportunities
4. Analyzing other markets
Although market trends might be specific to your industry, it can always help to see what other businesses in other markets are doing and learn from them. Subscribe to a business newsletter and learn about various marketing techniques, mergers, downfalls, etc.
How to use market research to improve your business
If you’re wondering, “how does market research help a business?” you’re about to find out that there are multiple benefits.
When you know what is missing in the market, you can brand your business in a way that fills in that market gap. You brand your business in a way that dominates other businesses by creating a superior and more preferable brand image. With effective branding, you can enter new markets and conquer larger portions of the same market.
2. Understanding customer base
This, of course, only comes if you obtain a thorough understanding of your customer base. Demographics like their age, sex, and profession are only preliminary. You have to understand the psyche of your customer base too. What will make them buy your product? What will make them more likely to choose your business over other businesses? How do they respond to various marketing strategies?
Questions like these give meaningful insight into consumer behavior specific to your market so you can optimize your strategy for new markets.
3. Analyze the effectiveness of current strategies
After your SWOT analysis, you will identify whether or not your current strategies are working. Recognise which part of the strategy works and which part falls short. You can understand why you might not be seeing the success you planned for through market research. Once you know what you’re doing wrong and doing right, you can improve upon those aspects and convert those into your strengths.
Another thing to consider is using and maximizing a tool like LMS software. There is LMS software Big Data you can extract through its reporting features like completion rates, online learner performance and progress, and peer-based feedback. Why are these important? Corporate LMS software can boost businesses to increase retention, boost sales and customer metrics, and ensure the workforce stays up-to-date and develops new skills.
4. Take feedback
Customer feedback is extremely important. Since profits come from sales, it is important to take feedback on your product. But one aspect that many businesses miss out on, is using the intellectual resources that are already part of the organization. Smart leaders know that even low-level employees can provide brilliant ideas that can turn into strong business strategies.
When to conduct business research
Before coming up with an idea
Conducting a SWOT analysis and thorough market research from potential customers can help generate ideas. When you have a few ideas, do thorough research on the resources you will need to generate that product.
Are they obtainable?
Is the market dominated by an existing business that is going to be hard to beat?
Cancel out ideas that seem too difficult to implement, and you’ll be left with a few that really make sense.
Pick out one that you’re passionate about.
Before meeting investors
This type of business research is different from one that requires the generation of an idea. Here, you really have to glorify your business idea in a way that encourages someone to pour in their hard-earned money. You have to create a trustworthy image, and a presentation for investors will need many statistics, studies, and backed solutions to the problems you are trying to resolve.
Before product development
Research the possible variations in your product you can create, the manufacturing methods, packaging options, and the personnel you will need. Most businesses dedicate a whole research and development team to this. If your product does not solve a problem for your customer or fill in a market gap, there would be no reason for customers to choose your business over any other.
Even though your product might be excellent, you need to develop effective marketing strategies and choose the ideal channel of distribution. Many businesses might fail because they assume the product will speak for itself.
The market research you do here will be oriented to advertisement styles and picking the right dealers or distributors for your product.
Successful Market Research: Helping You Grab the Right Opportunities
Here we gave you a brief on what business research entails and what to look for when you conduct your research. We highlighted the benefits you’ll enjoy with effective market research and proposed a few of many methods. As you obtain data on your market, you can generate ideas on how to use that information for the interest of your business, such as for branding or expanding the customer base.
Although there are certain periods where market research is of necessity, you should always stay updated and try to keep up with the demands of your customers. With effective research, you can employ clever strategies that make your business venture a victory.