Learn how to perform market research in simple 5 steps to understand your audience, market and position.
Today’s consumers have all the power because we live in a hyper-competitive business world. Businesses deeply understand what influences the purchase decisions, who their buyers are, and the market that gets the most success. Essentially you need to understand who wants your product and how to market it to them.
Additionally, you must collect as much information as possible about the behaviour of your target audience members. Without that, you will never go far in your business.
So, who will win this race?
It will be someone who realises the importance of understanding the industry, competitors, and consumers through conducting market research because it’s one of the most important and profitable activities you can do. And unfortunately, many companies fail to understand this. If a budget is restrictive, marketing can be one of the first elements of the sales process to be disregarded, but this can cost more in the long run.
In this article, we will identify what marketing research is about and why it’s essential and, most importantly, how to perform marketing research and many others.
So, let’s get to it.
What is Marketing Research?
Let’s face it: pairing research with any word dulls the topic. So even though this word is backed right in the title, it makes it automatically sound bland.
At least marketers or successful business owners were used to feeling this until they realised the real power of understanding your audience, their wants, needs, goals, and everything they are trying to achieve.
So, what is it about?
Marketing research, also known as market research, refers to assessing the viability of a new product or service through market analysis and surveys. It is an inevitable part of any business plan and can be the difference between success and failure.
In other words, this field entails the process of determining the viability of innovative products or services via user-driven market research.
Through marketing research, businesses can answer whether there is a demand for their product or service, what price point to set, and how to best reach their target market. This information is invaluable in developing a successful business marketing strategy.
That will definitely help you find customers for your business.
There are various types of marketing research, but all share the same goal: to provide insights that will help make better business decisions. Whether it’s conducting consumer surveys, focus groups, or analysing data from social media platforms, marketing research provides valuable insights that can help businesses achieve their goals.
However, there is a slight difference between marketing research and market research. First, it’s mainly based on carrying out research about the entire market. On the other hand, marketing research specifically focuses on your company and marketing strategy.
Why Does Market Research Matter?
Customers can now research any product and service before making purchase decisions entirely on their own.
As the business world becomes increasingly complex, the importance of a well-thought-out market strategy cannot be understated. A market strategy is a comprehensive plan that takes into account all aspects of your company’s operations and sets forth a clear path for achieving your desired goals.
By conducting the most relevant market research, you can tell your audience that you’re the only logical choice for them.
That’s why well-tuned marketing research should involve learning about three scopes: customers, competitors, and industry.
While no two market strategies are alike, there are certain elements that all successful ones share.
First and foremost, a good market strategy must be based on a thorough understanding of your target market. Who are your potential customers? What problems do they face that your product or service can address? Plus, what are their buying habits and preferences? Answering these questions is vital to crafting a winning strategy.
Thus, if you don’t show care to your customer, no one will even listen to what you offer because the market has changed significantly. It has become a customer-orientated space.
Moreover, rather than calling one of your sales representatives, customers are more likely to ask for referrals from a member of their trusted networks or read online reviews.
Once you have a strong understanding of your target market, you can begin to develop specific marketing initiatives designed to reach them. And by having a better experience with your customers, you’re better able to position your business or offer as the primary and only core solution to their problem. That is hugely powerful.
But what if you overlook this research?
If you need help understanding what your ideal market wants, that’s really unlikely you can give them exactly what they want. That means they’re probably going to your competitors.
In other words, if you fail to promote your business as inevitable, you will never achieve progress, no matter how excellent the design of your product is or how unmistakable the user experience you create.
So, what is your ultimate goal here?
It’s to know how to uncover what your ideal target market wants precisely!
In short: competitive analysis helps you turn your business into something unique.
How to Perform Market Research
Firstly, you need to know that defining ‘how to perform market research’ will take some effort. But, at the same time, it will pay off because you already know how to come up with irresistible offers almost effortlessly. All you need to do is align your offers, services, or products with what your customers want.
To figure out that, let’s start by defining two types of market research.
Primary vs Secondary
Yes, a clear understanding of the market demand is the secret to success.
To do just that, you need to know how much data you have about your customers, how much you allocate to design your research, and what your objectives are from this step. So it’s not just about opening Google and entering: how to perform market research.
It’s time to do it right!
Primary Market Research
Primary market research is conducted by businesses or organisations in order to gather first-hand data directly from potential customers. This type of research is usually more expensive and time-consuming than secondary market research, but it can be constructive in understanding customer needs and wants.
When to use it: It will help you dig deeper into your market and customers’ needs. It’s useful when you have segmented your market and established buyer personas.
Who uses it: Large-scale companies or enterprises with enough budget and time to build their market research.
Types of primary: market research falls into two buckets: exploratory and specific research.
- Exploratory market research: It’s when you are less concerned with measurable customer habits and trends. It’s much the same as the name implies; your mission will be one of exploration. In fact, you need to know more about a potential problem that would require to be tackled as a team. It starts as a first step before any specific research has been conducted. It might include open-ended interviews and surveys with a small sample of your target audience.
- Specific primary research often comes as a second step of exploratory marketing research. It entails diving deeper into issues or opportunities the business has recently introduced and you think it will be a hit. Thankfully, you don’t need to collect a massive volume of data, just a small group of your segment. Then, you will ask questions to identify a problem you can solve.
Secondary Market Research
Secondary market research involves collecting data already collected by someone else. That can be done through things like surveys, polls, etc. Secondary market research is often less expensive and quicker than primary market research, but it may not always be as accurate or specific as primary market research.
When to use it: If you want to draw conclusions about your target audience, which you already know perfectly, then secondary research will be a game-changer for you. You can use trend reports, industry content, market statistics, and sales data you already have, or you can search online or communicate with entities that offer such reports. Secondary research is used by enterprises that want to understand their competitors.
Who uses it: Small to medium companies with a tight budget or without time to set up interviews or create surveys. It’s also useful for companies with data about their audience, and they are ready to take a second step to expand.
Types of secondary: We can break it down into 4 categories; you need nothing if you take advantage of each.
There is no shame in using accessible materials. These sources can be found online on government websites such as the Bureau of Labor & Statistics or the UK Data Service. Government statistics will offer insights into the public market and helpful information on various industries on a notional scale. You can even email this entity asking for an extension to a published report.
It’s the second type of secondary marketing research where you can compile insights about your industry from market airports that already have been accomplished with a research agency. These reports will consist of statistics about customers in a specific area, such as demographics, occupation, social status, etc.
However, you’re most likely to pay to download and obtain these reports.
This data deserves more credit than they generally get. It can support your market research without any charges. Why? Because you will elicit this data from your organisation itself.
You might have valuable information about customers that no one can get access to except you, but you’re most likely to overlook it.
These sources are customer retention rates, customer reviews, social media comments on your pages, average revenue per sale, and any other historical data from your sales and customer service department.
Just review the historical data of old and new accounts, and you will be surprised by the conclusions on what your buyers may want right now.
How to Perform Market Research Perfectly: Types and Tips
So, you want to perform market research and don’t know how to gather the previous data.
Well, it’s time to discover the different types of market research. It’s not just about choosing a multiple award-winning search market agency with outstanding results.
You need to be specific about how to conduct your market research, even if you will get stuck and look at an outsourced digital marketing team.
That’s why we will take you along the way to explore types of market research to define what you need.
Interviews are the most common and important type of how to perform market research professionally and efficiently. You will be able to run face-to-face discussions, whether in-person or virtual. That means you will observe your interviewees’ body language and reactions while doing so in a natural flow.
Here are some guaranteed tips for successful interviews:
1. Plan your questions. That will help you shift your focus on the core issue during the interview and ensure you get the necessary information.
2. Be clear and concise when asking questions. Avoid asking leading or loaded questions that could bias the respondent.
3. Listen more than you talk. Allow the respondent to do most of the talking so that you can gather as much information as possible.
4. Take notes during the interview to review and analyse the data later.
5. Be respectful of the respondent’s time and limit the interview to a reasonable length.
After conducting these interviews, you can design your buyer personas and offer what they need from the features you can add to your product to your content strategy.
These personas represent the ideal customer’s characteristics, such as age, budget, job title, family size, challenges, and similar aspects of their lifestyle.
Again, this buyer profile enables you to shape your entire marketing strategy, not just how to perform market research.
You can now stand out in this highly competitive market.
- Focus Group
This method allows you to hear directly from your target audience about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your product or service.
It provides a bunch of carefully-selected people with whom you can test out your product. Also, you will be able to gather initial feedback and get answers to your questions about how to improve your offering.
You will ensure that this preferred outcome occurs by following these steps:
1. Define your goals. What do you want to learn from the focus group? Make sure you have an explicit goal in mind before you begin.
2. Choose the right participants. It’s essential to select people who are representative of your target market. When choosing participants, you may also want to consider factors like age, gender, and lifestyle.
3. Prepare your questions. Gather a set of pertinent questions ahead of time to ask during the focus group. Avoid yes or no questions and try to encourage open-ended discussion.
4. Make it fun. The last thing your participants want is to get involved in boring discussions. You want insightful information to help you in your marketing strategy, but they need an active environment to give the answers you’re seeking.
Other types of if you still need to know how to perform market research: observation-based research, product/ service use research, pricing research, and market segmentation research.
How Can Profiletree Help You?
At our agency, we know that when you work with us, you will get the best possible results for your business. Our team of experts will work tirelessly to cater to your requirements because we want you to be happy with the final product.
We define and realise client ambitions and will help you to bring them to life, from singular campaigns to wide-reaching programmes.
That’s why teams trust Profiletree to deliver the most relevant marketing-led business solutions.
Our mission is to help businesses to grow stronger, wiser and faster.
You should not assume that as a small business, it makes no sense to allocate a budget for marketing activities. Whether you are a small business or even a household name brand, you need and deserve a true digital marketing expert to make sure your product lives up to its potential.
So how can we make this happen? Here are some things we can do:
- Conduct large and small-scale market research for better efficiency and profitability.
- Create content that everyone will love, even social media algorithms.
- Get access to a template to help you define your objectives and choose the best route.
- No matter what your business is, whether it be B2B, an eCommerce site, an enterprise, a start-up or a large business, we have a long record of brilliant performance and satisfied customers.
So, let’s talk and figure out how to make your business dreams a reality. Check out the services page for more information, or feel free to contact us!