Market research is something that is critical to any business, regardless of the industry you work in. Not only will it enable you to learn more about your customers and your competitors, but it will also make you aware of your own products and services with regards to what’s popular, what’s working and what isn’t. Essentially, this is why it’s so important to business success, but let’s delve deeper into what it is, what the different types of market research are and how it can benefit your company in the long term.
Market research, as the name would suggest, involves conducting research into the market or industry you work in. This could include anything from industry trends right through to your own customer demographic. The information gathered here will allow you to make the necessary changes required to keep up with the changing market and industry; something that your competitors will most likely be doing also.
Where you might think that market research involves learning more about your customers, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually far more detailed and time-consuming than that, so make sure you carve out a decent amount of time to carry out the necessary market research. So let’s discuss the different types of market research that you’ll need to carry out in order to gather the most relevant information.
The term ‘market research’ is extremely broad and it refers to several different types of research that businesses need to conduct in order to get the most out of the process. Each one will help you to meet any and all goals you’ve laid out for your business, provided they’re realistic and achievable in one sense or another. With this in mind, here are the different types of market research that you should be looking into:
Brand research focuses purely on refining your company’s brand in order to make a splash in the industry, helping you to set you apart from the crowd. When it comes to brand research, you should look into some specific things to ensure you’re gathering the most accurate and valuable information, including:
This is an important one because if you look directly into the competition, then it could help you to gain insights into how your company can change and develop in order to match competitors who are doing considerably well and are pulling in all of the success. You should delve into more specific aspects of your competitors, including:
Market research needs to include research into your customers in some form or another. The more you understand your customers, the easier it will be for you to adapt your business to meet their needs and requirements. Some of the things that are recommended you learn about your consumers includes the following:
If you sell a product or an item to your customers, then you’ll need to make sure it’s developed to a high enough standard in order for you to make consistent sales. We’ll talk about the testing side of market research in a moment, but for now, you need to understand the importance of product quality and usability. Your flagship item, for example, needs to be water-tight with regards to issues and problems, so make sure they’ve all been ironed out properly in order to keep your customers happy and, most importantly, loyal.
Testing is something that you need to do for your business, whether it be a product or service or if you’re launching a new website. Ask your customers to test out that product, service or website before launching it officially. After your customers have tried and tested what you need them to, ask them a series of questions about their thoughts and experiences. Use their feedback to make the necessary changes and then ask them to re-test it. If your testers are happy, and if you are also, then go ahead with your launch, whatever that might involve.
We’ve already touched on a few benefits of carrying out market research, but there are a few other ways in which conducting market research would be highly-advantageous to your business. As such, we’ve detailed a few of those benefits below so that you can empower your business to succeed.
Research has shown that businesses who are customer-centric are 60% more profitable than those who do not put their customers first. Market research ensures you gather important and relevant information on your customers, giving you the opportunity to make their needs and requirements an absolute priority. Work out their preferences and pain points in order for you to pander to them effectively. Make them feel like the centre of the operation and you’ll soon reap the rewards – provided you conduct the right market research.
This is something that will come with the resting phase of things. It will also be made possible if you look through the reviews and any feedback that has been left behind about your business. You’ll be able to find that information on Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor and more.
Keep your ear close to the ground with regards to what customers are saying about you and take that feedback onboard. Market research allows you to identify holes and issues with the business, so use that information to improve and develop. This is something that wouldn’t be possible without market research.
As already touched upon, if you iron out the problems you’ve found via your market research, then you’ll be able to rectify those problems before they become significantly damaging to your business. For example, if your customers are telling you that the chocolate cake you serve is dry and tasteless, yet you continue to serve it, less and less people will come to your shop because they know that you’re still serving the same lacklustre product. You’ll soon find that they’ll go elsewhere for chocolate cake if you don’t change or put something new on the menu. If you come across an issue, then rectify it before it gets out of hand.
Market research provides you with just enough information to make the right decisions about your business and/or how you run things. Knowledge is power, and that’s something you’ll need to keep in mind throughout the process. As with the chocolate cake example, if most of your customers are telling you that it’s sub-par, then make the decision to change the recipe or replace it completely with something else, even if the cake has been on the menu for years. You need to adapt and be flexible in order to keep up with the times, so use market research to do that and to make the right decisions, subsequently, for your business and to ensure company success for a long time to come.
You can rest assured that your competitors will be conducting the same amount of market research, and to the same extent, that you are. You need to make sure you’re one step ahead at every turn. This might well be easier said than done, but you’ll be able to use that information in order to be more competitive, as well as to set yourself apart from them. You need to stand out to your customers more than your competitors do, so do your market research and act on it imminently.
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As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.