It’s all too easy to overlook the value of marketing research. After all, the last thing on your mind when you come up with a business idea is to spend hours conducting market research.
Most of us would rather go right to work developing and selling items than consider the benefits of market research.
However, market research is essential for any form of organization. This is particularly true for small enterprises, where the first few months can be difficult. Market research can help new businesses get sales and clients as quickly as feasible.
I’ll go through some fundamental marketing research principles in this article. I’ll also discuss why marketing research is vital and provide some tools to assist you in getting started with your own marketing research.
What Is Marketing Research?
To comprehend the significance of marketing research, you must first comprehend what it is. Market research is the term used by organizations to describe their efforts to learn more about their target customers. It does not refer to a specific method or activity.
While surveys and focus groups can be beneficial, they aren’t required, and they aren’t the only ways to learn more about your target market. Here are a few tasks that you could include in your market research:
- Engage in brief chats with contacts in your target market. Let’s imagine you want to start a wedding photography business. Inquire of your contacts who have been married or are planning a wedding about their experience hiring and dealing with a wedding photographer. Even a five-minute talk can provide you with valuable information about how to run your company.
- Look for Facebook groups that are relevant to your target demographic on the social media platform. This can enable you reach out to potential customers online and ask them questions for free and with no effort. If the group rules allow it, you can eventually return to these groups to promote your business.
- Make a survey form available on your website. If your small business already has a website, you can offer potential consumers a small discount in exchange for completing a survey. This guide to online market research forms will assist you in getting started.
The actions listed above are only a few of the tasks that could be included in your market research. In reality, any action can be classified as market research as long as you learn about the demands, behaviors, and preferences of your target market.
The Importance of Marketing Research
These are the seven reasons why market research is important, especially for smaller teams and businesses:
1. Easily Spot Business Opportunities
After you’ve completed your market research, you’ll know who you want to contact (your target customers), how to contact them (marketing channels), and what they’re interested in.
You’ll be able to easily spot business prospects once you’ve established these. Consider the following scenario:
- Form alliances with other companies. Finding out more about your consumers, such as their demographics, can assist you in locating other small businesses that cater to them. You might approach these companies about combined campaigns that will benefit both parties.
- Make money off of order upgrades. Knowing what other items and services your consumers are likely to purchase can help you create add-ons, product bundles, and upsells that improve the average order value.
- Locate new markets to sell to. Knowing where the majority of your potential clients live will enable you to design appealing targeted campaigns that cater to their requirements and culture.
2. Lower Business Risks
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, around half of businesses with employees don’t make it past the fifth year.
Having a consistent stream of revenue and clients is the best method to ensure that your business continues for longer. You’ll need market research to accomplish so.
Market research will allow you to check-in with your present and potential clients on a regular basis to ensure that you’re still serving their needs.; Here’s how to put it into practice:
- Before launching a new design or product, test it. You can test a significant change for your business on a smaller section of your audience to determine if the change is welcomed before going all-in. If you’re planning a makeover of a popular product, for example, display the new design to your most loyal customers. Test or ask them if the new design, an alternate new design, or the old design is more likely to be purchased.
- Learn why customers aren’t returning. Your small firm should ideally have repeat customers. If they don’t return, you can conduct a survey of former customers or hold a focus group to figure out why you aren’t getting repeat business.
- Get a better understanding of the issues. If your most popular product has had a significant reduction in sales for three months in a row, you need to figure out how to solve it before it completely damages your revenues. Find out where the problem is by polling your most loyal consumers about the product. It might be anything from a drop in product quality to a technical issue with your online store. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
3. Create Relevant Promotional Materials
If you’ve ever been stumped as to what language or graphics to use on your fliers, website, or social media accounts, rigorous market research will help you figure it out.
You’ll know exactly what to address and how to solve it when you start developing marketing materials because your target clients have already voiced all of their wants, needs, and frustrations to you.
Author Tiffany Sun, for example, polled her readers to find out what problems they’re trying to tackle. She uses the findings of this poll to develop appealing blog themes rather than coming up with them on her own.
Here are a few more strategies to make your marketing materials easy to create:
- Knowing whether your clients consider your items and services to be a necessity or a luxury may help you create product labels, brochures, and websites that reflect their viewpoint.
- You can determine the type of language you’ll use in your promotional materials by determining the age range of your clients. When writing to retiring Baby Boomers, you’ll use a different tone than when writing to young professionals.
4. Know Where to Advertise
A constrained budget is one of the issues that small business owners encounter. As a result, you should optimize your marketing expenditure to acquire the best results possible.
Your market research can assist you in ensuring that your message reaches your target audience through the channels where they are most likely to see it.
These are some of the budgetary tasks that your market research can help with:
- Purchasing advertisements on social media. If your market research shows that your target group spends the most of their time on Instagram and rarely uses Twitter, you’ll know to spend the majority of your social media marketing money on Instagram and ignore Twitter.
- Flyers and posters are being distributed. Knowing where your customers spend their time in physical areas will help you determine where your advertising should be placed. University students, for example, are likely to be on campus, so posting ads for that market implies trying bulletin boards on campus or outside local places where their population congregates.
- Ads that are specifically targeted. Online ads, such as social network ads and pay-per-click ads, can frequently be precisely targeted. This means you can target people based on their online activities, life stage, and hobbies, as well as traditional demographic data. You’ll be able to utilise the possibilities for targeting if you genuinely understand your clients. For instance, here are some of the Facebook Ads targeting options:
5. Outsell Competitors
Businesses that have a better understanding of their clients are more likely to win. You’ll have a higher chance of distinguishing out from the crowd if you can outsmart your competitors in terms of determining your consumers’ needs and then working to meet those demands.
Here are some examples of how market research can help you outsell your competitors:
- Customers who are dissatisfied should be targeted. Inquiring about your target consumers’ issues with competitors’ products or reading their product reviews might help you enhance your own products and advertise them to a market that is willing to transfer brands.
- Look for a market that is underserved. Your market research may reveal that a part of the market has been overlooked by your competitors. This will provide you with a new customer segment to target.
- Determine unmet customer needs. You might discover some client pain problems or wants throughout your market research that aren’t addressed in your competitors’ marketing materials. Try incorporating them into your own marketing and watch what happens.
6. Set Better Goals for Your Business
When business owners set goals for their company, they usually refer to sales or customer growth. However, without market research, you won’t be able to determine whether your aim is feasible and, if so, how to go about achieving it.
You can claim that by the end of the next quarter, you want to double your sales. If you don’t know whether your target market is more than double the size of your current client base, how will you know if this aim is achievable? You’ll be setting arbitrary targets if you don’t know the present size of your potential market.
Market research will allow you to pinpoint the exact directions in which you wish to expand your consumer base.
Do you wish to expand your consumer base by tapping into a previously unexplored market area, for example? Is there still room for expansion among your present target audience?
7. Decision-Making Becomes Simple
When making difficult business decisions, the necessity for and importance of marketing research regularly comes up. You may always refer back to your market research study instead of having arbitrary criteria for the judgments you make as a business owner.
Will this decision result in additional clients as a result of that report? Will you be able to reach out to a larger number of people who are likely to purchase from you? Will it be obvious to them that your company can meet their requirements?
While not all decisions should be solved by market research, many of them can be, such as:
- whether there is a demand for a new product you wish to create if you should open a storefront in a new area which goods to discontinue and which ones to simply enhance where to spend your advertising or marketing budget
- what is the best way to price all of your offers
There’s a real need for market research because it provides you with solid facts. Through market research, you’ll make more informed decisions rather than resting the fate of your business on guesswork.
More Resources to Help You Start Your Marketing Research
Now that you understand the value of marketing research, it’s time to get started. Don’t let the task ahead of you intimidate you. Instead, start with just two types of data: your target consumer and your competition.
You don’t have to get all of the details right away. After all, the feelings of your target clients may shift over time.
Furthermore, as a business owner, you cannot devote all of your time to research and neglect execution. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to ensure you get off to a good start:
If you need to deliver your market research report to others, such as a business partner, an investor, or your team, use a presentation template like this Digital Marketing Agency PowerPoint template or the Digital Agency template from Envato Elements to make the process easier.
The Importance of Market Research for Your Business
You’re ready to get started now that you’ve grasped the importance of market research. To perform market research, your company does not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on focus groups and lengthy surveys.
However, it is critical that you conduct market research in the first place.
You’ll be able to reap the above benefits as your firm grows if you finish up with a comprehensive list of your target market’s demographics, requirements, and problems. Why not begin your marketing research right now?