The benefits of a good market research exercise should never be underestimated. Perceived sometimes (and wrongly) as a costly project to undertake, the lack of it in any business will ultimately play with the bottom line, and probably not in a positive way.
There are many reasons why market research should be a constant in any business strategy, from testing a new product to helping devise next steps in promoting a service or even to figure out how to best foster a team approach to your offer internally. The possibilities are endless and when the investment is compared to the benefits, it becomes a ‘no-brainer’ case.
“Market research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, competition, and/or environment and your goal should be to increase your understanding of them.”
Once you have your research results, you should have enough ammunition to formulate the most effective way to communicate to your customers. You should know what they like/don’t like to hear/see/do. Then you can tailor what you say to them to make them take action.
Research might make it obvious that a new product you have planned may not be what your market wants or needs. You may then decide to make modifications on what you are going to offer to suit your audience.
Through market research, you may find all the information you need to decide whether to take action on a particular subject. For example, you may find that the particular location where you wanted to open a shop already has a saturated market in your line of business, which should make you refrain from making that decision and look for a more appropriate spot.
It’s always good to know how you measure against your competitors. Market research finds out just where you are and then, according to the results, you can take action to change perception.
You can get consumers’ reactions to a new product or service when it is still being developed. This should enlighten any further development so it suits its intended market.
“Research can estimate the likely sales of a new product/service and also the advertising expenditure required to achieve maximum profits.”
Research can estimate the likely sales of a new product/service and also the advertising expenditure required to achieve maximum profits.
If you treat your market research as an ongoing exercise that you do periodically, you’ll find that you’ll have a lot of data to be able to analyse your customers and establish any particular trends.
It’s important to know the position of your business at particular moments in time. Information from market research helps you benchmark and monitor your progress, which can be useful to make decisions and take action.
Every brand needs to make a promise. If you think of the most known brands, they all make a promise to you and you usually know what is by just looking at their logo. It can be security, a fast and tasty meal or the assurance of top technology. It needs to be simple and market research can help you define what your brand’s promise is.
The team involved in the launch of a new product/service all have their individual perceptions and gut feelings. These certainly should not be ignored, but by going straight to the target audience, you will gain thoughts and opinions from people who may be less biased or less emotionally attached to a new development or service. It helps gain a new angle, hopefully a compromise in just how you are going to go about a new launch, a new brand or a brand repositioning.
In a nutshell, market research is an invaluable tool that, at first, might seem expensive and slow, but it’s nothing more than an investment. As one of our very good clients always says, “ Best to measure twice and cut once to maximise your returns”.
If you had the choice of speaking to a good sample of your customers or be left in the dark only with your assumptions, what would you choose?