Market research is an important aspect of every business. It is not a one-time activity. Successful businesses conduct surveys on a regular basis to keep up and surpass its competitors. Irrespective of whether you intend to start a new business or planning to expand the existing one, market research is vital for understanding where your target segment lies and how sales can be increased.
Market research covers a wide range of tasks. It can be applied across a variety of challenges faced during marketing such as knowing target customer preferences, brand positioning and sales strategy. Managers in particular make use of this information to successfully introduce new products or services keeping in mind the needs of the target consumers. However, this perception is always subjective. This is because of the fact that what a consumer may consider valuable today may be quite different from what they may value the next year. Rather than just speculating, it is wise to collect data, analyze and make an informed decision. The goal of market research is to provide both facts and direction that is needed for making important marketing decision.
1. Understand your target consumers:
Why would your target consumers prefer to use your product over your competitors? What are their needs? What draws them? Is it the service that you provide, the uniqueness of your product or the prestige associated with usage of your product/service? Who influences their purchase decisions?
2. Set specific targets:
From the data that you have collected, you can set specific realistic targets concerning areas of sales, growth and introduction of new products and services.
3. Formulate effective strategies:
After conducting a thorough research, you would be able to make an informed decision about how to price your services, how to publicize and promote it, which mode of advertising could prove effectively such as radio, television or newspaper. It will allow you the opportunity to make an informed decision before initiating, building, establishing, diversifying or reducing business activity.
4. Examine and find solution to business issues:
Once you have narrowed down the problem, research will help you work out the root cause of the problem. For example, if you have noticed a fall in sales figures, you might have discovered that a new competitor has entered the scenario or a substitute has been discovered for your product.
5. Plan your business expansion
Market research will help you identify target consumers and test if they are receptive for a new product or service. For example, if you are looking to establish a new chain of clinics, you would have to survey the adjacent location in order to determine if your target consumer base resides there. If not, how do you plan to reach them?
6. Identify new business opportunities
Market research helps identify new venues of opportunity. You may find a completely unchallenged market to showcase your services. You can identify changing trends in the market such as change in preferences, increase or decrease in target population concentration, etc.