Businesses always have an element of risk and business decisions are tougher than they seem. Being a business owner, you can never be completely sure whether a particular decision can yield profit or loss to the company. In such situations, successful businesses prefer to do market research before making any critical decision.
Effective market research aids in decision-making by empowering decision makers with all the possible suggestions and recommendations that are backed by factual data, information, and analytics. This allows business owners to make educated decisions with a higher ability to perceive the level of impact before making decisions and be better prepared for the consequences of the decision.
Businesses of late are making market research a regular part of their strategy and decision support. Such an exercise brings the organization on-par with their competition and more aware of their strategic moves. Apart from the competitive advantage, this practice helps in understanding the consumer preferences, buying behavior, market trends, and brand awareness. By adopting market research, a business can comprehend its market position, distribution channels, and new business opportunities, with the right product mix.
Methods to use market research
A good market research plan thus helps in increasing a company’s revenue by targeting the right customers at the right time. Market research can be done in-house with cost effective methods or can be outsourced to an agency. With the help of market analysis, a business can be developed in various ways. Some of them are highlighted below:
1. Optimize brand strategy and positioning
Brand strategy – Generate new ideas to improve an organization’s brand image in the market and reroute customer’s perception towards its products or service offerings.
Brand positioning –Evaluate an organization’s brand strength against their competitors.
Brand awareness – Measure the familiarity and awareness level of a brand amongst its customers.
Personification – Identify characteristics and traits that customers can associate with the brand.
The above tasks can be accomplished by surveying customers to gather feedback on marketing content such as product shape, color, packaging, naming, logos, brochures, and websites among others.
2. Improve your content marketing strategy
Content is the heart of inbound marketing strategy. The words used in your content should embody the language of your customers. Understanding the likes and dislikes of customers through social media and other channels helps in creating custom designed content that would strike a chord with the audience, and choose the right influencer to promote the content on social media.
3. Assess your competition
Businesses have to evaluate their competitors in order to maintain their position in the market. The core competency and weakness of a business can be identified with the help of market research. Competitor analysis can identify the drawbacks of your products against the competitors’ products. This information can be used to improve the company’s products and service offerings. You can strategize the uniqueness of your products and service portfolio to optimize on your USP against competitors to stay ahead in the market.
4. Understand your target market
Understanding your customers properly can help you to provide customized products and services that suit their requirements. Target market research helps you identify the best ways to introduce your products to customers. Target market research involves gathering information on buyer personas and their demographics through surveys. By focusing your efforts on the right target market, you can achieve faster results with improved efficiency and better performance from your marketing campaigns.
5. Measure the effectiveness of your marketing
With the help of surveys, customer feedback and response to marketing initiatives, we can analyze the impact of our marketing strategy and alter the strategy according to the customer preferences.
6. Learn about substitutes and new entrants in the market
Market research will equip you with knowledge and understanding of potential substitutes for your products mapped against consumer preferences. Product-based market research will help you keep track of latest technologies in the market and identify ways to keep your product and services updated.
7. Improve decision-making with reduced risks
Market research provides suggestions with detailed facts and concrete trend analysis. The qualitative and
quantitative data will help you to assess the effectiveness of your business decisions. Research findings help visualize the responsiveness of your business ideas prior to a market launch, avoiding potential risks and clarifying expectations from the decision. This allows you to make informed decisions with confidence, as it reduces the risk of uncertainty in business decisions.
It is vital to retain your position in the competitive market, so think of market research as a mandatory step before making any business decision and do it consistently to reap its benefits to the full potential.