Are you aiming for success in your business? This seems rhetorical, but don’t blink. Many startups end up in the gutter.
A good 9 out of 10 startups fail due to many reasons, from financial issues to unsustainable growth. Let’s not look at the failures though.
How about the other 10%? How do they win it all? The answer is market research. For successful market research, you need to know what to do.
A fortified research process is crucial to your success.
Follow the tips we have for you, and you’ll be good to go.
Where to Start with Market Research
Before we get into any of the nitty-gritty of market research, here are a few takeaways. You need to understand first what goals you want to achieve within the study itself. Goal setting keeps you within the target, rather than going into different directions.
Every market is different. There are many minutiae in various industries. Knowing how much you need to know will not only save you time but money, as well.
There are, however, some areas that you can do the same for all research. These areas include commonalities, like customer service and the like. Here’s what you should do first with your market research plan.
The Basics of Market Research
Like any market research report, you first need to answer the 5 basic W’s of marketing. These are essential to start your foray into your verticals and horizontals. They are:
- Who is your audience?
- What do they buy?
- Why do they buy?
- Where do they buy?
- When do they buy?
By knowing these answers, you’re creating a basis for a formula that you can use for the future.
1. Who Is Your Audience?
Understanding your audience is the primary reason for taking demographic. Demographics describe the people who will buy your products. With population segments, you get an understanding of your core customers.
We know that each consumer has their criteria in choosing products. There will be, however, some overlap in many people. This may vary according to some factors.
These demographic factors will include their age, generation, ethnicity, income, and geography.
While one’s market research might not need or be able to afford this level of in-depth work, knowing whose pain points you will relieve helps. Remember that the audience are the masters of their problems. Your aim is to be the master of the solution to their problems.
2. What Do They Buy?
The answer to this question connects your audience with the products and services they care about. These products and services give you an insight into what they use to improve their quality of life. It lets you extrapolate the possible pains of your potential audience.
The data from knowing what people buy goes into your market research plan. It helps you find features that people love and the benefits they receive from the products. You can even uncover insight into price points.
3. Why Do They Buy?
The why of your customers’ behavior is hard to understand and may change depending on each product, service, and vertical.
Market research reports with a proper understanding of customers’ why have an advantage. These businesses understand what customers value in their purchases. Knowing such information allows you to learn how to use the data to improve your offer.
4. Where Do They Buy?
This is all about competitive analysis. Where people buy their products and services points you to competitors, who may have a stranglehold on your verticals.
If you want to know how to do market research for your business, here’s the thing:
Learn to find providers whom people rely on in their daily lives. Compare your business with legacy providers and your direct competition.
Knowing the businesses people trust is useful. It gives you an understanding of market segments that you can take.
5. When Do They Buy?
Knowing when customers buy helps us understand buying cycles. The many stages of buying cycles let you leverage at which points you can try to push for lead generation. It allows you to know when people are ready to buy, and when they are in the discovery stage.
The Different Forms of Market Research
The various forms of market research can divide into two. These are primary market research and secondary market research. The value of each differs, depending on your current business goals.
Primary market research is firsthand information you receive from your efforts. This may come in the form of surveys, interviews, population studies, and the like. There are various reasons why this market research plan is crucial to your success.
You need to pursue primary market research to gain insight into your audience.
As mentioned in the previous section, pains, ideas, details, and current trends are crucial. They allow you to create your buyer personas and market segmentation.
By knowing all of this information, you gain flexibility with how you can position your business as a solution to your customers’ problems.
Secondary market research, meanwhile, is data and records. You can use them to extrapolate decisions.
Sales data, industry information, vertical statistics, and market trends are valuable. They offer competitive analysis. They let you steer your market research plan into a productive and powerful data point.
How to Conduct Successful Market Research
To make the best out of your market research report, you need to pin down the right process. To do that, you need a fundamental structure.
You need a step-by-step process. This guides you along a linear movement into the fabric of your research.
This research structure is not hardline. It is a skeletal process that leads you in processing your information, and it is up to you to add some extra sauce to fit your needs.
1. Goal and Objective Setting
To reiterate, goals and objectives are crucial in setting lines for your research. It creates a scope of limitations to prevent overgeneralization.
Without them, you’re wasting your time. Such information does not create an understanding of your audience. Once you create goals and objectives, the next stage of market research beings.
Define parameters for your primary research. This is to guide the surveys and interviewees into giving you the right information.
After defining parameters, plan questions, content, and methods to use for your primary market research report.
This will be the basis of the data you gather. You want this to relate to your business, your products, and your niche.
From this point, find your participants and crunch the data.
2. Do Basic Secondary Research First
Secondary research sounds like you should do it after the primary. Don’t. Digest secondary marketing research first, before you even start.
This counts toward your due diligence. It is learning about your niche, the trends, and the competition you’ll face.
Before you spend a single cent on doing primary research, read. Digest what others learned first.
3. Engage Your Audience
Engage your target audience by administering various data-gathering methods. Focus groups, online surveys, and phone interviews tend to be the usual solution. Find people who can do the entire procedure, as well.
When picking out your audience, creating different buyer personas is a must.
Use the secondary market research that you have. List the traits of people you think will buy your product.
Once you do, sift the interviewees using qualifiers. The sifting process would involve dividing them according to the buyer persona you had to create. Divide into equal groups where you can.
Mix people from different demographics within the same buyer persona. You want people:
- who didn’t buy from you
- bought something from you
- bought something from the competition
If there are customers who have complied in full with your market research process, interact with them again. It means they’re willing to take part with more detailed analysis. When possible, encourage previous participants to bring in more as needed.
4. Questions, Questions
Once you start your initial foray into your market research plan, learn how to ask questions. Open-ended questions are the gold standard of market research. They are there to prevent any one-word answers.
Squeeze as much background information as possible from your interviewees. Then, gauge their awareness of products and services. Learning brand awareness first-hand is valuable data.
Find out how they learn about the products within your verticals. Do they get it from the internet or a friend? Do they use websites by vendors?
In the end, ask them what made them decide to use the products and services they use. What do they think are the pros and cons of every product? What improvements do they want?
Probe your interviewees for their buying process within your market research plan. Once you complete the interview, close and don’t forget to share your courtesies with them.
Secondary Market Research Plan
When it comes to secondary market research, here’s the truth: It’s valuable to list your primary competition. These are the ones with products and services like yours.
Learn from areas where they are lacking, and where you can compete. If you have the right data, you will find niche pockets, and you can fill these areas.
Start from general to specific and horizontal to vertical, within your market. Start from common categories, like health and beverage, to more specific niche categories.
Find an industry term that you think identifies your business in full. This should convey the nuance of what you offer.
1. Invest in Data Sources
Market and industry reports are a good investment. This is more so true if you are going into a wide category niche. Use competitive analysis tools where possible.
You can also use social media to find the businesses that people come to within your verticals. LinkedIn is an excellent place to find professional, structured companies, while Twitter and Facebook are areas where you can learn about buyer pulse.
2. Use Industry Tools to Find Content Competitors
Much like knowing how to do market research, you need to know who will compete with your online content, as well. You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Moz to discover online competitors, search engine positioning, and estimated search traffic volumes.
These people will be taking the same audience from you. When you can, Google them and compare your buyer persona with your preferred search results. Use this information to understand how competition can affect your traffic and vice versa.
3. Compile Your Findings
Once you complete your primary and secondary research, compile your findings. Create actionable conclusions from your market research report. Brainstorm and add things you can do in the future.
Perform repeated, ongoing market research as much as you can. Understand that a market research plan evolves and is continuous. It is an ongoing trial to learn more and more about your industry and competition as time goes by.
Create a string of action plans that you think can boost your brand. Knowing where you’re lacking is crucial, and knowing which verticals to go into will help.
Set your actions only when you have data to back them up. Market research should revolve around acting upon the data you have. Perform changes as necessary, and adjust.
Learn How to Conduct Successful Market Research
Knowing how to do market research is a long, arduous process. What separates the great businesses and the bad ones, however, is understanding. If you know how to drill down on a process for your business, you’re on your way to success.
If you aim for successful market research, keep in mind how valuable this procedure is. It’s an ongoing discovery process. You’ll surprise yourself with how much data you can gather and uncover surprising opportunities, if you know how to do it right.
For performance-based business consulting, contact The Business Turnaround Group.