Do you do Marketing Research?

Marketing Research

 

Do you have a new idea or service to offer? All entrepreneurs started from this point and went on to build a successful business. Well, not all created business prospers that’s why starting a business is the riskiest undertaking. But, you can minimise the risk of your business failing. Yes, you can gain assurance if your products will be seen or if people will come to your business. The process of doing this is Market Research.

 

Do you have a running online business that needs more customers? Market research is your solution. You don’t have to be starting a business to benefit from Market Research. Why? For an existing business, the user’s needs are always changing necessitating the need to adapt. This shift may mean creating new products, modifying existing products, or changing the business altogether to entering a more profitable field.

 

The first step for all entrepreneurs is to find out who are potential customers, what they want, how much they have to spend and if they are willing to spend it on your business. You can also check on the areas you want to target, and demographics of the area. Demographics include the age, sex, population, median income, and religion. This information is available from gov.uk statistics section on the website.

 

Besides finding out about the customers, you need to know the competitors. If you are in business, more people are in the same business and competition nowadays is stiff. Unlike the olden days, where the customers were known, and local small business knew each other; competition has become global. In fact, more people are going online to buy even the simplest of things. Anything form toiletries, back to school supplies is online. That means if you are starting a business, try and target a larger audience.

 

So, what is the process of market research for new businesses and existing ones alike? The process can be broken down into the following steps:

 

Have an idea for the business. Create a test-product or service. Plan on the questions that you want answers to, then research to respond to the questions. You will need to choose the methods of collecting the information. Afterwards, analyse the information to identify patterns and trends. The next process will be to implement the insights from the questions.

 

Having an Idea and Creating the Sample

 

If you have an idea for the product or service, have a sample of it. If it’s a new product, the sample can be the working prototype, if an exciting product get the sample from the manufacturer, if it’s an application or technological product, then have the white paper. Conducting a market research with the actual product, not just the ideas are more effective and will get you the answers you crave. But, if the possibility of creating or having the physical product is impossible; the idea will work fine.

 

Asking the Right Questions

 

The right questions should make you confident if the business will work or not. Remember, starting the business is a massive undertaking and requiring a lot of resources. That said you need the right question and brutal answers. These solutions need to be unbiased, accurate and come from your target market. The right questions should, therefore, be informed; research before making the question; and be comprehensive. Simply, asking someone if they would buy a product is not enough; ask them if they would buy it one on a regular basis or if they would switch to your product from another.

 

After you have your list of unbiased, comprehensive, and informed questions; the next step is conducting the research. You can research the following ways:

 

Research for Primary Data

 

Primary data is short, is the opinion or facts you collect by yourself from the target customer. You can also get someone to obtain this information on your behalf. Nowadays, you can find out all you have to know in just one hour or more spent online. Information about demographics, buying patterns, which products people like, who are your competitors is freely available on the internet. Go on social media; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and ask people for their opinions. People are generally free with their views and thoughts. You can also try cold calling which is difficult. Alternatively, you can go the street and do a face-face interaction with your potential customers. A conversation with a few potential users will go a long way in adding solving your questions. If you plan on hiring someone to research; please also do it yourself. Also, don’t rely on the response from friends and family they may give you false hope because they don’t want to shoot down your idea; look for accurate, brutal and diverse answers.

 

Research for Secondary Data

 

Your local library or online libraries are best places to find secondary data. What exactly fits as secondary data? Its data that someone has already collected analysed and made available to users for a fee or for free. You can find data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that has population statistics. The British Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, British Library & IP Centre and YouGov Sixth Sense have all the secondary information you could need to target people on the UK. If you need secondary information on other countries; find it on the internet free of charge by visiting government websites.

 

You can also seek expert help if the target market is difficult to reach or if you need help asking the right questions. They will do this by running online market surveys according to the people you want to target.

 

Interpreting the Results

 

The answers to the questions you had will either make lead to an investment or abandonment of the plan altogether. Thus, be prepared for anything and during the process the answer you give you new ideas you never had before and improve your product or service.

 

In the end, people are the best resources for market research, do this before attempting the business, and if you have a running business, do it to offer better services and to grow your customer base.

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