Running a business is no joke. Growing a company and taking a more significant share of the pie is not for the faint-hearted. Competitors will always try to win over your customers. To succeed in business, you must always be one step ahead of your industry rivals. To stay competitive, you must learn about your competitors and what they’re up to.
Additionally, to succeed in business, you should also research about your customers – what they prefer and what they don’t like. It’s obvious that without customers, businesses will fold. Therefore, it only makes sense for every company to understand the needs of their customers and think of ways to provide excellent value to them.
If implemented haphazardly, marketing campaigns will not be effective. Companies need to analyze research data before coming up with marketing plans. In the same way, the results of your marketing campaigns must be analyzed to understand whether they’re valid or not. If a marketing strategy is successful, it could be implemented again. If not, market research will help you to determine the changes that must be made.
Is it possible for businesses to gather and analyze relevant market data? Yes! And this is where market research comes in. Find out how market research benefits businesses and where companies can turn to obtain valuable market insight.
Market Research and Its Purpose
Market research is the systematic process of collecting information about competitors, target market, and the suitability of marketing tactics. Businesses, both established and start-ups, will benefit from market research data to grow their brand, improve their reputation, and increase their bottom line.
Market research data is not just any kind of information researched online. It’s possible to perform simple market research if you’re starting a business venture. However, collecting information, especially, primary market research data is more difficult to do. You need the help of a professional firm to gather and analyze complicated research data.
A market research firm is capable of handling all the work to provide your business with a relevant competitor, customer, and strategic insight.
How Market Research Firms Conduct Market Research
Market research firms gather relevant market and industry-related information in different ways. Market research data can be obtained through various methods. The research information is categorized into two types: primary data and secondary data.
Primary data is collected directly through:
- Surveys and polls
- Monitoring social media
- Creating focus groups
- Extensive discussions and interviews
Primary data gathered by market research firms are specific to your company’s needs and requirements.
To come up with secondary data, market research firms peruses published or existing information, such as:
- Company websites
- Trade publications
- Insights from trade associations
- Public statistics collected by government agencies
- Market reports and statistics
Secondary data is useful in understanding the effects of previously implemented studies and strategies. However, the information you get from secondary data is not specific to your company.
How Businesses Utilize Market Research
Market research data is utilized by companies for different purposes, such as, but not limited to:
- Companies use market research information to understand and get ahead of competitors. Competitor information helps develop marketing campaigns and set the price for products or services.
- Startups use market research to find out whether their business idea is feasible or not. Market research helps understand the demand for a service or product.
- Existing businesses use market research to determine the possibility of entering new markets.
- Businesses want to know whether customers are satisfied with their products or services. Surveys are the most common source of market research information for customer feedback.
- Companies test the market’s responsiveness to their products by utilizing the services of a market research company.
12 Ways Market Research Companies Can Help Your Business
It’s possible to perform your market research on your own when starting a small business. However, if you want to scale your business and want to enter new markets, it’s essential to seek the expertise of a reputable market research company.
Here are ways market research companies can help your business:
- Minimize Exposure To Risks
This statement is especially true for new companies and startup ventures. However, larger or established businesses also need the expertise of market research firms when planning to launch a new product or service. It’s, therefore, crucial for companies to include a reasonable amount of capital or budget for market research to understand and circumvent any market risks, if any.
- Help You Discover Your Ideal Customers
Every company should invest in research to find out who their target customers should be. It’s a complete waste of effort and capital to market your products and services to everyone.
Market research firms help you identify customers that need your products or services through primary market research data.
- Identify The Needs and Wants Of Your Customers
Knowing who your potential customers are is not enough. You also need relevant market data to understand if the products and services that you offer suit the demands of your target market.
Market research firms will find out whether the target demographic and your product offerings are a match.
- Crucial in Product Development and Marketing
To make your products stand out, you should seek the expertise of a market research specialist. By utilizing competitive intelligence with the help of a market research firm, you can focus on developing unique products and services that offer immense value to your clientele.
Market research is essential in creating powerful marketing strategies. When it comes to marketing your product offerings, you should make sure your messages resonate with your target market.
- Help You Learn About Your Competitors
Even if you’re running a company with a unique niche, there will always be competitors to look out for. The global marketplace is a vast battlefield, and one way to win is to know who your rivals are, as well as their weaknesses and strengths.
Working with a market research specialist ensures that you’re getting the right competitor analysis and insights. By understanding your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll also determine your company’s strong and weak points. Failing to identify your business’ direct and indirect competition puts you in a vulnerable spot.
- Provide Data For Effective Planning
The goals of your company can be achieved with the use of strategic planning.
Working with a reputable market research firm makes you confident that the market data you have is evidence-based. Tested and verified market research data is essential in planning strategies to implement for your business.
- Help Identify Trends In Your Industry
Consumers are always looking for something new and innovative. Market research agencies can help your business stay ahead by identifying and predicting industry trends.
To stay ahead of competitors, you should work with a market research specialist to take advantage of these industry trends and forecasts.
- Provide Relevant Insights About the Industry
Your company must be willing to adapt to the market environment to keep up with the changes in the industry.
Market research data provide relevant insights into the industry that your business belongs to. These insights give you the power to leverage your company’s strengths, improve your business outlook, and take advantage of opportunities.
- Help Improve Your Bottom Line
Market research data will help you understand what you need to do in order to generate more revenue. A market research firm can help increase sales and improve your bottom line by helping you know what customers like or don’t like about your products and services, as mentioned above. Take note, your company will not get enough sales if your offerings don’t satisfy the demands of your clients.
- Help You Make Critical Business Decisions
If you’re thinking of growing your business, you’re probably wondering if it’s the right time to do so? Market research is an essential tool to better understand market conditions.
If you want to open a new branch in another state, you must have a clear understanding of consumer behavior in that location before investing additional capital. Thus, you should utilize a verified market research date before making any critical business decisions.
- Help Improve Your Reputation
To effectively manage your company’s reputation, you should know how customers and potential clients think about you. When people trust your brand, you can expect better sales and loyal customers.
Market research firms gather and analyze information, so you have a better understanding of your business’ reputation. You can use market research information to repair your company’s reputation and boost credibility.
- Assist You In Building Your Brand
No one wants to be a run-of-the-mill brand. However, building a brand takes time and a lot of effort.
There are various ways to create a reputable brand, but a market research firm utilizes methods that are reliable and valid. Conducting market research helps with brand positioning because it lets you understand how your brand is seen in the market.
Market research companies help you strengthen your brand image by allowing you to modify your branding strategies as needed.
Brands and Market Research
The benefits of market research cannot be stressed enough. Prestigious companies across the globe rely on the expertise of market research firms to maintain their position in their industry.
Here are some examples of how companies utilize market research to improve their brand:
- Apple utilizes market research to determine what customers want and use the information to improve their devices. The company collects and analyzes market research through the “Apple Customer Pulse.”
The online survey allows consumers to easily participate. Apple benefits by getting the precious feedback of their customers with little effort.
- Starbucks is a well-established brand in the food industry. Over the years, the company has leveraged market research to improve its product offerings to meet their consumers’ demands.
The company launched its “My Starbucks Idea” in 2008, where customers are encouraged to share their ideas on the website. Over 150,000 views were generated after five years from the launch of “My Starbucks Idea.” Two hundred seventy-seven crowdsourced ideas from “My Starbucks Ideas” were successfully implemented, such as free Wi-Fi, mobile payments, Hazelnut Macchiato, and Cake Pops.
- Lego has been around since 1932 but has maintained its position in the industry by utilizing market research to improve existing and introduce new products. The company almost went bankrupt in 2004, prompting Lego to come up with new products to compete with Fisher-Price and Mattel.
Lego’s competitors have a wide range of products in their portfolio. However, Lego’s toys were mostly aimed at boys, so the company invested in a different kind of market research in 2007. The 4-year long market research involved 3,500 girls where their playing habits were observed. In 2012, Lego successfully launched its ‘Friends’ line. The sales of ‘Friends’ resulted in increased sales for Lego, exceeding forecasts and expectations.
McDonald’s needs no introduction. The fast-food giant has been around for decades, and McDonald’s is a name that almost everybody knows.
McDonald’s success and popularity don’t stop the company from utilizing market research to stay on top. The company uses traditional market research strategies, such as surveys and questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and competitor analysis. McDonald’s maintain their brand position with the help of market research.
They continuously partner with other well-known companies for their Happy Meal toys. McDonald’s also utilize co-branding by working with Coca-Cola for their beverages. McDonald’s also monitors industry trends to meet the changing needs and wants of their customers. Market research plays an essential role in McDonald’s successful implementation of the four Ps – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.
Market research minimizes risks but does not guarantee that your strategies and ventures will be risk-free. Companies benefit by utilizing market research to grow their business or maintain leadership in the industry. There are costs involved in market research, but these expenses are worth spending.
When choosing a market research firm, you must look at the company’s experience and performance. Working with a reputable and results-oriented market research company helps you remain relevant and competitive in the industry you operate in.