“Running a company on market research is like driving while looking in the rearview mirror”, says Anita Roddick and we couldn’t agree more. To break down what market research is in a simpler form, it is considered the backbone of any business. When you first think of a business idea or come across a business opportunity it is important to understand the market landscape, who your competitors are in addition to knowing your consumers. The first few months can prove to be precarious to any new business and if you haven’t spent enough time and effort into market research, then you’re not going to have a business model strong enough to ensure that those customers don’t stop coming to you. Let’s look at what market research entails and why it is important for businesses to invest in it.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the simplest and most efficient way for businesses to keep up with the industry trends, identify consumer problems and track realistic competitors while maintaining an edge by sizing up a business opportunity. It isn’t a specific activity or a method, it’s just an attempt for businesses to learn more about their target audience to maintain relevance and longevity of their business. Market research can be carried out in different stages depending on different objectives - for instance, if your business is launching a new product or service, conducting research from the pre-launch stage makes sense as it will help you gain a sense of how your target market may respond to your product/service and help you establish a sound business strategy to grow your brand and leave your competitors behind.
Now that we have a better understanding of ‘what is market research’, let’s look at how it could prove to be fruitful to a burgeoning business and ensure it’s growth and longevity, or simply put - the importance of marketing research for businesses.
- It helps you spot business opportunities - When you spend adequate time on market research, you don’t just learn about your customers in-depth but also identify other avenues for growth like viable partnerships with other businesses and crack deals that can be mutually beneficial. Additionally, your research findings can also help you in coming up with product extensions, product bundles and upsells that can help increase revenue.
- It helps you understand your customers in-depth - For businesses, the role of marketing research comes into play in understanding and solving customer problems and their pain points in depth. There are certain exercises that you as a business owner can conduct to get a better understanding of who your target customer is and how they behave. Some of these include surveys, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, telephone interviews amongst others.
- It helps you understand your competitors and their approach - If your business is in a heavily competitive space, knowing and understanding what your competitors are doing is instrumental in establishing a different marketing strategy for your business. Market research helps you assess the key players and what they do. Additionally, it can also help you identify the weaknesses in your competitor’s approach and identify the gaps that you can bank on to win over customers, thus defining the importance of marketing research. Knowing what your competition is doing and staying ahead of them is pivotal to the success of your business.
- It helps you in business growth - The role of marketing research is pivotal in detecting more business opportunities, devise the perfect marketing strategy, stay ahead of your competition, capture relevant insights and grow your business while minimizing your losses. It helps you categorize your objectives while staying relevant to your target customers. An effective research strategy will not only help you predict some of the pitfalls but also help you navigate through them. The process of market research is designed to reduce risks, devise apt marketing strategies and growth models that are cost-effective for your business.
- It helps you identify the right channels of marketing - Once you set up your business, you need a solid marketing plan to build awareness and acquire customers. Market research can help you in reaching your target audience in the channels where they are most likely to see your brand. The importance of marketing research lies wherein you can get detailed insights about your customers, what they do, whether they are digital-savvy or not, what kind of messaging they will respond to and how you can reach them. Once you have this information, you can then devise a marketing strategy that takes into account all the right channels of communication, the right kind of messaging and the right kind of budget to amplify the messaging.
In conclusion, all we’d like to say is that if you are a business that’s just starting out, ensure you spend enough time and resources to get a better understanding of the market landscape as it guarantees success and growth. We have put together this article to help you understand what is market research and to elucidate the importance of marketing research for your ambitious business plans.
Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!