Market Research for Budding Entrepreneurs – What to Keep in Mind
As a startup business, surviving in today’s competitive business environment without a solid knowledge of your target audience has become increasingly challenging. Here comes the role of market research to help you learn more about what your customers want to improve your marketing strategies.
What is market research?
Market research is the practice of gathering information on your potential customers by tracking consumer behaviors, market, and economic trends to evaluate and improve your performance and your customer experience.
Market research also involves gathering data on your competitors to decide where your business stands in the market, improve your business plan and operations, create new products and services, or improve existing ones.
Market research can involve several methods, such as market surveys, customer feedback, focus groups, sales analysis, monitoring trends and competitors, and more.
Why is market research important for startups?
Areas that market research can help you improve to build a stronger business:
1. Improving your brand
Market research usually involves surveying customers and focus groups to get their feedback and insights, the thing that helps in developing your brand position in the market.
Market research can help you improve your branding by exploring the following aspects of your business:
• Your brand awareness: how well your customers are aware and familiar with your brand.
• Your brand identity: the main characteristics your customers associate with your brand.
• Competitors analysis: how your business is doing compared to your competitors.
2. Understanding your customers
Knowing your target audience better will give you a clearer idea of the right market you need to focus your efforts and funds on, and the best methods to reach your customers.
Some of the most important information you need to find out about your customers when researching your target audience is:
• Marital status
• Family members (number, age)
• Spending habits
• Preferred social media platforms
3. Understanding your competitors
One common mistake of new business owners is underestimating the importance of studying their competitors’ performance. This practice involves analyzing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to improve your products and operations and win a competitive edge in the market. Market research helps you identify your competitors’ best moves or mistakes, so you get inspired or avoid repetitive slips.
4. Measuring your marketing efforts
Good market research gauges consumers’ responses about your campaigns to give an indication of the efficacy of your marketing efforts and the strength of your messaging. This kind of research will help you to optimize your marketing plans to resonate with your audience’s needs and preferences.
5. Finding new business opportunities
Market research opens doors to new market prospects by giving insights into the right locations to
set up or expand your business and the readiness of the market for your new products or services.
Performing market research also helps identify the services or products your target market lacks so
you focus on filling these gaps. Since market research depends heavily on customer feedback and
reviews, it offers you invaluable insight into customer preferences to provide a product or
service that fulfill their needs.
Know more about the most important marketing strategies in 2023
Steps of the market research Process
Here are the steps to follow when conducting market research:
1. Define your research objectives
What answers you’re seeking through market research? Do you want to know more about your customers, understand your target markets, analyse your competitors’ behaviors, or identify the gaps in the market? Determine the outcomes of your research beforehand.
2. Identify your target audience
Before you start your market research, you need to decide on the group of customers you want to reach with your product or service. You need to have a clear idea about your target audience’s geographic location, demographics, behavior patterns, and other information.
3. Collect your data
There are two types of data you can collect: primary and secondary data. Primary market research data is the data you gather yourself through surveys, questionnaires, and other data collection methods, while secondary market research data is the data that already exists, such as reports and articles.
4. Analyse your data.
After collecting your data, you need to analyse it in order to reach useful conclusions. Analyse the data to find trends, patterns, and connections you can apply to your business.
5. Identify your competitors.
Research on your competitors to learn about their products or services, prices, and marketing tactics.
6. Identify your USP (unique selling proposition)
Determine what singles out your product or service and how it might stand out from the competition based on your research.
7. Make decisions based on your research findings
Utilize the knowledge you gathered to make informed decisions on your products, prices, and marketing strategies.
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