Market research is a critical component in dealing with business development operations; however, because companies want immediate results, the process is hugely neglected. The insights gained from unfocused exploratory research or poorly constructed questionnaires can lead even the most driven data collection officer astray. Market analysis has always been paramount in business advancement, but the fact is that most in-house product testing teams just don’t excel when it comes time to conduct market research.
There are so many different types of research available, through public sources and commercial sources, as well as focus groups, qualitative research questionnaires, and in-depth interviews of likely buyers that a researcher can easily get lost in the noise. As well, consumer behavior can be fickle, especially among the large group of people spread across the United States. This makes data from online surveys or social media platforms and respondents to in-person interviews a hit-or-miss proposition without having constructed specific questions that you hope to answer through contact with potential sources.
The key to conducting market research correctly is to understand your target market while allowing for a variety of types of research to guide your data analysis and resulting market strategy. Beginning with loose hypotheses is essential, but you must be prepared to buck your assumptions and start completely over with new open-ended questions if the results of market research reveal a new, lucrative target customer. Most companies often take a short cut during this phase and model their plans and decisions based on the findings of competitors. This can be detrimental to your marketing plans, as by doing so, you are also replicating their mistakes. Not to mention, by not conducting research of your own, you may miss out on revealing hidden gems and identifying trends that could take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Asking open-ended questions, in particular, can give your market strategy a boost in its search for marketplace penetration. In short, marketing decisions must be made based on sound data analysis rather than on personal preferences or findings of other companies in order to reach a maximum target audience while meeting customer needs in order to drive sales.
Begining the primary research phase with nothing to go by can be intimidating, costly, and time-consuming. Tools like AllBizOps are critical for long-term success. Through smart analyses of real data, AllBizOps supplies companies and enterprises with high-quality leads and audience markers that serve as a starting point for effective market data research. By making use of such resources, marketing departments and C-level executives can institute changes and make well-informed decisions faster and at a fraction of the cost.
Brand awareness is a powerful tool in the United States, so a great place to begin the research process might be with a focus group evaluating brand loyalty to your competitors—and getting to know your potential buyer persona a little better. This can also help identify the market size that your new launch will compete in. Remember, your new product, no matter what market segment you compete in will have to compete for buyer attention. Primary data that evaluates the strength of your competitors may be the best way to start, but conducting secondary market research to understand how your brand name has fared over time is equally important market information.
Many firms will struggle to break into a new market, so conducting a SWOT analysis to make direct observations about your own processes can also be of great assistance to successful product differentiation. However, these issues tend to plague service providers, advertisers, and entrepreneurs for years; in order to really connect with your target audience finding a secondary source of market research to conduct a focused research study for you is likely the best way to move ahead in the marketplace. AllBizOps, for instance, conducts powerful market research, over and above the simple yet informative ethnography data or shopper trends that a small business or medium-sized enterprise could collect itself.
AllBizOps is at the forefront of a new trend in market research methods, utilizing a market research information system (or MRIS) model rather than the traditional and outdated analytic collection methods that most market researchers deploy. MRIS platforms aggregate market and industry data from thousands of external sources in order to draw direct observations from a diverse data set representing a range of demographics. These types of information are all collated and presented easy-to-access PDF research reports in one location.
Specific research can include targeting prospective buyers through insights about mobile devices, usability testing and social media scouring, even evaluation of unique and shifting trade association journal ISBN numbers, among other methods to engage with respondents. This pairing of high powered quantitative research with qualitative market research makes for a firm understanding of your target customer: what grabs his attention, where his motivation to buy lies, and how to best target advertisements on social media, television, and news content that will reach him effectively. This information can then be used to further assess and analyze your target audience through research, tests, and surveys.
Technology advances allow for large data sets to be updated regularly and analyzed for highly targeted marketing goals. The inclusion of secondary data adds to the veracity of the primary research and provides valuable data-driven insights that support intelligent marketing decisions.
Utilizing market research firms to evaluate your target customers is a must in the mid-sized market, small businesses require a unique set of marketing practices, but emerging players in all industries must evolve to succeed in an ever-growing field of competitors.