If you’ve ever played sports, gone on vacation, or just gone out to dinner, you know the value of a solid plan.
While it might seem daunting, not planning is the same as saying, “I want to go to Paris!” and then just walking out the door and heading in the general direction.
Will you go on an adventure? Maybe. Will it be fun? Very likely not. Will you even see Paris? Who knows?
If your goal is to seeParis, then you need to research and analyze your options. If it’s to become a successful, growth-oriented business, you need to do the same.
Growing a business depends on solid planning, and solid planning depends on quality market research and analysis.
Here’s how to use market research and analysis to grow your business.
What is Market Research?
It’s the process of collecting information about a particular market sector or industry.
You want to use this research to understand who your target customer is, their needs and wants, as well as any potential competition.
This is important to do whether you’ve already started your business or are just beginning.
Market research and analysis allows you to target what an audience wants or needs, understand the size of the potential market for your product or service, identify anypotential competition and how you can differentiate yourself from them, and what costs and revenue to expect.
Most importantly, it allows you to develop a solid marketing strategy so that you don’t grope blindly searching for product/market fit.
There are two methods for conducting market research: primary and secondary.
This is when you go and gather information from potential customers directly.
There are many methods for getting this information. A few examples are:
● Create focus groups to find out what consumers think about a product or service. This is a small group of people who you bring together to discuss a particular topic.
● Conduct in-depth interviews with potential customers about their needs and wants when it comes to your product or service.
● Release questionnaires to a large number of people in a short time.
● Conduct online surveys by emailing potential customers and asking them questions about their needs and wants about your new business.
There are two types of primary research: exploratory and specific.
These different categories relate to when you’re conducting the research.
If you’re exploring the potential appeal of a product or service you’re hoping to create, then you are conducting exploratory research.
If you already have a product or service and you want to know how to make it better, what its potential customers are like, or something else, then you are conducting specific research.
This is the process of getting information from sources that have already gathered it.
For example, you can get statistics and other relevant information from:
● Market reports on your market or industry.
● Company websites of your potential competitors.
● Trade journals that contain articles about your specific industry or consumer market.
● Government websites that market statistics about your industry.
There are both commercial and public sources for secondary research, some of which are free and some of which will cost you.
Whether to use primary or secondary research methods depends on your business and industry, but if you want to grow it makes sense to use both. More information is often better than not.
How to Grow UsingMarket Research
First, identify what you’re looking to find by performing market research. Are you looking to hone your service offerings, find a new market for your product, or both?
Knowing your goal before hand will allow you to understand when you’ve achieved it.
Next, outline your target customer. Be as specific as you can. What do they want? What needs do they have that they might not even understand yet? How old are they likely to be, what gender, and where do they live? How can you best reach them?
Once you have your target customer, gather data about the market and analyze it. What trends can you identify? What is it about the product or service that people seem to prefer?
Last, analyze your competitors and come up with a business plan that details how you will standout from them.
Growing a business takes audacity, consistency, and a plan.
Whether you're a new business or have been in the game for a while, market research can give you a lay of the land that will allow you to thrive.
One of the best ways to grow a business is to find potential customers and understand what they want fast.
If you’re looking to find prospect data and drive engagement, then try Orbitly today!