Market research is very important. If you don’t know your market you’re basically playing pin the tail on the donkey with your entire business. Understanding and having deep insights into your market and customer base is absolutely essential.
Here are some tips for how to gain those insights.
First Things First
Market research is basically when you study customer input, statistics, surveys and other information to understand your target market, competition and industry challenges and opportunities.
When you know who is buying your product or service or clicking on it you can tailor it to fit their needs and better understand the path forward to fully grasping the potential of your business.¹
Know Your Market
Before analyzing sales or traffic data you need to really do a deep dive into who is using your product or service. What is their typical day? Do they have a family or tend to be single? What is their average income or neighborhood? How many cars do they own on average? All of this information and much, much more can be super useful.
There are many ways to start collecting this data, from real estate records to census information. Below are four methods for collecting insightful market research that can help boost your business to new heights.²
1. Do Interviews
Interviewing customers or potential customers is one of the older but very helpful ways to conduct market research. This method of primary research can give you all sorts of actionable insights into how your customers think and make their decisions as well as what they like and dislike about the product or service you provide.
You can hire a third party to do interviews for you or set up focus groups, phone interviews, surveys and other methods. Because everyone is busy and people may be wary to answer questions you can also offer promotions and incentives for those who answer the questions. Interviews should be short and not last more than a few minutes to show you value your customers’ time.³
2. Investigate Your Competitors
Part of understanding your market is understanding who’s already in it. You need to know your rivals before you can win the game. Think of it like a pond with a giant alligator in it. If you jump in without knowing he’s there you could get badly bitten.
Look at what your competitor is doing and try to see what works and what doesn’t. Try going in their business or using their service to see if it’s good. Check out their customer service, response times, professionalism and everything else. Are these guys formidable or do you think you can do just a little bit better?⁴
3. Crunch The Numbers
As dry as it may sound, numbers matter. Crunch the numbers on your industry and its potential and drawbacks. What are experts predicting for future growth, future risks? What is the worst-case market scenario and the best-case market scenario for the product or service you’re trying to offer?
If you’re an innovator whose wares are not yet tested on the market then look at similar products and services to compare and crunch the statistics. Will the customer base likely grow and if so, what specific locations? Are there any red flags or hidden opportunities? Crunch the numbers and find out.³
4. Use Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to do market research. It can yield all sorts of spontaneous feedback and colorful market research. Sometimes people can get quite rude, but at least you’ll know the unvarnished reactions of some customers.
Offering promotions and having short surveys – even set up as games or fun interactive activities – via social media is also another excellent way to attract people who will answer key questions you want to know about your target base and future potential.²