How to conduct Market Research?

Market research is one of the most important steps that entrepreneurs should take before initiating their projects. Such type of research gives them a clear vision of the products and new services that may generate large profits to them. In respect to already available products and services, market research enables companies to fulfill the needs and expectations of their customers. By searching for answers to some specific questions, small enterprise owners will be able to identify whether they need to change how their products and services are delivered, or even if they need to provide additional services.  

When business owners conduct market research, they will be able to use the outcomes to set the appropriate business and marketing plans, or to measure the effectiveness and success of their current plans; hence, the importance of asking the right people the right questions because conducting low-quality research would set businesses on the wrong track.

In order to help you conduct research properly, we provide you with the key elements of market research and how to evaluate the findings. This will help you properly launch your enterprise and avoid any potential mistakes.

Types of Market Research:

Primary or Preliminary Research:

The purpose of such research is to collect data arising from the analysis of current sales and the effectiveness of business practices. Primary research considers the plans of competitors, providing you with sufficient information on your competitors.

Collecting Information for Primary Research may Include:

– Conducting Interviews (whether through the phone or face to face)

– Opinion Polls (online or by e-mail)

– Questionnaires (online or e-mail)

– Identifying a sample of potential customers and consumers and directly asking for their feedback.

Some Important Questions should be Included in This Stage of Research:

– What are factors do you take into consideration when purchasing this product or accessing this service?

– What do you like and dislike about the products and services currently available in the market?

– Which aspect do you recommend improving?

– Which price is suitable for this product or service?

Secondary Research:

The purpose of secondary research is to analyze data that has been already published. This type of research helps you identify your competitors, set basic standards and identify targeted groups. The latter comprises people who fall under the targeted demographic group, including individuals living according to a specific life style and having certain behavioral patterns or even belonging to a pre-determined age group.

Collecting Data in this Stage of Research:

No small enterprise may succeed without understanding its customers, products, services and market in general. Competition in the business world is often fierce; hence, initiating business activity without conducting the required research may offer competitors additional advantages that puts them in a better position.

There are Two methods of Data Collection at This Stage:

Quantitative Methods: It utilizes mathematical analysis and requires a large sample to apply the research to. The outcomes of such data will shed light on great differences which are statistically significant. One source of quantitative data, especially if you own a unique website, is web analysis (available on Google toolbar). Such information will help you identify many things; for example, the source of your potential customers, time spent by visitors browsing your website and exit pages.

Qualitative Methods: Such methods will help you in developing and refining your qualitative research methods. It could also help business owners in identifying a potential problem. Such methods often involve conducting interviews to collect customer feedback and identify their values and beliefs. Small samples are usually required in such research methods.

It should be noted that many new enterprise owners lack time and money, which prompts them to cut the research process short. In turn, this may result in negative repercussions. Those owners should be very careful not to fall for such common marketing mistakes when conducting market research. Common mistakes include:

Conducting Secondary Research Only: Relying on third party published research will not give you the full picture. While such research may provide an important source of information to start with, keep in mind that information obtained from secondary research may be outdated information; as a result, you may lose the ability to identify other factors related to your business enterprise.

Using Available Sources on the Internet Only: Using popular search engines to collect data will give you access to publicly available data that may not be quite accurate. Accordingly, if you want to conduct deeper research without exceeding your budget, you may seek available resources at local libraries, universities or even at small business centers.

 – Relying only on the Opinion of People You Know: Small enterprise owners may sometimes survey their family members and close colleagues when conducting research, but such samples will not provide you with the best outcomes. In order to obtain both accurate and beneficial information, you will need to speak with real customers in order to identify their needs, desires and expectations.

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