Market research and analysis are tools designed to help you better understand the people and area in which you will do business. It goes beyond knowing their favorite beverage or how many kids they have. The right combination of research and analysis will tell you what they choose, why they choose it, and how they live their lives. Consider these examples and decide which is more useful to you:
A. Your primary demographic lives within a 5 mile radius of your business, are more than 80% male, commute less than 20 minutes to work in each direction, and have no children under 18 currently living with them.
B. Your primary demographic lives within a 5 mile radius of your business because they are on a long-term mining project, are more than 85% male because you must be able to lift 100 lbs. to work on the project, commute less than 20 minutes to work in each direction because the mining company has put them up in hotels in town, and have no children under 18 currently living with them because their family is in another state.
If your company sells safety equipment for miners, the people in Group A might be a group of 21 year old Stanford graduates living near a tech startup in Silicon Valley…and a terrible demographic to go after. But better research and some experienced analysis revealed that instead of social media programmers, you found a group of customers that have expendable income and need your product.
Ideally, market research should be done before a business or product is launched. According to William Bill of Wealth Design Group, “failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Texas to New York without a map or street signs.”
But does that mean you can’t do market research after a launch? Certainly not!
Businesses (and their products) routinely benefit from a fresh look at the marketplace. Demographics and buying patterns change. For example, before the year 2000, the average automotive customer used no more than five sources in their buying process. Referrals, a manufacturer website, a visit to the dealership, and perhaps one or two more inputs. Now, according to Google, the average automotive consumer uses 18.4 sources before making a purchase! That type of change in a relatively short amount of time is staggering. It is also an excellent impetus to conduct new market research and make appropriate adjustments to business internal and external marketing procedures.
There are a variety of methods available and goals you may need to accomplish: The most common are:
Ideally, you will learn about market prices and how they are impacted by the supply and demand circumstances. You will also gain an understanding of your customers such as the example above. Trending will help predict swings in a market or how a change may impact a particular demographic. And finally, a detailed analysis of your complete situation with honest analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
This collection of data will best equip you for success. How you use this data will determine its effectiveness as well as the timing of when the data is collected.
There are two general types of market research: primary and secondary.
Primary research involved the first-person collection of new data. Focus groups, telephone interviews, experimentation, or direct observation are examples of primary research. It can be expensive and time consuming can may be the most accurate market research possible for you.
Secondary research is the analysis of research that has already been conducted. This presents a different set of pitfalls from primary market research such as relying solely on online sources or utilizing research that was intended to analyze a different market, product, or challenge.
Before beginning any research, we make sure to understand your business and product as well as you do. Our research team will meet with you to learn about your product so that we can tailor our efforts to meet your needs. We will then begin working with our partners to create the best strategy that is both affordable and timely. Once the market research and analysis has been completed, you will be equipped to make a confident decision.
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