Technology has given the modern-day consumer, a great deal of power to independently investigate your product/service by seeking referrals from friends and family as well as online reviews before making the decision to patronise you.
Adjusting your marketing plan to reflect today’s consumers’ purchasing habits means you have to invest in market research. This will help you have a comprehensive understanding as to who your consumers are, how to target them, as well as the factors that impact their purchasing decisions and actions.
What is a Market Research?
Market research involves collecting information regarding your target targeted consumers in order to determine the success of a new product, iterate on current products, or gain a better understanding of how your brand is perceived in order to make sure you are effectively communicating your company’s core values.
A market research can provide answers to a variety of concerns about an industry’s state, but the process might take weeks or even months. It improves your understanding of who your customers are and how to provide unique values that no other company is currently providing.
What are the benefits of conducting market research?
By doing a market research, you connect with your consumers where they are. This way, you get to construct your product or service to organically appeal to your consumers by first understanding their challenges, pain points, and desired solutions.
Market research also reveals information on a variety of factors that affect the success of your business, such as:
- Where your potential customers and current customers go to learn more about your products or services
- For information, choices, or purchases, which of your competitors does your target market turn to?
- What’s trending in your industry and among your consumers.
- What are the demographics of your target market, and what are the challenges they face?
- What influences the purchasing decisions and conversions of your target audience?
- Perceptions of a topic, a problem, a product, or a brand among consumers.
- If the efforts your company is making are in high demand.
- Unmet or underserved needs of customers that can be turned into a selling opportunity
- Attitudes toward pricing for a specific product or service
Market research actually helps you to get data from a bigger sample of your target audience, removing prejudice and misconceptions to get to the heart of customer perception. As a result of understanding the big picture, you can make smarter business decisions.
How to Conduct Market Research?
Establish a buyer persona.
Before you do anything else, you need to know who your customers are. Their identities come in handy at this point. Buyer personas are made-up, generalized depictions of your ideal customers that help you understand them, streamline your interactions, and define your approach. Age, gender, location, profession, family size, income, and challenges are all factors to take into account.
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Choose a persona group to interact with.
Use the buyer persona knowledge obtained to choose a group of people as a representative sample of your target consumers so you can better understand their actual traits, difficulties, and buying habits. They have to be people who recently made a purchase or actively chose not to make one.
Compose research questions for the people who will be participating in your market research.
Whether it’s for a focus group, an online survey, or a phone interview, you should always establish a discussion guide to ensure you touch on all of the top-of-mind issues. Here are some important questions to ask:
- Describe how your team is structured.
- Tell me about your personal job responsibilities.
- What are the team’s goals and how do you measure them?
- What has been the most difficult challenge you’ve faced in the last 12 months?
- Consider the first time you realized you needed a [product/service category]. What were the difficulties you were dealing with at the time?
- How did you realize that this category could be of use to you?
- How well did you know the various options available?
- What did you do first in your quest for possible solutions? What was the outcome?
- Where did you look for additional information?
- What method did you use to locate that source?
- What methods did you employ to access vendor websites?
- What words did you use in your Google search?
- How beneficial was it? Is there any way to make it better?
- Who was the most (and least) helpful in providing information?
- Which of the sources you mentioned above had the greatest impact on your decision?
- What vendors made the shortlist, and what were the benefits and drawbacks of each?
- Who else was involved in the decision-making process? What role did they play?
- What elements ultimately affected your decision to purchase?
Make a list of your main competitors.
Remember that identifying the competition isn’t always as straightforward as comparing Company X to Company Y. Even if that company’s brand puts greater effort into other areaa, a department of the company may be competing with your core product or service.
Make a summary of your findings.
To make the process easier, create a report using a presentation software, which will allow you to easily add quotes, diagrams, or call clips. The following outline should assist you in creating a concise summary:
Background: What are your objectives and why did you perform this study?
Participants: The people you spoke with. A table can be used to separate groups by persona and customer/prospect.
Summary of findings: What did you discover that was the most interesting? What are your plans for dealing with it?
Awareness: Describe the most common triggers that drives consumers to seek an analysis.
Consideration: Include the major themes you discovered, as well as the specific sources consumers utilize to conduct their research.
Decision: Include the people who have the most impact, as well as any product features or facts that can make or break a sale, in your depiction of how a decision is reached.
Action Plan: Based on your research, you should be able to conduct a few campaigns to get your brand in front of shoppers sooner and/or more successfully. Provide a priority list, a schedule, and an estimate of the impact on your business.