Market research. Do I really need it? Do I need it now? What kind of ROI can I expect? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. In many cases, businesses are unsure about how, when, and why to use market research methodologies.
Market research is best when performed by highly trained professionals. The goal is to give businesses the insights they need to maximize ROI, and the confidence to make better business decisions. But how do you know when it’s time to dive into the data?
Here are some of the top signs it might be time to seek out a qualified research partner.
With money on the line and futures at stake, before a product launch or service rollout is arguably the best time to do research. Feasibility testing or online surveys can reveal key flaws as well as possible improvements. Be sure you’re targeting the right age group, market, and sales outlets before going to market. If you’re seeking funding from investors or lenders, proof of concept is not only recommended; it’s often mandatory.
Your employees are not behaving the way you want them to. Productivity is down, or employee turnover is high. It’s time to find out why. If you’re not sure what’s motivating your employees or whether they are truly buying-in to the company’s mission, you might need market research to learn more about your internal teams.
Your employees will love the fact that you value their opinion and care about their well-being. This, in itself, is often a first step towards better employee performance.
Have you noticed that your ads aren’t packing the same punch as before?
Whether your marketing has gone stale or you missed the mark from the get go, a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods offer insights about where (and why) your messaging may have fallen flat. More importantly, the data can tell you where your ad dollars are best spent and what you should change to stay top-of-mind and up to date. In other words, research helps you create marketing content that increases conversions.
The old saying is true – you can’t please everyone all the time. Even the most beloved companies receive negative feedback from time to time. But if you’re experiencing above-average complaints or customer turnover – it’s time to take a closer look.
A qualified market research firm will use customer surveys, focus groups, secret shopping and other qualitative research methods to find out what has changed – either with your customers, the market, or with your product or service itself. Customer feedback should be ongoing, but it’s especially critical when things are trending downward. After all, if you don’t know what’s causing the change, how can you expect to fix it?
This is perhaps the simplest, and yet also the most overlooked reason to do market research.
You and your team members are heavily invested – emotionally, financially, mentally. When you’re deeply immersed in the day-to-day operations of your business, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Thus, sometimes it helps to bring in an objective, third-party to do some strategic planning research. This could involve in-house interviews or focus groups with internal stakeholders and management teams. The resulting report provides key insights and a fresh perspective on key topics related to your business.
We’ve seen it time and time again. You’ve been the big fish in your sector and sales are chugging along. Then suddenly, everything changes when a new and successful product appears in your market, eating up your market share.
Take the beverage industry for example, where new products are entering the space almost daily. How do you think Coca-Cola has managed to keep their slice of the pie all these years? By researching the changing tastes of consumers and adapting accordingly – hence the appearance of Coke Zero and their absorption of water companies like Dasani and Topo Chico, as consumers have begun to shy away from sugary drinks.
Staying on top of market trends and products could mean the difference between staying on top or falling behind.
Voccii® is a market research firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our enterprise clients span all industries across the US and beyond. Interested in talking more about market research and creating a customized plan to answer your burning questions? Contact us now.