What can market research do for your business? A lot, actually! Effective market research helps you identify your target customers, their buying habits and motivations, and the best ways to connect with them. Through targeted market research, you can learn things like:
Without solid research, marketing can feel a bit like throwing darts at a wall and hoping for a bullseye. Let’s avoid that by identifying some of the key questions market research can answer for you.
After being in the competitive intelligence industry for more than 30 years, we can confidently say these five questions are among the most important for any business conducting market research:
A great place to start in market research is with the customers you already have. Your ideal customer profile may change over time as new buying patterns emerge or demographics appear.
Example: you ran an ad campaign targeting women with teenage children, but you learn that women in their early 20’s are also buying. Do you need to segment your market differently, or have you identified a potential new customer base? A well-designed research project can illuminate this for you.
In considering who buys your product, it’s also important to know where they buy your product. Do they prefer to see and touch the items in a store? If so, what type of store fits best for your product and target market, and how does the product display affect buying habits? Online shoppers leave behind valuable information that you shouldn’t ignore – everything from how they find your website to their browsing habits and shipping preferences.
Simply looking at the data points can give you some information, but the key will be knowing how to draw insights from the data.
Primary research is the best way to dive deep into consumer motivations. Consumers are constantly seeking better, more efficient ways to solve everyday problems. How does your product or service help them do this – in other words, what need does your product satisfy?
Understanding and adapting to your customers’ needs and motivations is key to shaping your marketing message (and sometimes your product design), not to mention boosting your sales.
Another crucial question primary research can answer for you is How do people see your brand vs. your competitors? You may think your brand runs with the luxury labels, until suddenly a new competitor hits the market, knocking you down a few pegs with your target market.
Brand image is increasingly more fluid in today’s digital climate. A Twitter gaffe or a behind-the-scenes video gone viral can shower your brand with an onslaught of negative reviews. You could even be “cancelled” as the kids say these days.
Remember: just because you know what your brand’s image is supposed to be doesn’t mean your customers feel the same way. Or that they feel the same way they did six months ago. Check-in with regular focus groups, online surveys, and other forms of primary research.
You can have the perfect product marketed to the right people, but if your price point is off the mark, your sales will struggle. Too low, and you risk unsustainable profit margins and/or the perception of delivering poor quality. Too high, and your target customers will go elsewhere.
Your pricing strategy will vary depending on several factors including current market trends, your brand’s ideal image, and your ideal customers’ expectations and needs. A qualified research partner can help you find that “sweet spot”.
Market research helps you pinpoint the right questions to ask, and most importantly, the path to find your answers. We’ve helped hundreds of national brand leaders develop customized market research projects designed to make you stand out against your competition. Contact us for a free initial consultation.