Well, investing time in market research can be typically boring, especially when you can’t wait to execute a “brand new business idea.”
*which may not be as new as you’d think*
We don’t blame you for that— it's quite natural to glide with the excitement— after all, who wouldn’t want to jump to making and selling products when they already have ideas?
But setting up a new business is more about settling the battle between your traits, i.e., the urge and patience.
Whilst your urge can play a good motivating-agent for at least starting up a business and helping earn a few brownie points here and there, with time, it will eventually mellow down— and that may prove precarious in the long run.
Contrary to it, composed market research will make sure that there’s a continuous flow of customers— and not to mention— that happens to be a primary long-term goal for any small and new business.
So, why market research? Are we doing it because everybody says so?
No! We are doing it because everybody does so.
And so, we’ll do it firstly by understanding what’s market research.
What is market research? Dissecting it into layman’s
A formal definition would go like— a business strategy that lets you collect information about customers or target markets.
But we’re focusing more on the informal insight here. And here it goes:
Buyers are informed more than ever.
They hold power for making purchase decisions.
It’s imperative for you to breakdown what they know about the market or the similar product/service as of yours in the market.
It’s also about understanding whether your strategies will match the way they are already buying or shopping.
Technically, learning more about the target audience can help strengthen your service/product as most of the businesses are consumer-driven today.
So, when you decide to give market research a shot— you are trying to learn everything about the customer behavior, the channel they like to be contacted, the services they want, the marketing campaigns they love, the preferential treatment they expect, the experience they feel, and a lot more.
There are helpful and quicker ways to go about it— like buying market reports or guides.
However, you should start by taking baby-steps because that’ll give your more realistic sense of the market.
Here’re some of these small yet vital steps before you enter market research full-fledged.
- Talk to your immediate target contacts
Business reports do give you statistical briefings, but getting in direct touch with the target contact can brief you about real-life experiences. For example, you want to launch a contact lens selling platform. Ask immediate contacts about their specs-wearing journey, and the pros and cons while they wear them. There will be a point in your timeline when their real-life experiences will work as great assists for your business.
- Talks on relevant online forums and pages
Online forums and pages are research paradises. They already have segmented niches, and all you have to do is— use this low-effort method to indulge in direct talks with them. This task will again give you the healthy/trendy mindsets of sellers/buyers in the market. You can also market your business on these segmented niches.
- Conduct an online survey on your website
Although online surveys aren’t as effective for new businesses, if your site has a bit of traffic— you can post survey forms for directing data into meeting further service-oriented goals. You can gain relevant information by posing customized questions encircling your brand-idea.
The baby-steps, as mentioned above, will give the actual essence of the market and customers involved in it.
You can blend these essences into your business to give full-scale meaning to it and generate more leads.
You can later get into more aggressive market research techniques after you’ve had words with your target audience.
How is market research important to your business and how to make use of it?
There are basically two types of market research—
First, you are trying to find your target audience.
Second, you are trying to find information about your target audience.
Considering that market research has given you the direction towards the target audience, let’s find out how it doles out as a brilliant business-tool for accomplishing your endeavors.
1. Floors opportunities right in front of you
After you know more about your audience, their preferences, likings, most used mediums, and interests, you will be able to visualize options more distinctly.
You can further use these options to create a spectrum of opportunities for your business.
How to use it for your business?
- Localize and target
Knowing more about people and their demographics will help you construct a localized website. A localized site rides on the cultural semantics of users and makes them feel homely while transacting business with you. And it’s a sniper in your hand for shooting up your ROI as 75% of the audience want to buy in their native language.
- Partner on mutual benefit basis
When you know about dominant companies in your target area, you can reach them and offer a mutual benefit proposal. For example, you can joint advertise or cross-refer contact lens solution companies if you are selling contact lenses. By doing this, you can have access to an already built audience.
- Give favorite choices
Giving what your customers want will lead to a higher conversion rate. For example, average subcontinent audiences make a successful purchase only when they get their preferred payment option, i.e., Cash on delivery. Try to travel the extra mile to give your customers their favorite choices because that’s what eventually going to get you sales.
2. Lets you tackle business risks and problems.
Over half a million start-ups go green signal every month.
But more than 30% of them perish before two years, and even more perilous— almost half of them die before five years.
Since these numbers are concerning, you got to have a strong foundation before you hit the market with force.
And without a doubt, market research has enormous capabilities in setting up a strong base for your business.
How to use it for your business?
- Reduce the risk of trial and error
Entering into the market without research is nothing but a trial and error method. You may succeed, but chances of failure is more. However, with market research, you will walk on the strategies which already have a proven track record. For example, you’d invest less on desktop applications and more on mobile apps because that’s the demand of the current trend.
- Create better pricing strategies
Most of the new companies fail to acquire market or lose grounds in an already established market because they don’t have a reading of pricing strategy. And pricing can detest a user from trusting your business. It’s necessary to decode a buying pattern of customers for your new business. For example, Apple uses a skimming marketing strategy where its products are too expensive for the masses, and they get the prices down after they have a new product in the market. Contrary to that, Android uses a penetration pricing strategy whose goal is to capture the market pie by selling the products at relatively low-rates.
- Look into problem-solving insights
Despite the hard efforts, results may not come out as expected. In fact, you may be leaking a fair share of profit because of unidentified chinks in your business model. With market research, you can conduct surveys at each level of your model, analyze them to resolve the issues for catering better services, and avoid business risks altogether.
3. Relay information on relevant promotional channels
You may ask why not promote a brand on all the platforms?
While the idea sounds great and proves effective for giants, most of the small businesses have budget constraints.
In that case, advertising your brand in an unoptimized/irrelevant channel will be like shooting blank guns on your enemies.
Market research ensures that your message gets relayed to the relevant audience on the proper channel rather than killing it within the medium.
How to use it for your business?
- Use relevant ad space
You want to display ads to the right audience, and you can do this by promoting the product on relevant ad space. For example, you would want to advertise contact lenses on LinkedIn as most of the users are tech-professionals who are subjected to eye-strain and discomfort.
- Choose suitable advertising modes
Market research will give a comprehensive awareness of appropriate advertisement modes. For example, your business may have more traffic from billboards rather than online marketing. Moving one step further, it can also give you a brief note on how DOOH(Doing out of home) advertising captures more attention than traditional boards. You can pick the most feasible or result-oriented advertising mode and grab your user attention.
- Do precise targeting
Apart from demographics targeting, you can also feed ads with more precision and better conversion rate using PPC marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. Creating a lookalike audience on Facebook and Instagram will also give you an in-depth insight into customer behavior and interests, and you can use that to reap the maximum benefit.
- Bring the already built audience into play
A holistic market research will give you a breadth of view on the influencers who may do worlds of good to your business. It’s one of the most effective ways to pump the brand image into the minds of an already made-up audience. Contact these word of mouth geniuses to skyrocket your sales.
4. Motivates to build relevant content material
Content is the key when it comes to gathering an audience.
It’s the base of inbound marketing strategy as it enhances the domain authority and brand awareness, and leeways a passage for SEO-traffic.
If you have started to regard content vital for your business, then you can say that market research is already proving the case that it’s useful.
That’s because many businesses tend to overlook content, and if you aren’t one of those— then market research has already played the trick.
Apart from making you mindful of content, market research also motivates you to be as relevant as you can to the audience.
How to use it for your business?
- Make content strategies
Stuffing your website with promotional content all across the length and breadth of the web pages will hint a lot about you impatience. But researching customer's wants and needs and educating or leaving social messages will have a far better impact on them. And that’s a part of market research and better content strategy.
- Understand concise content-type
Market analysis can tell you about what content type gets you more clicks. For example, videos on how buying contact lenses will take care of the loopholes of specs can be a great way to interact with your users. Similarly, crisp copies and wit on Twitter make an indirect connection with intellectuals. Hence, you should hire a good copywriter to engage these audiences.
- Add on personalization
Personalization is all about making your audience feel that they are interacting with humans and not machines. For example, by segregating age groups of your audience, you can call them with their prefered nomenclatures. Addressing millennials or baby boomers using the internet slang or memes will help them feel comfortable and personalized while having a business with you.
5. Pushes you to compete and even outdo competitors
You’ll never run short of competitors— it’s the only constant in the market.
The worst part is— you can’t control the way your competitors are gaining votes of satisfaction.
But the good part is— you have control over your brand, and market research furnishes even stronger control for you to outpower your competitors.
You can do this by getting to the bottom of all the problems which are troubling your audience.
If you can learn about customer problems more than your competitors, and deliver the best service as and when needed— there will be no stopping.
How to use it for your business
- Evaluate customer experience
Customer experience sums up the story of your efforts as it unveils a lot of details on users’ satisfaction. You can put up surveys and feedback to muster what they think of you and your competitions. Make a careful scrutinization to make relevant alteration left and right for offering impeccable services, and outplay your competitors.
- Make the most of frustrated users
Other brands’ frustrated/dissatisfied customers can function as a blessing in disguise for you. With market analytics, you can reach out to these customers, hear-in their experiences, and formulate special offers to acquire. For example, you can visit your competitors’ Instagram feed and stretch out to the frustrated commenters.
- Read your competitors
Market research is not always about reading your customers. It has a great deal to do with your competitors. You can analyze the market, products, promotional mediums, etc. of these competitors, and work on the segments which your competitor has neglected.
6. Opportunes growth hack in a short time
The start-ups who understand the concept of "perform or perish" look for massive growth in relatively short-time— and that may be the case with you as well.
But looking to grow is very different from what you do.
Although it’s an excellent objective to harbor, you can’t really grow if you don’t follow a deeply researched path.
Market research is that growth hack strategy which may feel slow initially but eventually dwells out as a rocket at a later stage of your business life.
How to use it for your business
- Make concrete decisions
The fact that you have a thorough discernment of the market will let you make more informed and practical decisions. As you can make succinct distinctions between several options and recognize the better fit for your business— the growth process will fasten automatically.
- Set achievable and deliverables
The extensive market research will give you a vivid picture of what’s achievable and what can be delivered. With this detail, you can set your eyes on the achievable objectives within your constraint precincts. And definite goals, beyond a shadow of a doubt, result in quicker growth.
- Analyze your existence
As cynical as it may sound, some businesses are better left-off, and leaving them may make a way out for another exciting start. Market research will tell you precisely whether you should carry your business or not. So, assess your growth to decide if your existence matters to the audience— and if it doesn’t— look for another market.
The final ironic loop of market research
Now that you know substantial deals with market research, you may get tantalized into spending boatloads of green bills.
But the ironic yet the golden rule of market research is— Never Invest In Market Research Without Researching On Market Research.
Since you can carry market research in several ways— some market research techniques are more effective than others.
And for a budget-constrained start-up— it’s vital that you choose a more plausible and coherent technique.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get into the ironic loop of market research and see your business fly.