Effective Market Research for Startup

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Market research is something which can be done before setting up a business, during a marketing event, or even after implementing a marketing strategy. However, with market research, it is always important to make sure that your efforts, whether online market research or otherwise, are bearing fruit and not just unnecessarily costing you time and effort. Here are a few things on effective market research and how to do it.

Different customers, different wants.

With any business, it is always important to understand just what kind of audience and followers is available to you. Otherwise, you would just be releasing products and services that don’t really fit with the customers you have and could have. Often, what’s missing in a business’ market research is a deeper understanding of its customer base, that is, what people want and need depending on different factors such as time of day, season, genders, social class, and many others.

It takes a bit of imagination, but putting yourself in the position of an interested buyer is one good way of supporting the data that you acquire through traditional market research methods. If you run a restaurant and find out that your biggest market comes from surrounding offices at lunchtime, for example, you could pretend that you are coming out for lunch and see what a customer would be looking for in this scenario. Early morning commuters? Imagine what you would be looking for if you just got out of the house to get to work and are hungry for some breakfast. The quality of your products is always important, but you also need to consider the customer on the other side of the counter and know how to choose a proper target market.

The context behind the data counts.

Market research is all well and good until you interpret the data incorrectly and make a mistake that would set you back instead of push you forwards. Having perfectly valid and accurate data is not a confirmation of successful market research, and in fact Forbes.com shares more on this as well why so much market research sucks. The basic idea, though, is that you need to look around the circumstances of the information and not just the information itself, because you might otherwise miss something crucial.

Consider an example about a hypothetical cake store researching on customers’ favourite cupcake flavours. Giving respondents a choice between Red Velvet cupcakes and Chocolate cupcakes, the store’s research might reflect that people really love Red Velvet cupcakes; however, an increase in production of the cupcakes yields no significant improvement in sales and maybe even a drop in customer turnout. In this case, taking the data and thinking it means “Customers love Red Velvet cupcakes” is wrong because you didn’t consider that their response is about a choice between only two specific cupcake flavours. In short, they may prefer one over the other but not particularly like either of the flavours.

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Use it to break into new markets.

If you want to reinvent your business or one of your existing products in order to cater to a different group of customers, being prepared with effective market research is a must. One example of breaking into new markets is taking a previously specialized product and tweaking it for mass production and distribution to the general public. It takes extensive research in order to successfully make that shift, and if you’re not careful you could end up wasting a lot of money trying to sell something that is not saleable to your newly chosen market.

In this case, it is not only information about people that is important but also existing rules and regulations, market conditions, and other statistics. For example, you might want to sell your product to two different cities, and the people from both might use it for entirely different purposes. What happens in this situation is that it doesn’t matter that you have two groups of people with varied needs as long as your product’s flexibility allows for it. With the right information, you can do anything with your business.

Summing it up.

There are countless different tools available to businesses when it comes to market research. In the end, though, what will matter is not the tool itself but what people make out of these tools. Dealing with the data gathered from research can seem daunting and impossible at times, but in the end it will be all worth it to see your business boom.

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