Market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data about a particular market or industry to better understand consumer behavior and inform business decisions.
Here are ten steps you can take to obtain some great information through market research
1. Define your target market
The first step in any market research process is to clearly define exactly who you are trying to reach with your product or service. This will be the basis for all of your other marketing efforts, so it needs to be as specific as possible.
2. Determine which channels to use for reaching your target market
Different types of marketing channels will reach different groups of people, choose the ones that are most likely to reach and appeal to the people you want to connect with. This might include advertising on TV, radio, online, or through direct mailers, using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or even sending out coupons or discounts in newspapers and magazines.
3. Gather information about your competitors
One of the best ways to find out what type of products or services are in demand with your target market is to research what your competitors are doing. This can be done through online research, looking at their websites and social media pages, attending trade shows where they will be exhibiting, or simply contacting them directly to ask questions.
4. Conduct surveys and interviews with potential customers
Even more valuable than information you might get from studying the competition is information that comes straight from people who might actually buy your product or service, so make sure you ask plenty of questions! There are many different types of surveys and interviews that can be used for market research purposes, including focus groups, customer questionnaires sent out by email or postal mail, and one-on-one interviews with members of your target market.
5. Do some “guerrilla” marketing research
Guerrilla marketing is a type of advertising that can be used by companies to gather information directly from their target audience, without spending large amounts of money on traditional methods like surveys and focus groups. This might include placing questions or ads in unexpected places (such as subway stations, shopping malls, or grocery stores), holding contests or giveaways that require customers to answer a question about your product or service in order to participate, sending out pop-up surveys via email, or simply talking with people face-to-face about your product or service and recording their reactions.
6. Use online tools for analyzing data
There are a number of useful analytics tools that can be used to help you analyze and interpret the data you gather during your market research. These might include Google Keyword Planner, which is a free tool that helps marketers determine the right keywords to use in their campaigns; social media tracking tools like Buzzsumo and Hashtagify, which help you find out what types of content are being shared most frequently on different social platforms; or even online survey software like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, which can make creating and sharing surveys much easier than doing it by hand.
7. Use “Big Data” analysis techniques for deeper insights
If you want to get really detailed information about your target market’s buying habits and preferences, consider using one of the many Big Data analytics tools that are now available. These powerful tools can help you analyze huge amounts of data from multiple different sources and make sense of it all, helping you determine things like which products or services your target market purchases most often and what factors influence their buying decisions. Some popular Big Data analysis tools include Google Analytics, SAS Visual Analytics, Tableau Software, and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).
8. Test some different price points for your product or service
Once you have a basic understanding of who is interested in your product or service – as well as what types of pricing strategies they prefer – it’s time to put this information into action by testing out a few different price options with your customers and seeing how they respond. This can be done by creating multiple versions of a sales page with different prices, running A/B tests to see which variant gets a better response from your target audience, or even offering a few different price points for the same product or service and testing out which one sells best.
9. Consider using market segmentation strategies
Although you might think all members of your target market are basically the same because they’re all interested in your product or service, it’s actually very important to recognize that no two customers are exactly alike. A good way to do this is through market segmentation, which means dividing up your potential customers into logical groups based on things like age, gender, education level, marital status, or annual income, and then figuring out what types of products or services might appeal to each group. This can help you create a more targeted marketing strategy that will lead to higher conversion rates.
10. Don’t forget about post-purchase analysis
After you’ve made sales and collected customer data from market research efforts, make sure you take some time to analyze the information – not only immediately after it’s been gathered, but also over time as your business evolves and changes. This can help you spot new trends in consumer behavior right away and make any necessary adjustments to your marketing strategies to keep up with these changes. For example, if you notice that one of your target market segments is purchasing less frequently than before (or perhaps never buying at all), you might need to reevaluate your approach and adjust your strategies to try to win back those customers.
As you can see, there are a number of different techniques that businesses can use when performing market research in order to learn more about their target audience, what they value most, and how they prefer to purchase products or services. By using the above steps as a guideline and incorporating them into your overall marketing strategy, you should be able to gather vital information about your target market that will help you create more effective campaigns over time.