The Importance of Doing Market Research
Whether your business is a start-up, small, or medium enterprise, conducting market research on a continuous basis is vital for the competitiveness and survival of your company as it enables you to stay attuned to the latest market trends, understand your market as well as increasing sales. While market research may appear like a lot of work, the benefits it provides your company far outweigh the cost of doing it. It takes the guesswork out of your marketing strategy. The old adage that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is particular apt to the importance of market research in the success of your company. Just because you are not planning to do any research, does not mean your customers are not! As illustrated below, market research is a systematic process that involves several steps and can make your marketing not only easier but more effective.
There are a number of benefits to conducting market research:
- Gain a more detailed understanding of consumers’ needs:
Market research helps you to evaluate and understand the precise needs of your customers and allows you to keep a pulse on your customer base regularly e.g., views on products’ prices, packaging, recent advertising campaigns, customer satisfaction levels, buying decisions and preferences etc.
- Identify Business Opportunities:
Market research can help you identify new business opportunities such as untapped and under provisioned marketplaces. It allows companies to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your companies and what opportunities are available in the context of the threats that you may have to overcome in order to be successful.
- Competitor Analysis:
Tracking the progress of your competitors can be invaluable source of information for your company. Market research can help you understand their strategies, their marketing campaigns and what they are doing differently from you. Business strategies can then be developed to reduce the threat of competitors.
- Reduce the Risk of Product/Business Failure:
While there is no guarantee that a business or product will be a commercial success, market research helps to reduce the risk of failure and the risks worth taking based upon a deep understanding of the viability of the market place.
- Anticipate Future Market Trends:
Market research can help you understand the trends in your marketplace and how the market will be shaped in the future. Strategies and business plan can be devised to capitalise or counteract the shifts that will occur in the future.
- Making Timely Decisions:
Market research can assess the information needs that your company requires, develop the research approach to gather and analyse market information and provide decision makers with information in a timely, accurate and realistic manner.
- Create Marketing Strategies:
Research on your target market and customer base can be utilised to segment, target and position products that address the unmet needs your customers. It will also focus the marketing message and channels utilised.