You’ve been in business a number of years and you feel you are ‘successful’. Do you really know your market, now? You plan your entire marketing based upon your experience and ‘gut instinct’. You have a lot of data available to you but do you stop to properly look at it, analyze it, and validate it? If you consistently do look at and analyze the data, you have a significant competitive advantage over your competitors.
Market research is not a single event, but it should be an ongoing process to achieve maximum benefit. It’s objective, systematic, and consistent analysis of data about your competition, your organization’s role and position in the market, and the market environment.
The information you obtain from market research is powerful and can have an important influence in critical business decisions and usually, if done correctly, the conclusions you reach have a value that far exceeds the cost of the research itself.
Ten reasons to conduct market research
1. It guides your communication with current and potential customers.
a. It should inform you of the most effective way to communicate with your customers.
b. You should know what they like, dislike, prefer to see, hear, or do, allowing you to focus your message toward making them take action.
2. It helps you identify opportunities in the marketplace.
a. Is the product or program you offer or plan to offer what the customer wants to receive? It allows you to prevent making expensive assumptions and to make modifications on what you plan to offer the target audience first.
3. Market research helps you minimize risk.
4. Market research measures your reputation.
a. How do you measure against your competition?
b. Over time, how have you changed to stay ahead or improved your position in the market’s perception of your position in relation to the competition?
5. Market research exposes potential problems before they occur.
a. You get reaction to a new product or service before being released.
b. It allows you to put your best out, creating greater positive first impressions, which are most often, lasting impressions.
6. Market research allows you to do better planning.
a. Sales projections and marketing expenditures to achieve sales can be more accurate.
b. Sales costs and cycle times can be reduced.
7. It can help you measure and establish trends.
a. A consistent market research processprovides you a lot of data to analyze your customers and establish trends.
b. This allows you to be more proactive and less reactive in the decision-making process.
8. Market research helps you with your market positioning.
a. It helps you benchmark and measure progress, allowing you to make better and faster decisions.
9. It can define the most persuasive promise
a. Every brand makes a promise. What is yours? It must be simple. “Fast, secure, tasty, personal’.
10. Market research can find the compromise
a. Going to the market with a new product or service eliminates the bias of the internal organization.
b. It can provide you a new approach that meets your expectations and also meets the needs of the largest part of the market, which may be different from your original plans.
In conclusion, market research is an investment. Though it may seem expensive and time-consuming, good research provides unbiased information and a more accurate reflection of the perception of your audience. In the auto industry, the manufacturers consistently gather data from their prospective customers, existing customers, competitor customers, and other sources. They develop ‘concept’ cars for the series of annual auto shows, based upon their earlier research and use the shows to get additional data. Models are often launched or scrapped based upon audience reaction at these shows, often considered their final stage of their market research.
Source: Marilia Spindler, AE, Happy Creative.