Starting a business without any prior market research is like going to a gunfight with a blunt, plastic knife. Simply put, you will easily be torn apart by your competition. When starting a business, market research is one of the first and definitely one of the most vital steps.
With all the changes that go on in the world today, the market is definitely at its most volatile, prone to change at the slightest innovation.
Even the most established brands conduct regular and extensive market research to ensure that their branding is on point with what the consumers need and want. In business, knowledge is power and the majority of businesses know this.
Market Research is one of the most effective and direct strategies that organizations employ to gather data. From there, valuable insights are derived providing companies with the ability to create effective marketing strategies that are guaranteed to bring in positive results.
According to the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR), the global research industry represents a $70 Billion sector – bigger than the worldwide Wi-Fi or online music industry. Some companies even establish an international representative office in China, the US, and the UK are some countries that are most susceptible to having these representative offices whose main goal is to conduct market research for the company.
For outsiders, this is an absurd amount to spend on just research. However, companies would argue that the results of market research are tenfold its cost.
If you are thinking of opening a startup, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, I have outlined the key importance of market research most especially to startup businesses. Don’t make the grave mistake of not investing in a proper marketing research strategy as your startup will definitely have a rough time, if not altogether fail. Market research is just as, if not more, important as management tools.
Insights on Competition
Even before you open your startup, one industry that you should look at is your competition. By conducting proper market research on the existing competition both local and international, you farm out valuable insights such as how tough the competition is, what they are doing, what you can do better, and even the market size.
A proper analysis of your market competition also provides business owners with the ability to develop pricing, marketing, and sales strategies that will give them an edge over their competition.
Knowing your target market intimately is one key factor in a company’s survival. A business that doesn’t inherently exert efforts to cater to their customer’s every want and need is doomed to fail. Market research provides companies with a comprehensive report on their target market: who they are, what they like, what they want, their consumer behavior, tendencies, etc. From this raw data, one can already transform this into insights that can help boost one’s marketing strategies.
Identify Voids In The Market
The ability to identify the existence of voids in the market is perhaps one unique role in conducting market research. A void in the market means that there is a demand for a specific product or service and yet no business is trying to provide a supply for said demand. This is where your startup comes in.
On the other hand, if you already have a startup, market research will allow you a window to your customer’s minds. What do they actually like about your product? Are there certain adjustments and tweaks that must be made? What should you do more of? Or less of?
Increase Your Sales
Market Research will provide the company with everything you need to know so you can move forward to success. It is then up to you how you will respond. You already know what they need, how to grab your customer’s attention and their spending habits. What you do with that information is crucial to how you can increase your sales. A change in marketing strategies is usually what follows successful market research as certain tweaks must be made to satisfy the market.
Improve Customer Relations
When dealing with customers, you want to show them that you care about them and that their general well-being is your company’s priority. However, you can’t exactly send out this message without actually knowing them. With this golden information, you can now communicate and improve your customer relations with the proper mediums and branding message. Guest blogging, for instance, is one unique way of trying to provide helpful information, that is still relevant to your industry, to your customers.
Set Attainable Goals
Conducting extensive market research will also provide you with vital information such as the financial propensity of your customers and the actual market size. From there, you can set goals that are actually attainable instead of setting your sights on numbers that are still not yet achievable for you. Setting a goal that’s impossible to achieve would only dampen the morale of the organization.