It’s important that you find out exactly what your clients want from you. Market research will help you ensure your product or service meets your target customers’ needs. It will help improve your service or product which will in turn boost returns. Market research is your chance to find out who your clients are and learn what they value, how they decide what to buy, and even what they think of your competitors.
Where do you start?
A great place to start is online. Look especially at industry or trade associations, national and local government organisations, research companies and relevant consumer groups. They often share important industry trends, or give you fresh data about the size of the market, or tell you something new about the region you’re serving. Don’t spend too much time online because other people’s research can only take you so far.
Define your target market. This includes age, gender, profession and/or social standing. Focus on learning more about those groups of people.
Speak to your target market. This is the best way to learn new things. The earlier you speak with real-life customers, the better. Their feedback will help you refine your offering, tweak your pricing, or adjust your marketing plan for maximum success. You ca even use these interactions with target customers to start pre-selling your product or service.
How do you do your own market research?
There are a number of ways to do research. However, it’s important to note that you’re using people’s time. Therefore, think about how you can make the experience rewarding for them too. Which ever of the below methods you use, there are questions you need to ask. Find out what they’d pay for your product or service. Show them different names or packaging options and have them pick their favourite. Ask what they do and don’t like about your competitors. Test taglines or campaign slogans.
Talk to potential clients: These shouldn’t include family and friends. You want people who are in your target market that can also give you negative feedback.
Hold focus groups: This is the easiest way to get a big chunk of information from a lot of people in just an hour or two.
Run online surveys: Ask a lot of people the same questions to generate some really dependable data.
Get a community going: Create a Facebook group or email list and keep sending surveys, updates, and fun facts.
Set up beta testers: Put on some food and drinks, and invite people to come around and test your product.
Market research can get very big. There’s nothing wrong with learning all you can about your target customers but don’t go too far. Make a distinction between what you need to know and what you’d like to know. Once you’ve done the essentials, get launched. You can always refine your product more as feedback comes in from paying customers.
If you’ve done your research and you’re still not sure about your idea, you could try a crowdfunding campaign. This approach can tell you if people are interested in your offering before you actually bring it to market. Just remember that a good crowdfunding campaign requires a lot of hard work, too.