In order to run your business successfully, it is essential that you have a proper understanding of your target market and know exactly who your prospective customers are? What do they prefer and where do they exist?
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What is Market Research?
Market research is an act of collecting data on consumers’ behavior, consumer preferences, competitive intelligence and category trends. It is conducted by the businesses or the market research agency to carry out product development and develop marketing strategies, in order to achieve greater market share and ultimately drive business growth.
Market research specifically helps businesses come up to a point where they are able to answer many questions like:
- How huge is the market for the products or services?
- Where does a brand stand against the competitors?
- Which demographic group of customers is most likely to be interested in the products?
- What type of advertising campaign should be run to penetrate the target market?
- How will the product perform in an international market?
- What are the specific industry trends?
Why Is Market Research Important?
Business decisions cannot be made on the basis of ambiguity and instincts. It could be very costly by not only a monetary loss but also losing customers’ trust. We cannot come up to the level of Henry Ford, who had a broader vision. He believed that consumers do not know what they actually want unless we bring new products to them. Henry Ford once emphasized that customers’ preferences should always be prioritized by stating that if he would have asked his customers what they wanted they would always demand a better and faster horse.
Well, this is not true for the businesses that we are talking about. Sometimes the consumers do not know exactly what they want. We need to mold what they actually have in their mind. That is what the big business visionaries, like Steve Jobs offered to the people in the market. In order to penetrate and survive in the market, you must have the necessary data-backed shreds of evidence and know your consumers. Market research gives you the confidence to make important decisions regarding your business because:
- It drives your business strategy. When it comes to deciding where the company is heading, market research helps in validating that you are taking the correct decision. It shows if you can move forward or if it is time for you to change your marketing strategy or the production line.
- Market research helps to avoid costly mistakes. According to the Harvard Business Review Journal, 95% of product launches fail. In order to stand with 5%, it is vital to have professional market research before you penetrate into the market. Market research helps to provide you with the data you require to resist a failed product launch.
- It builds credibility. Market research equips you to back up arguments and claims.
- It shows you the path to walk in the future. It is important for your business to adopt market trends and evolve with consumer needs. Market research tells us about when the brand is stagnant and tells us exactly when we have to introduce new products.
Market Research Agency
With the heaps of data available and a large number of companies extracting, it has become difficult to select the right research agency in order to meet the requirements of your company. However, the increasing niche insight needs, have turned the task of selecting the correct market research agency, quite arduous.
In order to succeed in business, you need more than the proper manufacturing equipment in the production line. You require proper talent, capital, and experience, to make your business a success. Apart from that, you should have complete knowledge about the competitive market and the reason why people should prefer your products or services. For this information, you can hire experts in market research that can save your time and provide comprehensive data, including what you may not be able to find out. Professional market research companies have streamlined strategies, better methods and proper staff to conduct the research effectively. Basically, you are using the results that are produced by someone else. Outsourcing a market research company means you are using information that is being controlled by others and also utilizing a portion of your corporate budget.
The Right Market Research Agency
Market research is essential as there is a huge difference between a literate success and playing just blindly reaching a disaster. Whether you are launching a new product, developing the existing one, or in the process of creating a new marketing campaign, this calls for finding the right market research firm that can provide the best information. For example, it’s crucial you look into the Feature and Pricing Suite for Saas before settling on suitable software. However, the very first thing that you need to look for, is to determine which market research company is the most suitable to hire for the type of services that you require. Following are the factors that you need to look for before deciding upon the perfect research firm:
1. Relevant and Recent Experience:
The very first thing that you need to verify before deciding upon the appropriate firm to do the market research for your company is the relevant and recent experience. Do make sure that the firm has relevant and appropriate industry experience. Many firms will claim to have years of experience in the industry that you are looking for since it is one of the important factors in making your choice for the correct research firm. It is recommended to categorize the industry when looking into the market research company experience. In order to differentiate between the firms that you ought to consider you can select on the basis of recent relevant industry and audience experience. It is important to know about the audience from whom, your prospect firm will reduce their research analysis.
Recent relevant research methodology experience is another factor to look, at while you decide on the selection of an appropriate market research agency. When you inform the agency staff about your research question, check which methodologies they propose and how do they plan to execute them. See what methods will they use in conducting your research? The type of strategy that the firm adopts, will determine how reliable and useful the data will be in your business. Extensive relevant experience in the quoted methodologies will help them to get the most insight out of the study that they have conducted.
3. Look For Value, Not Just Data
Market research helps in making important and critical decisions regarding your business. Make sure that you find such a research firm that brings value as well, rather than just getting you the data. You can check the references and testimonials by other businesses, to see what you have brought to others. Check if the firm has a good understanding of your objectives or not. Does the research firm know exactly what you want and can correlate the objectives of your business?
4. Point Of Contact Should Be Right Fit
Market research requires a lot of effort and processes to go through, after finally reaching a conclusion and preparing the report. Having said that, you will require one point of contact within the agency with which you can access updates and retrieve reports about the progress of your research. This point of contact needs to be a dedicated project manager, who is reliable and you can comprehend your demands and goals with this person. Before you select your market research agency, make sure that the project manager is the right fit.
Consider the style of the firm and how it operates. It is important to check the testimonials regarding how does the firm works with its clients? It is important to clarify how often the firm will provide interim reports and weekly updates.
Finally, a business cannot survive without thorough market research. In order to decide if the company should go for an external market research agency, it is better to consult the marketing and finance department cohesively and then decide if the cost of hiring an external market research firm ways the cost and time involved in conducting the research internally. The above checkpoints given are just a few references to go through before making the decision of hiring the right market research agency.