Insightpath’s Guide to Market Research
If you’ve ever wondered what makes an organization successful, look no further than market research. Companies that have a clear idea of who their target audience is and how their product or service helps those people are sure to grow and thrive. To get to the heart of this information, you need to conduct market research.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the process of gathering information about your business’s target audience and the industry as a whole in order to determine how successful your product or service will be for that group.
Market research should always be done before taking a product to market so businesses know the exact need they meet for their consumers. It’s also important to conduct market research regularly throughout a product’s lifecycle as markets and consumers evolve.
Why Does My Organization Need to do Market Research?
Market research is necessary for every organization in order to understand your buyer’s problems, pain points, and desired solutions. Market research also gives you a clear picture of your industry and where it is heading so you can make smart decisions for your business. With this information, your organization will be successful when taking your product to market, keeping it current with industry needs, or predicting where the market will go.
What are the Different Types of Market Research?
Let’s begin with the basics; research can either be primary or secondary. Primary research is any kind of first-hand information which is typically found during interviews, focus groups, or surveys. Secondary research is second-hand information, or any relevant data or public records that you can draw conclusions from, including trend reports, statistics, or industry content. To draw the most accurate conclusions, it’s necessary to conduct both primary and secondary research.
Market research can be broken down into various categories to get more granular in your research. Some important categories are product research, competitor research, customer segmentation research, and customer satisfaction research.
Product research uses consumer knowledge to inform the process of creating a new product. By conducting research, businesses minimize the risk of a new product failing when it goes to market. Product research can be done at any of the four stages of new product development, such as:
- Conception: Market research allows you to discover new opportunities for products and provide insights into challenges faced by consumers.
- Formation: At this stage, market research can help organizations test their products with real people and get insights on pricing, advertising, packaging, and the product’s value proposition.
- Introduction: Following a product launch, market research can be used to gauge people’s attitudes toward your product.
- Improve: Market research should be done regularly to ensure your product continues to meet your audience’s needs and learn if there are areas for growth.
Competitor research assesses your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. This information can be found through primary and secondary research. Do some digging on your competitors to learn how they position themselves in the market. Talk to customers who switched from a competitor product to your own to get some inside information. Competitor research should be done frequently so you can stay aware of your competition and how they distinguish themselves.
Customer segmentation research is typically done in the early stages of product development. It’s purpose is to learn about your target audience’s demographics, psychographics, and behavior in order to find similarities and differences in the group. With this information, you can split your audience into buyer personas in order to better target your audience with specific messages that relate to them.
Customer satisfaction research measures your customer’s experience with your product or service. Customer satisfaction research tells you what customers like, dislike, or think needs improvement with your product. This can be a good indicator of whether your customers will continue to buy your product. It’s best to do this research at different points in the customer journey to find if there are any improvements you could make to your customer experience.
How Do I Go About Market Research?
The first step to conducting market research is to define your research goals. What is it you want to learn from this research? Giving your research a direction will keep you focused as you begin to uncover new information. Return to your goals at each step to keep yourself on target.
Next, you’ll want to lay the groundwork by doing secondary research to get some initial insights. If you’re working on segmenting your customers, use public records to find demographic information. If you’re researching your competitors, take a look at their websites to learn their value proposition. Starting with secondary research will start to make the picture more clear and prompt more questions you can then answer with primary research.
Now it’s time to move on to your primary research. Determine which method is the best one for you, whether it’s one-on-one interviews, focus groups, surveys, or a combination. Then start to formulate the questions you want answered. Take the time and the information you already know to hypothesize how they will answer. During your preparation, be sure to think about follow up questions for positive, negative, or indifferent responses.
Once you’re ready to begin, it’s time to find your audience. Whether you are interviewing current customers or prospective customers, often including an incentive for participants will help you reach more people.
With your primary and secondary research completed, you can now analyze your findings. Return to your initial goal, did you find what you were looking for? Did your research bring up additional questions that you now need answered? With these thoughts in mind, you can repeat the process if you need to do more research or move on with your findings. With market research behind you, you can feel confident knowing you have a clear understanding of your audience and the industry and can move forward with your business goals.
Let Insightpath Guide Your Research
Insightpath’s discovery solution, makes it easier for you to conduct research with your target audience. From scheduling to post-interview analysis, our platform has everything you need to conduct research interviews. Contact us today to learn more.