Market research is a field which is often misunderstood. It is seen by many as too expensive, or indeed a luxury ‘big business’ service with relatively little to offer to the SMEs of the world.
In response to that, we’d ask this: How much value do you put into knowing what your customers want? In terms of maximising your business’ potential for growth and getting a leg up on your competition, there’s really nothing like the intel that good market research provides.
Here are some of the main examples of why even market research on a budget can be so vital for your business:
Nailing it from the get-go
Any regular viewers of BBC’s The Apprentice will have seen first-hand the perils of not carrying out market research during (or at any point) product development. Spoiler alert – a lot of failure.
Researching which marketing strategies have worked in the past for other brands in your industry, as well as gauging the way people feel about you service, product or even brand name can and will be defining for your business in terms of how much time and effort you’ll save in the long run when you don’t have to redevelop products or services – or in an even more critical sense this intel could be difference between the success and failure of your venture.
Beating your competitors
As we alluded to earlier, having an insight into what the goings on are with your competitors is something every business can use to their advantage, no matter how big or small. Are you offering a USP that no one else can match? Good market research will reveal this, and you should be able to really drive this home that unique offering by incorporating it into your marketing strategy. By the same token, if a competitor is offering a specific discount or offer which you hadn’t taken into account, the benefit of you having this information will mean that you can match them, or even one-up them to reap the benefits.
Knowing your customers inside out
So many entrepreneurs believe that they have a strong idea of what their audience’s wants and needs are. Take it from the experts, entrepreneurs are often way off in their assumptions!
Good research, I.E asking the correct questions, gaining both qualitative and quantitative feedback and finding out what the customers want, when they want it and how often they want it – that’s the key here. A core element to any successful business venture is to make sure you’re providing a need for your market, and there’s nothing quite like market research to when it comes to identifying that need.