When you are running a business, you have a lot on your mind. Constantly coming up with viable ideas, making sure your staff knows exactly what to do and monitoring sales are just a few of the daily tasks of a business owner. And when you have so much you need to take care of, market research is one of the last things you want to worry about.
Busy business owners can easily dismiss the importance of market research. Still, they will soon come to the conclusion that, if they want to attract new customers and increase sales, they can’t do it without prospecting the market.
Market research provides businesses with insight about the market they are operating in, their competitors and, of course, their current and potential customers. Obtaining and analyzing this information will help you make better and more informed decisions about the development, advertisement, and sales process of your products or services.
So, without further ado, here’s how market research can guide you to make more informed business decisions and grow your company.
Opportunities in your market are identified faster
Proper market research will help you understand many aspects of your business. You will be able to define who your target customers are, the channels you need to leverage to reach them, and their interests. All of this information will help you spot business opportunities with ease.
Forming strong business partnerships is paramount if you want your company to thrive. Once you know the demographics of your customers and who they are, you can identify other businesses they prefer, approach those businesses, and propose a collaboration that will benefit both.
By researching your customers, you get to understand what type of products they like to use and come up with ideas on how to integrate some of these products and services into your own offer. From add-ons to product bundles and special packages, these upgrades can help you increase the value of each order.
Last but not least, knowing where your customers come from and how the market in their geographical area develops, you can create better-targeted campaigns or find new locations to expand your operations.
Keeping an eye on the competition
Knowing your customers is very important if you want to make more informed business decisions, but knowing your competition is just as important. Being ahead of your competitors allows you to be the first one to identify the needs of your customers and find ways to fulfill them.
Here’s how market research can help with that:
- Find out what dissatisfies customers: asking your targeted customers about the things they don’t like about your competitors or reading product review from the competition helps you create better products or improve the ones you already have.
- Identify unexplored customers segments: keeping an eye on your competition will help you determine if there is any segment of the market your competitors may have overseen, which gives you an entirely new category of customers to reach out to.
Objective data powers more informed decisions
Experts from Savanta Research Company made a very good point when they explained that, by hiring a specialized company to conduct market research for you, you will know their reports are impartial and purely objective. You know your business better than anyone, but sometimes this is precisely the thing that prevents you from being completely unbiased.
Armed with these objective reports that provide an accurate overview of the market, you can then identify issues that affect the industry, customer pain points and methods to grow your presence among consumers.
What’s more, when you have all this information, decision making becomes easier and more accurate. For every aspect you want to change about your business, you can always go ahead and consult your market research report. Based on this report, you can ask yourself if this decision will lead to more customers or increased sales. If not, then you can move on to finding a solution that will.
You can create more relevant promotional content
Don’t know what images or messages to put out on your promotional material to better appeal to customers? Market research can help you identify this as well. By conducting thorough market research, you will know what your customers want, need or complain about, and leverage this information to grow your business.
Use your website or social media account to survey your audience and understand who they are, what their main pain points are, and how you can solve them. For example, knowing if your customers buy your products or services because they are a necessity or a luxury, can help you tailor your content to fit their perception.
Knowing who your main audience is will also allow you to speak their language and get your message across faster. If your customers are mostly young professionals, you will most likely address them differently than you would a 50+ audience.
Advertise where your customers are
Unfortunately, very few small businesses have an unlimited marketing budget, so you will want to make the most out of every dollar you spend on advertising. Market research helps you identify where your customers are and how to leverage the channels through which you can reach them.
If you find out most of your customers, spend time on Instagram, but rarely on Facebook, then you can direct your ad budget towards Instagram and set Facebook aside for now. This will result in a bigger ROI and increased brand awareness.
Knowing who your customers are will also help you target ads based on their demographic data, online behavior, and interests, to ensure your message has more chances to reach them.
Last but not least, knowing the physical locations your ideal customers spend their time at will help you improve your offline marketing campaign. For example, if the majority of your customers are students, chances are they will be spending most of their time on campus or at local bars and cafes. Knowing this will help you find the most suited places to put up posters and flyers and get your business out there.