Market research is a broad category of research that is essential for any business to be successful. After all, if you want to sell a product or service, you need a receptive market. There are all kinds of different types of market research. Trying to keep up with everything can be exhausting.
Focusing on the most critical aspects of market research enables you to make great choices based on the data without being overwhelmed with information. Here are some of the best types of market research for most businesses to conduct.
Surveys are an easy way to collect a lot of information directly from customers and potential customers. Lots of surveys can be collected with relatively few incentives.
If you want to understand something specific about your consumers, surveys can answer individual questions. Surveys are also an excellent way to collect unexpected information from your customers.
Asking open-ended questions lets you learn things you might not even have thought to ask. This kind of data-collection enables you to connect more closely with your customers, which is one of the most important benefits of any kind of market research.
Interviews are too-often forgotten in a world that tends to be more focused on big data. However, interviews can give you insights that aren’t possible in other ways.
Just because interviews are an old-fashioned data collection tool doesn’t mean that you have to use old-fashioned techniques to conduct them. Automated bots, instant messaging conversations, and email interviews are all great ways to gather valuable information and ask lots of open-ended questions without having to conduct an in-person meeting.
Macro research might be the most valuable kind of research for any company. All sorts of smaller-scale data collection methods may miss big-picture information that is important for your company.
Macro research gathers data from all over the world, from all sorts of different sources, so as to help you form great big-picture decisions. Here is the kind of information that well-conducted macro market research can gather:
- Census data. Census information helps you to understand which of your customers are where and how they are moving. This information is essential to help you know where to focus marketing efforts, where to open new locations, and where current sites should possibly be shut down to avoid revenue loss in the future.
- Economic activity. Understanding where money is moving and how economic trends are progressing lets you know when to take out loans and build your business and when to save up for potential problems in the future. Anticipating a downturn in the economy can make the difference between a poorly timed loan that will cost you as inflation increases and saving just before you most need the money.
- Social, historical and demographic trends. Knowing how various social trends are changing across the country sets you up to know which market to target when and where. Trends over time can indicate how things may continue to go in the future, even if there are temporary changes because of current events. If you want your company to survive in the long-term and thrive in the short-term, understanding these trends is essential.
You surely already know that it is important to advertise if you want your business to grow and attract new customers. However, if you’re not carefully testing your advertising as a form of market research, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. How a market responds to advertisements is the best way to know how to create effective advertisements in the future.
This is one of those cases where negative information may be even more important than positive feedback. Knowing that a particular demographic responds poorly to a particular type of advertisement will help you to avoid making that kind of mistake in the future.
Testing your advertising through a variety of techniques like collecting surveys and having focus groups is an essential form of market research for any company that advertises.
Product or Service Testing
You probably feel very confident in the product or service that you’re offering. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be investing your time, money, and effort into creating a company around it.
However, it would be best if you never got relaxed about testing your product and services. The market changes, and a product or service that was very appealing to a previous generation or a particular demographic may not be as attractive now.
Focus groups where you have particular audiences test product, sending out free products in exchange for reviews, and conducting surveys when you have made a sale are all great ways to get feedback on your products and services. If possible, it is best to create an experimental situation where you know how groups respond to small variations in your products or services during the testing process.
Cover the Most Important Types of Market Research
It can be overwhelming to consider all the sorts of data that are valuable for your company, but don’t let yourself overlook the value of market research. Focusing on the most important kinds of market research will set your company up for success.