Market research provides critical information about your market and your business landscape. It can tell you how your company is perceived by the target customers and clients you want to reach. It can help you understand how to connect with them, show how you stack up against the competition, and inform how you plan your next steps.
Market research can also play an important role in the process of developing your products and services, bringing them to the marketplace, and marketing them to consumers. Here are a few ways that market research can help inform your business strategy:
- It can give you an accurate view of your business and your marketplace. For example, you can see how you are perceived in comparison to your competitors, and evaluate what your competitors are doing to attract customers.
- It can help you determine who and where your customers are, and which customers are most likely to do business with you. (In fact, for customers who indicate that they don’t want to do business with you, market research is your opportunity to ask them “why not?”.)
- It can reveal how customers and prospects view your existing business and products, and show you if you are or are not meeting your customers’ needs. It’s even possible you may uncover some opinions about your business and/or products that you weren’t aware of.
- It can help you decide whether a new idea for a business or product will fly – that is, if customers will find it appealing – based on how similar products have performed in the marketplace.
- It can help you make wise product packaging and promotional decisions, as well as effective marketing messages.
For many businesses, market research is a key component in developing marketing strategy by providing a fact-based foundation for estimating sales and profitability. In fact, it can make the difference between making wise decisions that drive business forward and poor decisions that can damage your business.
The competitive environment you face is increasingly challenging. It’s safe to assume that your competitors are conducting research to gain their own advantage. That may be the best reason of all to make market research a key part of your business growth strategy.