Conducting Market Research
Conducting market research is a crucial step prior writing a business plan for a new business. Collecting information and data analysis, contribute to better decision making when planning for products, resources, and markets. Small companies could be affected by global trends, and competitors operating from overseas, understanding the global market is a must. Understanding diverse markets is a necessity and it is done through market research. A good research might help predicting future market trends, developing better products, services and successful marketing campaign.
Importance of Market Research
Market research help companies to develop products responding to consumer needs and tailor their message to their targeted audience as a result organisations perform better. Research can measure the reputation of a company among consumers, and the triggers affecting it. Mathematical models are employed to estimate the failure or success of a product. Research helps in getting consumer reaction to products that are already being sold by the company or even a product that is at a conceptual stage. Research can discover what flavour or colour would be suitable to most of the potential consumers. Target audiences can be set accurately and positioned in the right market. Research can prove whether advertisement has achieved the planned results.
The major steps involved in market research are:
- Defining the market research problem
- Formulation of research design and selecting research approach
- Analysis of secondary data
- Development of a questionnaire
- Collection of primary data
- Data Analysis
- Preparation and Presentation of report
The above steps aim to find out:
- Competitors strategy
- The 7 Ps of the marketing mix
- Understanding the behaviour of the consumer
- SWOT analysis (strengths weaknesses opportunities and treats)
- Implementation of plan in international market
- Implementation and analysis of performance
Acquiring secondary data is a must; this gives a clear background as to how the process of research takes place. At the end of the market research, some companies list out the drawbacks of the research or the challenges they faced during the implementation phase.
Primary research is a good source of data related particulary related to the project. Collecting primary data is time and money consuming process. Some of the popular methods of data collection for research include:
- Observational and Tracking Methods
- Focus Group Interviews
- In-depth Interviews
- Action Research
- Survey and Questionnaires
- Psychological or Psychographic approach
Market research is very important and should be considered very carefully in order to concentrate and utilise resources as it allows businesses to tailor their message or product accurately in the right market and at the right time. Market research allows companies to position their products and services at more competitive position.