Methods of Conducting Market Research

conducting market researchIn order to conduct market research, you need to know a few different methods of research. Today, conducting market research is easier due to the relatively inexpensive technology you can take advantage of, some of which will be discussed below. The important thing is to learn about these methods, and commit to conducting this type of research on a regular basis.

The times that are important to do market research are before creating and launching a new product, to analyze how your current marketing is working, and more.

8 Ways of Conducting Market Research

1. Surveys – Software like SurveyMonkey.com, and Zoho.com allow you to conduct web, email and mobile based surveys so that they can be taken by anyone, from anywhere, using any device. Surveys are good to use on your audience as well as to help find your audience.

2. Online Communities and Forums – Finding industry-specific web communities and online message boards (forums) are a great way to observe a specific type of audience to find out answers to the questions you have.

3. Social Media Analytics – Using social media analytics to find trends in the actions of your followers is a great way to conduct research. Want to figure out which kind of social media post gets more engagement? Use the analytics that comes with your software.

4. Interviews – Due to high speed internet and webcams, you can use software like Skype and Google Hangouts to conduct and record online interviews. You can also conduct old-fashioned “paper” interviews via email.

5. Crowdsourcing – This is a relatively new phenomenon; you can actually crowdsource any problem you have to find multiple solutions. You can even crowdsource as part of research to find whether or not there is a market for your product.

6. Focus Groups – This is a group of potential target audience members who will sit and discuss the product and services or the ideas about the products and services.

7. Behavioral Observation – A lot of times people will say one thing and do another. It’s important that you test this potential behavior by using the results of your survey to send a test to ensure survey honesty and integrity.

8. Trial Sales – Once you’ve conducted some market research and you’ve found positive potential in a product, do some trial sales to see how it goes. Try different sales pages and different methods of selling to find out what works best.

Using these methods of conducting market research will ensure successful research results. Don’t just conduct research once. You should be doing ongoing research and testing as long as you are in business. Businesses that understand the importance of conducting market research are very successful because they have some sort of idea about what will happen once they push out their products and services.

How to Use Market Research for Your Business

market-researchMarket research is the best way to ensure longevity of your business. Many small business owners often overlook this research – to their detriment, finding out what your target market is thinking is an essential and ongoing component of all successful businesses.

12 Ways to Use Market Research for Your Business

1. Discover Your Target Market – Many people make products, and then try to find a market for them. However, the truth is that you should first find the market you want to work with, then create products for it. But, even if you skipped that, you can now find your target audience so that you can get your marketing materials right.

2. Get to Know Your Potential Customers – The market research that you conduct will allow you to get to know your potential customers better. When you know them better, you’ll be able to create customer personas that help with creating content and marketing which really gets results.

3. Develop New Products and/or Services – When you know what is going on in the marketplace you’ll get more ideas about products and services that your audience needs. You may get the ideas from reading industry news or from what the competition is doing.

4. Refresh Your Marketing Efforts – Sometimes marketing becomes stale and even though your audience doesn’t change who they are, they do change how they feel about things. For example, what was acceptable marketing for companies in the 1960s isn’t acceptable today. You need to refresh your marketing as needed.

5. Determine Who Your Competitors Are – It’s important to identify your competitors so that you can keep an eye on them and what they are doing. Sign up for their lists and purchase some of their products. Don’t copy them, but do use them as a standard bearer so you can be better.

6. Educate Yourself to Become an Expert – The more information you learn about your industry and the market for your products and/or services, the closer you’ll become to being an expert. Reading as much as possible keeps you up-to-date and knowledgeable.

7. Confirm Your Ideas – It’s important that when you have an idea or assumption about anything to do with your business, you do the research to determine if it’s right. Sometimes anecdotal stories are wrong; sometimes a result is an outlier and not true. Only market research can help determine what is genuinely right and wrong.

8. Learn New Opinions – During the market research you’ll also learn totally new ideas and opinions you never considered. You may find during your research that they are wrong or you may find out that they’re right. Only proper research will help.

9. Keep Up with New Technologies in Your Industry – Keeping up with market research will also help you learn about technology as it happens. Every day new technologies are being discovered that can help you with your business. Without research you won’t know about it. It’s easy to get trapped within your four walls and not realize what is happening.

10. Identify New Trends – As you’re doing your research, you’ll start to be able to identify new trends that are happening right now. These trends are things that you need to jump on because as fast as they come, they change.

11. Avoid Marketing Snafus – Business owners who avoid market research are prone to making horrible marketing mistakes. They are at risk of believing their own biases. If you want a laugh and a cringe or two, see Ad Week’s list of advertising and marketing fails.

12. Track Your Own Brand – Many people don’t realize that during market research you’ll also be able to determine how you’re doing as a brand getting information out to the public. If you do not run into your own articles, interviews, blog posts and research while searching, then you need to start working harder.

The fact is, without market research your success is in jeopardy. Some business owners will achieve accidental success but it will be hard to keep up. If you plan for success by conducting market research for your business, you will be set up for success from day one. If you started already, it’s not too late to conduct market research to ensure that you achieve and maintain success.