Tips for Market Research that Lead to Growth

Tips for Market Research that Lead to Growth

It has always been true that knowledge is power, but in today’s business environment, there’s no substitute for having the right data. No business can depend on luck; you have to know and understand the challenges you face. Market research is the key to that understanding, and not just when launching a new business or product. The right market research methods are crucial throughout the lifecycle of any product or service.

Tip 1: Conduct market research regularly

Careful research prior to launch helps you make sure you have a match between market and product, but repeated research can give you insights that help you make a change at the right time. You might spot an iceberg to avoid or an opportunity to seize.

With regular research, you can clearly understand the answers to questions like:

  • Where does our customer base stand in regard to the product?
  • How loyal are they to the brand and to the specific offering?
  • How much of their positive or negative views are based on utility, and how much are feelings about the brand?
  • How are our competitors marketing to them, and how effectively? What is the customer’s perception of our competition?
  • Are they looking for changes in our product?
  • Are there opportunities for new markets or market segments we haven’t considered, or new uses for the product?
  • Are there gaps in our line of products or services? Is there an emerging need we hadn’t seen before?
  • Are upgrades or new versions we have in development likely to be welcomed? What changes might they cause in the customer’s view of your brand? What new offerings might they want instead?

If your product or service is expensive and/or has a long sales cycle, market research can help you create or update buyer personas and improve your strategies for appealing to them.

Knowing the answers to these and other relevant questions can help you see dangers and opportunities you might otherwise miss, as well as ensure your product or service remains relevant and successful.

Tip 2: Consider what the end result of your research should look like

The best way to begin planning your next research effort is with a view of the end. Considering what kind of data you need to make your next round of important decisions will help you decide what methods to use to gather it and how to correlate it.

In addition to considering what decisions the data will be used to make, you should be sure your final research will:

  • Be objective with bias accounted for and eliminated
  • Make situations clear with interactions, data, and customer expectations thoroughly spelled out
  • Help all team members understand problems and opportunities found by the research, and give them the opportunity to make positive changes to your products and brand

Tip 3: Conduct both quantitative and qualitative research

Quantitative research collects number-related data, while qualitative research is non-numerical and is often gathered through observation or interviews. For example, a survey which asks customers to rate a product's qualities on a 1 to 10 scale is quantitative, while a focus group or a survey with open-ended questions would be qualitative. Keep in mind that qualitative data is hard data, and quantitative is not inherently better, more empirical, or more reliable. Both types are crucial to understanding your market.

A single source of data may provide both. Analyzing your social media may yield vital A/B test results while also giving you language straight from your customers that will give you insight on their views, feelings, and expectations that go beyond numbers.

Create and Maintain a Strong Research Program

Cain & Company can help you with research and analysis to allow you to better understand your market—target audience, competitors, environment—and recognize opportunities for growth/improvement. If you’d like to get accurate and reliable data that helps you achieve better results, get in touch with us today.

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