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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.