In the vast world of marketing, change is everywhere. Trends and technologies are constantly evolving. Consumers are constantly searching for better, and have the power to do so through an easy online search. Marketers want to make sure that their marketing strategies are matching and evolving along with these changes. So what’s the best way to do that? Market research!
What is Market Research?
Market research is the process of researching and learning about your customer profiles and target audiences. Once you start to understand these profiles, you are then able to determine how successful your product or service will be amongst them, and if you need to adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. By understanding what your customers need and desire in a product or service, you’re offering them solutions that overtime, create loyalty and a connection.
Here are some ways market research can help:
Find where your target audience is, and where consumers conduct their own research on your product/service
Which of your competitors your customers look to for information or buying options
Trends within the industry and what buyers are flocking to
Challenges of the market, and who makes up the market
What influences purchases, and how to get an audience to convert
Primary vs Secondary Market Research
As you begin your market research journey, there are two types of research you’ll most likely hear about: primary and secondary.
Primary market research refers to the first-hand information about your market and its customers. This is useful when you want to segment your market and create your buyer personas. There are two “buckets” primary falls into: exploratory and specific research. Exploratory research typically involves interviews with potential customers, or surveys with a small number of people. Specific research uses specific segments of their customers, and asks questions aimed at solving a suspected problem.
Secondary market research dives into numbers and data. Think trend reports, market statistics, industry content and sales data. This is useful when analyzing your competitors and consumers.
Types of Market Research
There are many types of market research, and most you’ve probably heard of or know about.
Interviews: A face to face discussion with an interviewee. These provide a genuine response.
Focus groups: A group of carefully selected people to test your product and provide feedback on their user experience.
Product/Service Use Research: How and why your audience uses the product/service)
Market Segmentation Research: This allows you to categorize your audience into different segments, or groups based on specific characteristics.
Competitive Analysis: You can use this to understand what your competitors are doing to win the hearts of consumers. This gives you a deep understanding of what does well in your industry and what products are doing better than others in the market.
These are just a few, popular options out of many types of market research, and each one has its own benefits. Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of market research, let’s look into the main question: how does one do market research?
How to Do Market Research
The time has come for you to start your own research! Here is an easy, step-by-step guide.
#1 - Define Your Buyer’s Persona
In order to make an informed decision about a target market, we have to first understand who our target market is. A buyer persona is a character created, usually fictional, that acts as a representation of your ideal customer. There are tools online to help you do this, but it's also quite easy to make up. A buyer persona includes the following:
Any major challenges in their life
#2 - Identify a Persona Group
Now that you have your persona figured out, and know who you’re targeting, it’s time to engage with them. This is where an interview or a focus group will be helpful. Collect around 10 people, all within the same buyer persona theme as above you made, and make sure they’re a mix of customers. For example: collect past buyers of your product, social media followers, people who might make a purchase. Just a well rounded mix will do.
#3 - Prepare Interview Questions
Now that you have your group, make sure you know what you’re going to ask them. Remember, you want to squeeze as much as you can out of them, so that you can better understand their needs as consumers. Ask them questions about social media, what products they enjoy using already, what they search on Google, how’d they find your business, etc.
#4 - List Your Competitors
Make sure to list your competitors and why they are your competitors. Remember, it isn’t always Company 1 vs. Company 2; sometimes there’s a whole division of companies that act as your competition. Download a market report, search using social media, or even do some Googling to find out what makes your competitors rank.
#5 - Summarize Your Market Research
It’s time to make the final report! There are many templates you can use online. Take your notes and split them into a few different sections, and there you have it! Your own marketing research report that you can use to better understand your competitors, customers and industry. With this, you can take action anytime, anywhere.
Try to split your research notes t into these categories:
Now that you have a report, it’s time to present your findings and create new marketing strategies around them!
And at the end of the day, if you’re still unsure, you can always contact us at Target River to learn more about our own marketing services!