Whether you are an online shopper, a brand manager, or an owner of a business, market research is something that impacts us all. Whether you’re looking for ways to increase sales, grow your customer base, or identify possible new markets, market research is a crucial piece of the puzzle. It helps you understand your customers’ needs, obtain the information you need to make informed and evidence-based business decisions, and determine how best to meet your customers’ needs.
While most of us can recognize the importance of market research, many of us have trouble conducting it effectively and efficiently. It’s time to get your act together! With these five tips, you will be able to conduct market research like a pro.
Before you start collecting data, you need to have a plan. What is your goal? What will your data tell you if successful? What questions do you need answered? How will you analyze the data? These are all important questions to consider before you start collecting data.
You may think you’ll be able to wing it and figure it all out as you go, but you’ll find that you don’t have the time (or the energy) to get it all done. If you don’t have a specific plan in place, you will likely end up short on time, resources, and end up with a lot of irrelevant data.
Interview your customers
Customers are your best resource when it comes to understanding their needs and wants. They often know more about your products and services than you do. You can learn a lot about your customers by simply asking them questions.
There are various ways you can go about this. You can set up an interview table in your home or office and invite your customers to hop onto the couch with you. You can also set up an online survey and have your customers fill it out there.
Do your homework
Before you conduct your interviews or fill out your online surveys, do some research. Find out as much as you can about your prospective customers.
Check out your competitors’ customers. What do they do for a living? How much do they make? Where do they live? What do they do in their spare time? What are their needs?
To get a true sense of your customer’s needs, you must go beyond the obvious. researching your customers and their needs will allow you to Identify new customer segments and identify customer needs that may lie outside of your product or service.
Encourage personal interactions
When you have the opportunity to speak with your customers, don’t pass it up. These opportunities don’t come often, so make the most of them.
If you are in-store, ask your customers to take a brief survey. If they seem hesitant, offer them a gift card or coupon to sweeten the deal.
If you are online, have your customers email or message you with feedback. Again, offer them a gift card or coupon as a way of saying thank you.
Don’t be afraid to get a little personal with your customers. When you get a chance to chat with them, ask them about their backgrounds, what they like about your product or service, and what things they’d like to see improved.
Ask the right questions
After you have your research plan in place and conducted your customer interviews, it’s time to draft your questions. Here are a few questions to consider when asking your questions.
What are your customer’s top needs? What are their pain points?
What do you like about our product/services?
What don’t you like about our product/services?
What would make you definitely buy from us again?
Whether you are conducting market research for a business plan, brand strategy, or just to better understand your customer’s needs, market research is an important part of the equation. It can seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of effort, you can put together a solid market research plan and collect valuable data that will help you succeed.
Keep in mind that market research is not a one-time project. It’s an ongoing process. So even after you’ve collected all your data, you won’t be able to put it away. You will need to analyze the results and use them to make informed decisions.
With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can conduct market research any time, anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting at home in bed or out and about with your friends, you can still gather valuable data.
What are you waiting for? Get your research plan in place and get to conducting market research!