The internet has significantly contributed to the immense power of consumers. Today, they can carry out independent research on your business. And the data they gather informs their decision whether to buy your products and services or not.
Market research informs your organization if what you’re offering now meets the customer’s needs and expectations. Moreover, it guides you on what new goods and services will likely be profitable.
If you’re a small business owner, you’ll gain compelling insights on how to improve your product or service through market research. You’ll know if changing the packaging or adding new services is vital. The best way to achieve this is by doing research targeting specific queries.
You can’t afford to start a business or introduce a new product without conducting market research. Solid market research helps you identify your target market. It gives you deep insights into when they’re ready to buy your product or services.
Market research is essential as you can use the findings to develop a business and marketing plan. Alternatively, the results can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current one. That’s why it’s as important to know how you ask the questions and whom you ask. Besides, the questions need to be right to solicit the desired feedback.
How you conduct your market research informs your results. Here are basic ways how to gather and interpret your research data.
Types of Market Research
Market research can either be qualitative or quantitative. The nature of the study depends on the results you want to gather in your industry.
When you seek public opinion, then your research focus is qualitative. This examines how consumers generally feel about the available products in the market.
Quantitative data focuses extensively on data. It dives deeper and examines the trends collected from public sources. Your organization can leverage primary and secondary data to examine valuable data about your products or services.
Primary research. It focuses on finding out first-hand facts about your market and its consumers. It is more valuable when creating buyer personas and market segmentation.
Secondary research. It helps to conclude using the available information and public documents. Here are some of the data they use:
- Industry content
- Trend reports
- Business sales data
- Market Statistics
You can use secondary research to examine your rivals. So let’s explore effective ways to gather and interpret your consumer research data for your business.
Effective Ways to Gather and Interpret Data
1. Profile Your Ideal Buyer
Without knowing your target market, it can be challenging to understand their purchasing power and patterns. But developing buyer personas or profiles helps you to avoid this scenario.
Buyer personas have fictional characteristics of your ideal customers. Many companies rely on marketing research facilities to help them create a buyer profile. Especially since they usually don’t have the right tools and capacity to do it on their own.
The buyer persona will aid your organization in marketing, selling, and serving customers better. A buyer persona helps market visualization, strategy development, and communication efficiency. You can use the following traits to develop a buyer persona:
- Major challenges
- Family size, etc.
The persona acts as a guideline to your business. It helps you understand your target audience and behaviors. Also, your business can fit several identities. This will help you be mindful of each persona when planning content and campaigns.
2. Determine the Right Persona Group to Engage
After creating your buyer persona, you need to use the knowledge to choose a group that will help with the research. The group should be representative of your target customers. This is essential as it enables you to learn more about their difficulties, characteristics, and purchasing behavior.
Also, ensure you involve anyone who has made a purchase recently or actively avoids making a purchase.
Here are some recommendations on how to select the appropriate research participants:
- Make use of your existing customers
- Invite your social media audience to take part in the study
- Ask your network to participate in the survey
- Engage prospective customers who dropped by, inquired, but did not buy
- Engage the people who purchase from your direct competitors
A balanced understanding of your market is essential in making informed decisions. That’s why using your existing and potential clients in your research is critical.
3. Prepare Research Questions
Preparedness helps you get the most from your interviews, regardless of their nature. You must always prepare for a discussion, whether a phone interview, online survey, or focus group. Doing this helps you to cover all the vital topics and use your time effectively.
Keep in mind that you’re not developing a script. The discussions need to be conversational and casual. So ensure your questions are flexible enough to maximize the research. Remember that the question needs to be effective to help with your B2B marketing strategies.
That’s why should ensure the discussion questions are open-ended and have a time limit. An open-ended question is a cornerstone of your market research. Closed-ended questions only alter your respondents’ opinions as they will assume your theory.
4. Define Your Competitors
You also need to determine your direct competitors. But remember, your competitors are more than company Y vs. company X. This is because a brand may be famous in one niche but still has a product related to your industry. So you’ll notice that your product will compete with this particular brand in your niche.
A good example is Apple company. Everyone associates this brand with computers and mobiles, but they also have a competitive streaming service that rivals Spotify. Sometimes it won’t even be physical products that compete with your blog content, YouTube channel, etc.
For instance, health and prevention websites may compete with care products like soaps. So that’s why it’s crucial to conduct comprehensive research on your competitors. This will help you understand better ways to position and market your products or services.
5. Summarize Your Research Findings
After conducting all the research, you’ll notice your notes are all over the place. Identify some recurring themes that will help craft your story and provide action points.
You can use software to simplify the process. You’ll be able to include diagrams, call clips, and quotes. You can tweak the report to your liking and flair. But this format will help you develop a clear summary:
- The background of your research
- People who took part in the research
- Provide an executive summary of the research. What stood out? And how will you approach it?
- Awareness, what inspired the people to take part in the research?
- What does your ideal buyer consider before making a purchase
- Describe what informs a decision and what buyers think before buying a product or service.
- What are your intended action plans? How will you run campaigns moving forward?
Study your data keenly and be receptive to what it tells you. Embrace the unexpected results and use them to modify your product or service.
Good market research helps in eliminating future hassles. So ensure you listen to and understand your customer’s voices to sell to them successfully.
You can leverage market research companies to help you study your industry and products.