As a small business owner, you’ve probably read about market research. You know that understanding your industry’s social, cultural and economic frameworks is essential to your success. And you’re aware that you need to know about your customers, the area in which you’re selling and what your competitors are doing.
For many, market research can be a bit overwhelming—and its actual benefits hidden in obscurity. To help separate fact from fiction, we’ve outlined five reasons ways effective research can help your business.
1) Market Research Centers Business on the Customer
Simply put, market research is the process of analyzing data about a market, product, or service. And the most obvious benefit is its ability to help you understand your customer. Who are they? What do they want? What do they expect? Through efficient research, businesses are able to establish an open-ended line of communication with their customers. Once you understand your customer’s needs, you will be able to tailor your business to meet them.
How to start collecting customer feedback today:
- Create a master customer list. Be sure that this list includes the customer’s first name, last name, email and then consider including what products or services they use. You can easily upload this list to QuestionPro and then use the data to segment your responses.
- Why not collect customer feedback directly from your website. Use the QuestonPro “embed survey” feature to create a feedback tab or to have a survey pop up to measure your site effectiveness after the visitor is ready to leave your site.
2) It Helps Understand Your Competition
Knowing your competitors and what they offer can help make your products, services, and marketing stand out. Sure, research enables you to set your prices competitively, but it also helps you learn from your competition—and do things better.
How to collect competitive information using surveys:
- Check out this article with competitive research basics outlined.
- In this article we’ve outlined 10 competitive research resources
- Use these basic questions in your competitive research.
3) It Enables You to Test for Success
Need help judging whether a new product or service will connect with your customer? Research is the most effective way to test out ideas before you decide to go full-throttle with them. Through metrics, small business owners are able to see which concepts, campaigns and messaging are resonating best with target customers. Market research saves money and ensures success.
Got a new idea? Here’s how to test your concept:
- Check out QuestionPro’s concept testing surveys in the library.
- Don’t spend money on surveys until you’ve done some secondary research. Yes, that means trolling the web for existing studies and research. Why not hit your local library and ask the research librarian. They are an invaluable resource and they have access to databases that you don’t.
- Contact industry trade associations and publications. Have you read an article that’s close to what you need, but doesn’t have all the info? Contact the author and see if they have data that didn’t fit in the article.
- If you need a bigger, broader sample, you can get that through QuestionPro, just click on “send survey” and the “Buy Sample” option.
4) It Ensures Your Relevancy
As the old adage goes, change is the only true constant. And in the marketing world, this is especially true. In order to remain successful, all businesses need to anticipate and react to change in order to stay relevant. By researching the evolving needs of consumers, and analyzing your competition’s reactions, you are securing longevity and relevancy in the market. Market research allows business owners to stay innovative and successful—and change with the times.
How to stay relevant:
- The easiest way to stay relevant is to run a tracking survey or an index survey. Simply create a basic survey that you send on a regular basis then in the reporting feature, you can select the date range you want to see. You can also create segments of date ranges and compare your progress.
5) It Grows Your Business
All small business owners want to grow their company—but many are unsure where to begin. Research is your best tool for any type of product development, launch, or business expansion. Solid metrics can help:
- Keep track of trends and future markets
- Identify areas for expansion
- Draft effective strategies for campaigns
- Set realistic targets for business
- Beat competition
- Optimize results
By anticipating the evolving nature of the market, effective research enables business expansion and growth.