How to do market research: an affordable guide for small businesses:
Do you ask yourself how you can find your customers in mind and what they need, or better yet, solve a problem they do not know? At the heart of creating a successful business strategy is understanding what your customers want.
Why do companies use market research?
Whether you are just starting out or developing a new product or service for an existing business, market research is an important part of the way you plan, market, and grow.
Read this guide to find out why market research is important and discover some affordable market research methods that small businesses can use to learn more about their customers and prospects.
But first, it’s important to understand what market research really is.
Definition of market research activities
Market research is when you find out what your target audience and markets are looking for in a product or service. It’s a way to gather data and information about what customers want, need, and buy.
Traditional examples of market research include surveys, questionnaires, customer interviews, and focus groups. But increasingly, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) enables businesses to understand consumer behavior and motivation through monitoring and other clues we leave behind when we visit websites.
Why is market research important?
If your business is already up and running, chances are you did market research as part of your business plan and even did a SWOT analysis.
But you do not have to do this search once; It is important to be constantly on the lookout for new trends and market challenges to ensure that your business remains relevant.
Benefits of market research:
• test whether a product or service is viable
• understand the target group’s weaknesses and desires
• identify a gap in the market
• keep abreast of trends, challenges, and changing tastes in the market
• Make sure your business is positioned correctly in terms of price, quality, cost, and accessibility
• Learn from your competitors and move on
Whether you are looking for a new product to sell online or other business ideas and trends, market research can help you find out if consumers are interested in your idea.
Do market research for small businesses?
Traditional market research, such as interviews and focus groups, can be expensive and time-consuming. So this is probably the last thing you need to keep in mind if you also need to check taxes, do self-assessments and manage the budget and cash flow.
The good news is that you can make many research methods accessible, even with limited time and a small customer base. Here are our top six types of market research.
1. Talk to your customers
The best market research firms can reach thousands of people, but it’s still worth talking to your customers to hear their comments and opinions. By listening to the people your target audience represents, you know you’re doing the right thing, regardless of the size of your business.
Having an email list is a way to keep in touch with your customers and you can use this channel to submit a survey on a free platform like SurveyMonkey.
Surveys also do not need to be processed – there are a number of tools and plug-ins that you can use to set up exit surveys that open automatically when someone buys something or leaves your site.
2. Listen to social media
With approximately 3.6 billion social media users worldwide by 2020, chances are you will learn something about your customers by visiting pages and groups on various social networks.
For example, participating in Facebook newsgroup discussions can help you understand different opinions and issues regarding your industry.
Meanwhile, Reddit users can find a lot of content and in-depth discussions if they know where to look. There are several communities, called subreddits, on any topic you can think of.
3. Analyze search trends
Audience responsiveness and Google Trends are excellent tools for finding what people are looking for on the internet and analyzing local trends.
At BuzzSumo you will find the best web content related to your industry.
If you are looking for accessories like candle making, check out popular products and reviews on sites like Etsy to see if you can solve a problem with your idea.
4. Competitive analysis
Keep up to date with what your competitors are doing by regularly reviewing your marketing materials. While you may not know if their market research is better than yours, it is useful to compare strategies.
Participant analysis may include:
• look at your website and your social channels
• to subscribe to your marketing list so you can see how they talk to customers
• collection of brochures and marketing materials
• read customer reviews
• be a mystery shopper (ie if you are anonymous to try what he does)
5. Follow up location data
You probably have a business website, which is a great way to get first-hand data about your customers.
Platforms like Squarespace and WordPress have built-in analytics, or you can set up Google Analytics for a monthly fee. Page tracking can also help you understand the most popular pages on your site and see how customers are linking to other pages.
You do not need advanced analytics knowledge, but if you want to improve your skills, you can visit the free Google Analytics training courses.
keep testing and learning
As your business grows, you will probably want to explore some of the more traditional methods, such as focus groups and customer interviews, to look into your customers’ minds. But until then, try some of the tips above and let us know how you did it.