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Market research is vital, and it can be the only thing keeping your business from success.

It’s easier to develop the right marketing messaging strategy when you understand your prospects’ pain points and desires. You will also know where to target your marketing campaigns because you’ll know your customers’ online behavior.

Market research has changed rapidly in the last few years, mainly because of the covid-19 pandemic. Many of the tactics that used to work are now useless. So as a business owner, you need to find the right ways and tools to get the most out of your market research. This article will show you some of the top tips to conduct better market research.

1. Identify and prioritize your business goals

The first step to conducting quality market research is to define your goals as a business. Do you want to acquire new customers or retain existing ones? Which channels do you want to prioritize?

Outline all your business goals and arrange them in order of priority. Then decide to focus on the business goal with the highest priority. In most cases, a businesses’ highest priority is acquiring new customers. 

2. Understand your customers

The next step is to dive deep into learning about your customers. The company that wins in any category is the one that understands its customers’ pain points, desires, and buying behavior. This type of research can be conducted through questionnaires, surveys, interviews, and by analyzing data collected from online interactions with your brand.

It’s important to create a customer profile that identifies demographics such as age, income, and interests and identifies needs that aren’t being met and how your audience may have changed over time.

3. Conduct brand research

There is a big difference between how your customers perceive your brand and how you think they perceive it. Minor details such as company slogan or brand colors can have as much as 80% effect on your brand recognition.

Conduct research to determine how your customers think of your brand compared to competitors. Find out your brand’s reputation among potential customers and how they feel about its website, social media presence, and content.

Use the Net Promoter Score system to understand the level of loyalty among your customers. The NPS system is so powerful because it doesn’t just measure your customers’ satisfaction but also how likely they would be to recommend your business to their friends. Learn more about the net promoter score system in this resource.

4. Collect data using proxies

Data collection is an essential part of market research. But even more critical is being able to analyze data and determine trends that may impact your business. For effective data collection, you can use proxies to scrape data across various websites that you are interested in. For example, if you are researching pet grooming sites because you intend to differentiate your brand as a pet grooming company, a proxy will help you acquire quality data from these websites quickly compared to manually going through them.

After collecting the data using proxies, you can analyze it using tools such as Tableau, Google Sheets, and Microsoft Excel. These tools will allow you to identify patterns and determine the best opportunities to pursue.

5. Incentivize participants

To get the most out of your market research, you need to motivate participants to actively provide their thoughts.

For example, you may be surveying pet owners on why they choose you for pet grooming services instead of other competitors. More pet owners will take the survey and provide quality data if you motivate them with a gift such as a free pet grooming service for their dog or cat.

Identify the things your buyers would be happy to get in exchange for spending their time taking your surveys. Offer these gifts and collect valuable information that can change your company’s trajectory forever.

6. Keep your interviews and questionnaires as short as possible

According to Surveyanyplace, the response rate drops by 15% if a survey takes more than 5 minutes to finish and 40% if it takes more than 10 minutes. So keep your surveys as brief and precise as possible to increase the chances of getting as many responses from participants.

Break your research goals into manageable sessions so participants don’t feel overwhelmed and leave the surveys halfway. Also, arrange your open-ended survey questions from the most important ones to the least. This way, they will offer the most information at the beginning when they are still engrossed in your survey.

Conclusion

Market research involves much more than sending a couple of surveys to customers or strangers online and expecting results. But when done thoroughly, market research can unlock many business opportunities that give you a competitive advantage.

Some tips to improve your market research include prioritizing business goals, collecting data using proxies, incentivizing participants, and keeping your questionnaires and interviews as short as possible.