How to do market research in 8 steps

One of the most effective ways to obtain additional information about your customers, industry, and competition is through market research; That is, a thorough analysis that helps you understand your target market, develop pricing strategies and strengthen your business. Learn here what it is about and how to create it successfully; You’ll see how it will help you reach new sectors and take your products to the next level.

Stages of market research

To carry out a market research study, it is necessary to follow a series of five stages that will set the tone for it to be carried out successfully.

1. Define the purpose of your market research

The important thing about this step is that you know what you want to analyze and how it will contribute to the purposes of your business. This indicates what you will need to measure, the tools that will best fulfill the task, and who should be involved (we are talking about departments, managers, and teams that will collaborate in the process).

Take into account the type of study you will perform. Some purposes may be:

2. Understand your productive sector

It establishes the levels of overall competitiveness, as well as the expectations of prospects and suppliers in that area. This way, you will understand the mechanics of the sector and know how to respond to the requirements of the economy. Look for reliable, up-to-date, and perfectly measurable data that speaks to the reality of the industry, both in your country and globally.

3. Assess the competition

Perform a SWOT analysis to place your company concerning the nearest competition; that is, no longer in the entire sector but in opposition to those offers that are similar to yours. You must keep in mind the following:

When you know these aspects, you can look for the necessary alternatives to get ahead of external situations, and you recognize the potential of your business and your team.

4. Understand the ideal customers

When you get to know your buyer personas better, you fully understand:

Through surveys and other resources, you will understand the target market’s values, users’ opinions when comparing your offer with the competition, and the impressions it leaves them. This way, you will understand how your product fits into all stages of the buyer’s journey and how to offer what they need at the ideal time.

5. Understand where your business is

It is relevant to know where your brand is positioned compared to your competition based on the data you obtained from the industry to which you belong. Look for which aspects your customers value best and which have not received a favorable impression from your leads.

6. Classify the information you’ve collected

To better understand the current place of any business, you must have access to prior information (internal sources) that highlights the evolution, the challenges you have overcome, and which are the ones you still have to face. If that data does not already exist, you will have to do more profound work, but trust that it will be beneficial and become valuable documentation for future analysis.

7. Analyze the information

With all the data you now have, you can reach conclusions that will allow you to continue implementing strategies. Now you have the synthetic and valuable knowledge to make your offer successful.

You’ll need to organize the information you get into sections to create a document that covers the findings of your analysis. It will also be an excellent resource to consult on future occasions, especially when there is an opportunity to compare particular periods or markets.

8. Use your market research to optimize your business

Remember that this analysis will help you make decisions and plan strategies for launching new products, expanding into new market segments or potential markets, and establishing attractive offers and discounts for your loyal customers. These investments should be made to implement new services and effectively monitor your sales, among other aspects.

As we mentioned, there are different market research types, so other tools are ideal for each case. Here are some that will be useful.

Six tools to do market research

1. Focus group

This study helps collect first-hand information about a product or voice service from those who have tried it and are unwilling to give a positive opinion because they do not have a commercial relationship with the brand. A person is responsible for moderating the comments of a small group that represents the target consumer and can direct the conversation so that they know in depth what they think of the design of a package, the ease of use of an app, or the quality of a piece of clothing, for example. It can be done in person or remotely (online).

Field Testing

Unlike a focus group, field tests are conducted with scientific methods and pre-constructed hypotheses. They help you better understand what your target customer is looking for and are a good solution when you don’t have enough information about what problems need to be solved with your product or service (or what needs you might cover that are important in your prospects’ lives).

2. Online communities

One of the advantages of social networks is that many people find others who share some hobbies or behaviors to establish links between them. Brands can also unite their customers or prospects in one place to encourage them to share their experiences with their products or services. In this way, people find experienced users who will help them solve common doubts, provide advice to take better advantage of your offer, or talk enthusiastically about the brand.

3. Interviews

Interviews have the advantage of getting more valuable information than a survey because they spend more time for interviewees to expose everything that interests them about your product or service. That is why you must apply them to a specific customer or prospect. You must establish the criteria people must meet and why their opinions will be valuable. Generally, this resource will allow you to collect qualitative data that will add a lot of value to the information you collect by other means.

4. Sales Analysis

There’s nothing better to understand your business than analyzing the numbers that matter: your sales. This analysis will also give you information about who buys from you, how they live, which channels they prefer to receive the contact you, how often they return, and their reasons for buying from you again.

This analysis should not be done exclusively during market research but is a good practice during a significant period (after a product launch, quarterly, closing a discount streak, annually, etc.).

5. Social Media Observation

On a shallower level, this study is still valuable and a good complement because it allows you to understand what people are saying about your company or your product. Listening tools (within other more robust ones, such as a CRM) will enable you to track what people share publicly (available to anyone who enters a social network) about a brand and its habits. For example, this can become an argument in favor of a hypothesis about a buyer’s persona.

About the author
Andrew Smith

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