Market research is one of the most important elements for those who want to start a digital business, although it also has a place for those who are already in the market or are engaged in purely physical business or through traditional channels.
Through market research it is possible to understand your target audience and even your competitors. This will help you make the right decisions based on data, maximizing your company’s chances of success.
Differentiating yourself from competitors is crucial in a highly competitive environment such as the virtual environment, whether in social networks, products/services, market segments, customer service or even your website experience.
What is market research?
A market research is a tool that aims to help you obtain data about the industry, the public and the geographic space in which you operate, in order to find and optimize strategies to develop your business.
The goal is to understand the needs of consumers and how they are being addressed.
That is why in many market studies the knowledge of competitors’ strategies and products plays a fundamental role.
Through market research, data and information is gathered that will help you make important decisions that have the potential to benefit or harm your business.
In addition, this methodology allows you to learn more about the characteristics of consumer behavior, determine the range of competitive prices, know weaknesses, strengths and opportunities, as well as thoroughly review your competition or referents.
Why conduct market research?
Now that you know what market research is, it is time to talk about its specific advantages.
In any type of business, it is necessary to make decisions that define the best strategy to apply in different areas. This is understood as:
- Launching new products,
- Commercial alliances,
- Digital marketing strategies,
- Branding and Rebranding,
Among many other areas, disciplines and departments. A market study is really broad, interdisciplinary, because brands interact with the public in more than one way.
In addition, it considers that the market is constantly changing and consumers are also influenced by several external factors, especially technological ones.
A market study helps your business to succeed, plays an important role in innovation and differentiation from your competitors.
Through it, it is possible to know information about your competitors and your target audience, in order to define niches that have not yet been explored, as well as trends and threats present or to come.
How to conduct a market research?
Although Big Data technological advances make it possible to obtain information on trends and markets without having to use more traditional research methods, conducting market research through questionnaires is still one of the most commonly used methodologies.
Market research is the method used to collect data and information, which will later be analyzed to present the study with alternatives and strategies. This is done after drawing up a business plan.
Market research has several ways of being done, it is divided according to its source and the methodology used.
Primary research is the one in which the research is done by the company that will use the data.
Secondary research is when professionals or specialized companies are hired to conduct the research. In that case, reports, articles and publicly available data are also included.
A person viewing a market research survey on a tablet.
In addition, it is possible to use qualitative or quantitative data analysis:
Quantitative analyses are those that present in numbers the data that prove the general objectives of a research. It looks for patterns.
Qualitative analysis is not as objective, but allows understanding the details and complexity of the information obtained. It looks for anecdotal information and interpretation.
The most popular way to collect information is the survey, from which quantitative and qualitative information can be extracted.
Let’s take a look at how to conduct a market study step by step:
Define your research objectives
The first step in initiating a market study is to understand what the purpose of the survey or research will be.
Usually, this objective starts with a problem to be solved, so you need to identify what problem you want to solve.
An example of an objective might be to start an e-commerce business and investigate whether a certain product will be in demand for your target audience. You can even ask yourself if your brand has a place in the market.
Remember that the objective should be easy to understand, this will prevent you from losing focus during the preparation of your research.
Establish the target audience for the research
Who will your survey questions be aimed at – suppliers, or do you want to find out more about consumers or your competitors?
If we follow the previous example of investigating whether a particular product really appeals to the public, that would be an example of consumer-driven research. This could be more effective if you know your Buyer Persona.
There is also the possibility of conducting a survey with suppliers, keeping in mind that a product that is in high demand is a product that consumers are looking for.
It is important that you define who will be consulted, as this will facilitate the elaboration of the questions.
If you look for information about this in sources more related to statistics, it is likely that they will define your audience as Google Forms, but there are other similar tools that you can also use, such as Typeform and Cognito Forms.
Apply the questionnaire
Once it’s ready, the next step is to apply it – deliver it to your audience!
(Which in statistical terms, would be called a “sample”).
You can share it through social networks, email marketing campaigns or even join specific groups like Whatsapp, Telegram or Facebook. You can also do it offline.
Analyze your results
Finally, after you have your market research in your hands, it’s time to collect data and cross-referenced information.
To make the data visible, it is recommended to pour it into tables or build graphs that make it easy to consume the information.
You can even create presentations or infographics to facilitate the visualization of the data in case you conduct more than one survey or have many questions to process. It is also a simple way to keep the data already processed and easy to interpret in case you need to use it at another time.
You can use tools like Canva to create graphs and infographics for your surveys.
Canva is a tool with many design features that allows you to create presentations, charts and infographics for use in your daily life. The advantage of using Canva is that it has dozens of templates ready for you to edit as you wish.
In addition, it allows you to use interactive features to make your market research results easier to interpret.
Advantages of investing in market research
If you still have doubts about whether to invest in market research or the place it has in your business, here we will review and summarize the main advantages of leveraging this tool.
Know your audience better
Through a better knowledge of your target audience you can create a Buyer Persona that will help you define what digital marketing strategies you can use.
Remember that personas are a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer and, through them, you can have broader behavioral information that will help you make better decisions.
In addition, it is also possible to understand quantitative aspects such as market potential, market share and brand positioning. Even in the quantitative aspect there are also interesting elements to extract, such as:
- Behavioral characteristics,
- Consumption habits.
- Understand the strategies used by the competition.
With a market study you start to look at your competitors with different eyes, because you are more sure of how to create strategies to stand out.
You will probably now have in your hand information about what strategies your competitors have already used and which ones were successful. It is also a way to see what they have not yet done and look for new alternatives to attract your audience.
Sizing the market
Market research allows you to anticipate trends, visualize which is the most profitable segment to operate in and identify which demands are increasing.
Thus, it is possible to differentiate yourself and stay ahead of the competition in offering the best service to the consumer and optimize their experience with the brand.
Do market research and improve customer satisfaction
Hopefully now that you know what market research is, you have everything you need to set goals and start asking questions of everyone involved in your industry.
Remember that there is also the step-by-step on how to do market research, something that works in all types of markets, including digital businesses.
One element that is very important to increase your performance is to offer quality customer service, as this factor also influences the satisfaction levels of your customers.