Market Research: An Introduction

Market research is a means of collecting and analysing data related to your industry and target audience. That data will provide you with valuable consumer and industry insight, allowing you to make informed business decisions. Market research can help you improve your service, create a business plan, launch a new service, target new markets, etc.

Primary and secondary research

There are two main categories of research: primary and secondary. Primary research involves gathering information about the buying habits, preferences, opinions and attitudes of customers and prospective customers. You can gain this information through surveys, focus groups and field tests.

Secondary research, on the other hand, is the process of gathering existing data from other sources – magazines, industry publications, trade associations, to name a few. This type of data will provide you with growth rates, industry sale trends, statistics and demographic profiles. Nowadays, the majority of secondary research can be easily accessed online through e-publications.

Using the research

Once you’ve gathered all the relevant data, the next step is to put it to use. Once organised, your research can help you do a number of things:

– Determine your target-market size

– Identify growth trends in your industry

– Find the best possible locations for your business

– Compare your services against competitors

– Learn factors that influence buying decisions

– Determine how in-demand your product or service is

More specifically, the information will help you understand your consumers, in particular:

– What they want from your service or product

– How they use your service or product

– What they like/dislike about your service or product

– Their demographic profile

– What they look for in a product or service

The data you have gathered will allow you to make informed decisions about your business. If conducted correctly, market research is the gateway to understanding what your customers really want; it is the gateway to success.

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