Market research is a means of better understanding who your customers are and what they want. It’s something you should be constantly doing in order to make the right improvements to your business. But exactly what are some of the market research strategies you should use? And what is the best way to implement them? This post compares some of the different market research strategies and their uses.
Surveys are a great way to find out what people think about your product/service so that you can work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve upon. They can be completed on paper or they can be completed online and typically consist of a handful of questions. It’s best to keep surveys snappy unless you’re willing to pay participants to take part in them, otherwise most people won’t have the patience for them. You can find survey generators and ideas for survey questions online.
Focus groups involve assembling groups of people – often to test out a product and then survey them. They’re more interactive than a traditional survey, plus you can see how group dynamics affects the results. This post explains more on how to arrange a successful focus group.
Analytics involves recording data and mapping it out in order to detect trends. A common example is website analytics – using stats and graphs, you can see how many visitors you’re getting on webpages and how they’re interacting with pages, which could help you to create a better website experience. There are so many other places nowadays where you can take advantage of primary analytics as a research tool such as mailing list analytics, social media analytics, PPC advert analytics and general sales data analytics. Primary analytics is something you can only start taking advantage of once your business is up and running.
Competitor research involves analyzing what your competitors are doing. This is useful not just for borrowing ideas, but also finding ways to set yourself apart. There are so many different types of competitor research that you can undertake. You could take a look at their website, peruse their social media accounts or physically test out their product or service (or hire a mystery shopper to do it for you). Competitor research is vital before launching a business, but is also something you can benefit from on an ongoing basis.
Third party studies/reports
There could be studies and reports into your industry that could provide useful facts and figures when establishing your product or making changes. For example, these telecom industry reports could be important when trying to break into the telecom industry or when simply choosing a suitable telecoms provider. Some of these studies and reports may be free to access, while you may have to pay for others. Books, blog posts, infographics and seminars may all contain useful stats that could be worth looking into – just make sure that these stats come from trusted sources.
Online reviews left by customers aren’t just useful for your credibility. They can also be a great market research tool – just like a survey, they can provide positive and negative feedback that you can use to improve your business. All in all, don’t ignore your reviews.