Market research is an imperative component of business strategy. The use of this research is used in order to gain an understanding the market and the customers who operate within that market. Results gained through this process can be used to astatine the behaviour of the target demographics in addition to providing a picture of existing competition. This blog focuses on the consumer element of market research, looking at some of the most effective ways to understand a target audience.
Focus groups are used an important tool in the early planning stages of a new business or product. They are especially effective because of the more conversational way they are carried out, giving the participants a chance to provide more in-depth answers and query any aspects they are unclear on. Focus groups tend to be carried out by a trained moderator who asks a set of questions to a small group of people, a single focus group session is normally not enough to give an idea of consumer opinion so two or three groups are required to give a clearer picture of the market.
Interviews share similarities with focus groups, both provide the chance for the respondents to be more actively engaged in the process by giving more subjective opinions and answers to the question asked. However a drawback to personal interviews are the significantly smaller samples you are handling, this means that results can’t give a reliable insight in how the market operates. Consequently another research method such a surveys would deliver a more beneficial indication of the market.
Surveys can be a useful way to gauge opinions from your targeted demographic, by selecting a sample you can gain insights into how potential customers behave within your market. Traditionally surveys are delivered to a set sample of people, the larger the sample the more reflective of the market your results will be. A survey can be completed in person (typically stopping people on a high street), by telephone, mail, online, or via mobile technologies (tablets and smartphones). Mail surveys are traditionally less reliable as most people don’t want to take the time to complete and send them back, in-person surveys are normally the option to pursue when looking to get a larger response. The costs involved in carrying out surveys can vary, but a concise and well-written survey can provide you the understanding needed to keep up with an ever changing business climate.
In business, the landscape is constantly changing and evolving. This makes market research a pivotal part in planning ahead, however keeping on the pulse of these trends can be extremely time consuming. There are external market research companies who can ensure that your research is done effectively in order to provide the best possible results. Decision Fuel (http://www.decision-fuel.com/) provide exceptionally fast market research solutions using mobile technology to deliver ‘bespoke, bite-sized’ reports derived from surveys, the results gained can be easily analysed to provide a comprehensive picture of the market.
If you’re launching a new product or service, carrying out trials can help you gain invaluable customer reception while helping you build a rapport with a potential customer base. The data you gain from trials can help you decipher whether your products or service needs any modifications based on the consumer response gained throughout this process.
Using these four areas of market research to learn about your customers will only provide you with a priceless understanding of your customers, giving you the best chance possible at succeeding in the vast world of business.