Top Ways Market Research Will Push You Ahead of Competition

Top Ways Market Research Will Push You Ahead of Competition

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes the best companies successful? Whether it’s the secret to excellent customer experiences being created, innovative products entering the markets, or even discovering the perfect audience segment – there is one key method at work – market research.  

Market research cannot be over-emphasized. It has the potential to completely overhaul your current strategy to set you down a different path – a more apt one. After all, creating an innovative product is only a success if there is demand for it. Moreover, once it’s created, you need to ensure that it reaches the right audience.  

That’s why what you need is the market perspective. What is the demand like? Is the target audience just who you think it is, or are there other people who will find different uses for your product? How can this product be evolved in a way that is more relevant to the current demands of the market? 

These are just some of the questions that the right efforts into market research can help you answer, ensuring that you don’t launch a product in vain. After all, is there anything more disappointing than investing in research and development, putting your money into marketing efforts and launching a product only to realize that it wasn’t received as expected? 

Unfortunately, this is all too common and happens far more than is necessary. 

When you discover the right audience segment, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are focused in the right direction, attracting the people you want. In fact, market research can give you unrivalled insights about how to pivot your business, marketing strategy, or even evolve.  

Just take a look at some of the biggest brands of today and how market research has played and continues to play a critical role in their success stories, enabling them to reach and stay on top of their game: 

Twitter

The founders were initially working on creating their news podcast app, but once Apple started their own podcast support for their iTunes app, Evan Williams and Biz Stone realized there was no way they could compete with the tech mammoth. 

Instead, they channeled their market research into customer dissatisfaction with Facebook to see how they could otherwise find usability in their app. What they discovered was that people loved sharing updates about their lives and pictures but were rather annoyed with the newsfeed since it was very overwhelming and cluttered. So instead they launched a more minimal platform and pulled off one of the biggest pivots of our age. 

The rest is history. 

McDonalds

Just as every successful company knows, market research is an ongoing process. It doesn’t just end with one set of insights, but helps you keep up with an evolving market and changing buying patterns.  

McDonalds focuses on surveying their customers to discover which products are the best received, what price point is the most appealing, which marketing channels the customers use most popularly, and which restaurants are the most visited. 

This helps them stay updated to the current customer patterns to understand pain-points and store popularity. It was because of research conducted into the health-trends that McDonalds realized the importance of including healthier food options on their menu, thereby increasing their footfall and showing people that their brand is more than fast food – ensuring that the brand stays relevant and up-to-date, catering to the current and changing demands of their audience! 

LEGO

If anyone understands the potential of market research to tap into new markets, it’s LEGO. The company was popularly known to create toys for boys. But what about the other half of the children? What about the girls? 

When the company realized that only 9% of the girls used their toys, they discovered there was massive potential here – if only it was approached wisely. After conducting a massive study into the playing and buying patterns of girls, extensive interviews and surveys, they released a new line of products.  

The LEGO colors were more vibrant, came with different additions, and the figures were slightly bigger for their hands to be able to hold different accessories such as hairbrushes. All of this was designed based on insights derived from market research and helped the company appeal to a wider audience! 

Best Ways to Conduct Market Research 

The examples of companies growing, transforming, and hitting the goldmine of unprecedented success owing to market research are countless. While it is great for large businesses to grow and expand their appeal, market research is absolutely critical for smaller businesses looking to succeed in an ever-crowded and overly competitive space.  

So here are the top market research methods to implement if you’re looking to identify market vacuums, understand experience gaps, and discover new audience segments: 

Surveys

Sounds quite straight-forward, right? Surveys are a great way to gain insights from people, understand what they think about a product or service, and discover what they want – just like every other customer survey.  

However, market research surveys come in all shapes and sizes. They are a lot more thought-out and focused on reading between the lines. After all, when people answer survey questions, they might not always give you the answer you need, but rather the answer they think you want.  

The best market research will pair a multitude of surveys to understand their audience on a holistic level. These may not only ask people about their preferences and expectations, but also about their personal choices and lifestyle. By understanding a person beyond the product, you can develop a stronger target persona and also discover different target audience segments based on hobbies and interests! 

Moreover, surveys are a cheaper and less time-exhaustive activity to get to know what your potential customers want. Online survey platforms like SoGoSurvey help businesses easily create and distribute questionnaires across channels and deep-dive into responses to get the analytical insights they need! 

Focus Groups 

Still wondering how the market will receive your product? Why not experiment on a small scale? That’s what focus groups are for.  

By gathering a small group of random people that meet key criteria of your target audience, you can ask all the right questions and record their responses. Focus group interviews are usually done following a survey to understand how people will respond to a product question. They help you gain more insights into how your customers think and pave the way for a more open-ended response. 

Group settings also enable a more thought-oriented approach as people develop on each other’s responses and give you insights about your product that you may not have even realized! 

Personal Interviews

You’ve conducted the surveys, and your focus groups seem to have received your product positively. So, what next? 

When you are launching a new product into the market, a lot rests on its shoulders. That’s why you can never go too easy. In-person interviews are a must when you’re looking to discover more aspects about how your audience thinks. Away from the distractions of a group, these interviews can give you more in-depth insights about your product. 

You can conduct structured interviews or even semi-structured ones. These help you get ideas focused on specific directions, while also giving the interviewed participant the freedom to express other ideas or insights that might not otherwise be included.  

Secondary Market Research 

Secondary market research involves discovering existing research that applies to you. What have people found out in the past? Is it relevant to your segment? This is often one of least cost-intensive research methods as it involves exploring the internet of things to discover what you need.  

Secondary market research involves discovering existing research that applies to you. What have people found out in the past? Is it relevant to your segment? This is often one of least cost-intensive research methods as it involves exploring the internet of things to discover what you need.  

Observation

Not everyone will be curt or candid in their responses. In fact, people often tell you what they think you want to hear.  

While online surveys where participants aren’t face-to-face with the interviewer or even interacting at the time can help combat this to a certain extent, it is not absolute. That’s where observation comes in.  

Look at how people react to your product. Judge their expressions and understand how they perceive the product. This might alert you early on to key concerns and receptivity.  

Observation can take place in a variety of ways. From monitoring website actions to viewing through security footage, or even in person. But a key aspect of all observation is to ensure that the people being observed remain unaware of this to prevent any bias from setting in and harming the conclusion. 

Testing

You’ve done it all and the product is ready. But before going into mass-production, there is one final step left – testing it out. Does your product live up to the expectations? Is it robust enough to handle use or are there any key weaknesses that you missed out on? 

Give it to potential customers to test out and note their concerns. Testing helps you identify and eliminate any minor bugs or flaws in your design so that the final product that enters the market is the best it can be.  

It is also a great precautionary measure to reduce customer dissatisfaction and create a positive product reception! 

In Conclusion 

Data has become the key to creating a successful business strategy. With the research methods and approaches available today, there is no dearth of data that companies can get their hands on. However, too much data can be quite overwhelming. That’s why market research comes into play.  

It enables you to analyze the current state of the market to focus your approach and understand just which aspects can have the most impact. Effective market research can transform the growth trajectory of your company as you tap into the right markets using the right strategies, making sure that the final product to enter the market is the one that people want.  

Admin