For every business that becomes an international success, there are hundreds, if not thousands, that have failed and fallen by the wayside. Why? Because they couldn’t effectively identify their consumers’ needs. The businesses that succeed almost universally have one thing in common: they clearly identify what their customers want in the early stages of the business.
There is no single “best” way to carry out effective Market research. Most businesses use a combination of methods to create a clear picture of the existing market and understand their customers’ needs. These are four ways to conduct effective market research in any given niche.
For marketing firms looking to include market research options in their proposals to clients, plenty of websites offer a digital marketing proposal template to help you craft an eye-catching proposal that will appeal to clients.
Surveys and questionnaires remain one of the most popular tools for conducting market research. They are used by businesses across the globe because they are effective at identifying customers’ needs, they are inexpensive, and the responses are easy to analyze and interpret.
Businesses can employ people to carry out face-to-face surveys and questionnaires with customers in public places, they can hire an agency to carry out telephone surveys on their behalf, or they can use mail or online surveys to gauge public opinion. Each platform comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. The very best marketing firms will be able to recommend which will yield the most informative responses for your industry and objectives.
- Focus Groups
When people think focus groups, they think of a group of people gathered around a moderator reading off a script. This was once the norm, however, with the advent of Social Media, many businesses are harnessing their social media following to provide an accessible focus group.
A bakery can post a question on social media to its followers asking, for example, what their favorite type of muffin is, what types of bagels they should bake in the morning, or what their favorite brand of coffee is.
These functional questions can be revealing and help businesses get a bearing on what products are going down well with consumers and what other products they may be looking for.
- Individual Interviews
Interviews are one-on-one conversations with members of your target demographic. A conversation, without the use of set questionnaire questions, allows you to ask follow-up questions, respond to what they are saying, and really dig into what they are looking for in a product.
The purpose is not to promote your company. In fact, the most revealing interviews usually appear more like journalistic interviews than exercises in market research.
- Field Trials
Once a company has a prototype of a product or service, they will often carry out Field Trials in selected stores or locations. These field trials allow the business to test the product under real-life selling conditions.
How the product performs in field trials will determine if the product needs tweaking, the packaging needs improving, or the price needs adjusting.
The most effective market research strategies incorporate elements of all four methods to build an overview of where your product fits in with the market and how effectively it addresses consumers’ needs.