Regardless of what industry you're in, market research is vital to your business's success. It provides essential information about your target market's needs and wants, allowing you to tailor your products or services around them. However, it may seem daunting at first, especially for a start-up.
Define your market before conducting any in-depth marketing research
Identify what problems people are facing and how important these are to solving for today
Find out how people are solving these problems today
Identify the biggest obstacles to resolving these problems
Define your ideal customer within this market segment
Improve your marketing to fit the niche you've identified
Read on for a rundown of how to perform in-depth market research for your business in 6 easy steps:
Step 1: Define Your Market
Before you start performing research, it would help to take a minute to define precisely who you want to focus on.
For example, if your company sells dating services specifically for people under 30, make sure you limit your research only to this demographic.
Step 2: Identify the Problems
Now that you've defined your market, it's time to move on to the critical questions.
What sort of problems do your potential customers face?
The more pressing the problem, the more urgently you need to solve it.
Suppose a large majority of your target audience is having trouble getting out of debt, for instance. In that case, there's a good chance that they'll jump at the opportunity to solve this problem.
Conversely, suppose your target audience faces less pressing problems (like boredom). In that case, they may not be interested in your product or service at all.
To make things even more complicated, different people face different levels of urgency within the same problem.
For example, young adults might be willing to put off debt repayment to live in the moment. In contrast, older adults might be more inclined to sacrifice short-term happiness for long-term financial security.
Step 3: Find Out How Your Customers Solve this Problem Today
Now that you know what problems your market faces and how important they are, it's time to find out exactly how they're solving this today.
You should tailor your marketing to the specific channels, tools, and methods your market uses.
For example, it would help to ensure you're offering them great distribution channels for products like magazines and newspapers if they like print media.
Step 4: Identify the Biggest Obstacles to Problem Resolution
Finally, figure out exactly what your customers are struggling with when trying to solve these problems. Maybe many members of your target market don't have enough money to hire a professional for help, or perhaps they don't know which resources to trust.
Either way, the more obstacles you can identify before creating any solutions, the better your chances are at success.
Step 5: Define Your Ideal Customer
After you've completed your market research, it's time to figure out which members of this target market will be the most receptive to your product or service.
Your ideal customer is someone who faces urgent problems and has tried (and failed) to solve these problems on their own through existing channels. Because people like this are so familiar with the issues at hand, they'll be more willing to try out new solutions when they come along.
Step 6: Improve Your Marketing To Fit the Niche You've Identified.
Finally, tailor your marketing tactics and messaging to fit your customers' specific needs.
Suppose the most significant obstacle people face in solving these problems is a lack of time or money. In that case, you should focus on how your product or service helps them achieve their goals more efficiently on either front!
Here’s a video you’d be interested to watch before performing your market research:
7 Compelling Reasons for Market Research
Market Research Helps You Make Better Product Decisions
When you start developing a product, it's essential to ensure that other people will actually want that product. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting your time and money!
Market research can help you determine whether or not people are interested in purchasing your offering before sinking too much time into the development process.
Market Research Helps You Make Better Pricing Decisions
You always want to price your product or service competitively, but you don't want to undersell yourself either.
Researching the market can help you find an appropriate balance between these two extremes.
Also, suppose you discover that a large percentage of your target market is willing to pay more than the price you've set for your product or service. In that case, it might be time to reevaluate.
Helps You Make Better Distribution and Sales Decisions
Once your product is developed, you'll need to decide how and where to sell it! Distribute channels like retail stores and Internet marketplaces will have different ways of doing business and costs associated with selling there.
Market research can help you figure out which of these is the best fit for your product.
It Helps You Identify Risk Factors
You should ensure that the risk isn't too high before you invest too much time, money, or effort into a marketing campaign. In this regard, proper market research comes in handy.
For example, suppose your target market is tiny. In that case, it might not be worth the cost of advertising to them.
Or, if they're challenging to reach through existing distribution channels, then it may not be easy to sell your product there as well.
In these cases, it might be better for you to try another market or shift the focus of your product offering before sinking too much time into a bad strategy!
Market Research Helps You Identify Competitors
Once you've completed all of your research and defined your market niche, there's a good chance that you'll be able to identify some of your competitors.
Competitor analysis is a popular strategy in marketing because it can help you benchmark against the industry's best practices and prepare for market changes before they happen.
Whether or not you decide to conduct a competitor analysis on your own, at least knowing that your market is competitive will keep you from being overconfident about your product or service's chances of success!
Market Research Helps You Understand the Size of the Market:
It may not always be necessary to figure out how many customers are in your identified niche, especially if you're only looking for a small number of sales.
Nevertheless, it's essential to know how large your target market is before you move forward!
Figuring out the size of your market will also help you gauge the return on investment that your marketing campaign can generate.
Market Research Saves Resources
By investing heavily upfront in market research, you'll save time and money down the line by focusing on a target market that has a real need for what you have to offer!
Don't be afraid to spend a little bit of time digging into the specifics before your launch. It could save you from many headaches in the long run!
Examples of successful companies that have benefited from proper market research include:
Dropbox, which conducted extensive customer interviews before building their product and marketing campaign
Uber, who asked potential users to give feedback during the development process
Apple built a user base for its computers with an extensive advertising campaign before releasing the iPhone to the public.
Market research is often an optional expenditure for start-ups, but it's something that every business should do. Not only does it help you validate your product development strategy, but it can also help you save money in the long run by helping you avoid risky marketing campaigns.
Asking the right questions to get meaningful information takes practice, but it'll become second nature once you figure out the best way to conduct your research. For the best results, I recommend getting in touch with VINK Marketing Studio. Our team of experts will help you hasten the process and minimize risks.