what it is, how to do it and the main types – WAU
Market research is a tool that allows the planning, collection and analysis of data related to an enterprise. Its objective is to generate knowledge about a market and its public, identify opportunities and reduce risk in making strategic decisions.
Even though we are living in the age of data-driven marketing and robust tools are able to analyze and predict results with extremely high precision, any type of decision related to an enterprise involves some degree of uncertainty.
Prior research and analysis is an effective way to understand the nature and behavior of a market and to reduce the margin of error in the actions taken by the entrepreneur and his team.
Market research, therefore, appears as an essential tool to minimize risks and identify opportunities at any stage of a company’s life.
However, although it is a usual and very important practice, its purposes, potentials and methods are not always clear, and it was with this in mind that we prepared this material with all the information that a manager or marketer needs to know to conduct a research.
In this article we teach:
Do you want to discover the best strategies and tools to get to know your audience, in addition to ensuring the success of your company’s future decisions? Stay with us and enjoy reading!
What is market research?
Market research is an instrument adopted to understand the reality of a market and increase the effectiveness of the actions taken in relation to a project.
In other words, it is basically a way of collecting important information that helps a company to make safer and more correct decisions.
The data can include behavioral characteristics, consumption habits, as well as benchmarking surveys of companies from different sectors. This information can be obtained in two different ways:
- primary research: when market research is carried out by the company that will use the data or by a professional hired for this purpose;
- secondary search: when data are collected and / or analyzed by third parties (professional or specialized company). Also included here are reports, articles and guides made publicly available by other companies.
How to do market research?
Traditional market research is based on questionnaires that can be answered through interviews, correspondence or over the internet. The basic steps for preparing a study like this are:
- research objective: define the quality or variety of products, optimize prices, increase sales coverage, etc .;
- target Audience: suppliers, competitors, customers or consumers in general;
- sampling: how many people will be interviewed;
- script: the form itself. It is recommended that the questions are always simple, impartial and direct;
- application: conducting research and data collection;
- analyze: compilation, analysis of responses and statistical overview.
This research format is still widely used and can deliver satisfactory results. However, in recent years, Digital Marketing tools have made it possible to monitor users capable of providing even richer data about an audience.
In an Inbound Marketing strategy, for example, new data is generated continuously according to the interaction of users and the behavior of the leads generated.
However, while it is relatively easy to generate a high volume of information using digital tools and platforms, data alone is not able to drive a business to success. In some cases, even, informational chaos can even lead a manager to take hasty actions.
It is essential, therefore, to choose carefully the data that will be collected and to draw up a plan or a route that allows to organize it, understand it and use it to reduce risks in future decisions and, who knows, identify profitable opportunities.
Why do market research?
Many entrepreneurs focused on innovation tend to look down on market research. They believe that there is no need to study the strategies of other companies to build a profitable business and that, based on competition, there is a risk of making the venture ordinary.
First, market research is not limited to analyzing competing companies. Your study can and should involve several other types of data, and this is important, as it offers an overview of the entire ecosystem of your business.
You need to know the environment you are in, understand the challenges that your ideas and strategies impose and discover needs that have not yet been explored. All of this is delivered by good market research.
And as for innovation, the rich information gathered only tends to contribute new insights and is still able to make your ideas and suggestions much more realistic and plausible.
Therefore, conducting market research, among several benefits, allows:
- evaluate the viability of a project;
- test new campaigns, products and services;
- explore new niche markets;
- create unpublished segments;
- discover strategic information;
- optimize the company’s internal processes;
- develop more competitive strategies.
What are the advantages of conducting market research?
Although many of the benefits of market research are evident, in London it has not yet received the importance it deserves. There is an erroneous notion that its costs are high and, therefore, it is a practice restricted to large companies and investors.
In reality, however, there are several different resources to carry out an effective market study, from basic and accessible means to large complex operations. However, in all cases the advantages are very great. Check out some below.
Know your audience
By collecting more specific data about your target audience, it will be possible to build personas, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client. This richer understanding of your audience will help you make much more accurate decisions in all areas of your company, from product development to communication.
Understand your competitors’ strategy
It is necessary to know the other players in the market to conduct their strategies according to the actions taken by them. In addition, your competitors are also a rich source of insights and experiences that cannot be ignored.
Analyze the availability and performance of other market ventures
A market depends on the performance of several different enterprises such as suppliers, service providers, distributors, communication professionals and many others. When a single element in that chain is having problems, everyone else is affected.
It is essential, therefore, to anticipate this before carrying out a promotion or thinking about putting into practice an expansion plan, for example.
Scale the market
By combing the market and the profile of its consumers, it is possible to identify new trends, estimate the most profitable segment, evaluate the performance of specific products or services and even estimate the sales limit that a public is capable of meeting.
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Identify opportunities in advance
In addition to knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the field, market research also offers the opportunity to detect new demands in advance. Information like this can completely change the direction of a business.
What are the best research tools?
There are several quality tools available to carry out surveys and market analysis, and many of them are free!
Below you can find nine very interesting suggestions organized into three categories.
Data and metrics
Reliable data and indicators are essential to guarantee the quality of the results and conclusions obtained in your research, therefore, having reliable sources to collect information is essential. Check out some quality portals below.
1. Think with Google: the official Google blog with articles, reports and incredible ideas about the market, consumer behavior and technology;
2. SEBRAE: the London Entrepreneurship Support Service is a national reference in content, guidelines and research related to entrepreneurship;
3. Websites Are Us Intelligence: the largest marketing and sales research center in London, created and maintained by Websites Are Us.
Some platforms can help you understand the reality of your market more closely. There is no harm in spying on your direct competitors – make sure they do the same for you. Check out some interesting tools below.
4. Buzzsumo: this platform not only analyzes the performance of your competitors’ campaigns and content, but also allows us to monitor your publications;
5. Website Grader: adopting criteria such as performance, SEO, mobile experience and security, this free tool from HubSpot analyzes in detail your website and that of your competitors;
6. SEMrush: this tool has a number of resources and, among them, we have the “Domain vs. Domain ”that compares your site’s keywords with those used by your competitors.
Interview with clients
Customer feedback is one of the richest sources of information that a company can obtain. They already know your business up close and are therefore the best ones to present compliments and complaints.
It is possible to include forms on your website or in digital products with the help of specific plugins, but if you want to make a complete form available for research, we have some options below.
7. Typeform: in addition to being a very intuitive and efficient tool, it stands out for its simplicity, beauty and responsiveness;
8. SurveyMonkey: with several templates available, this platform allows you to prepare questionnaires according to your objectives;
9. Opinion Box: London solution for creating online surveys with a dedicated team of experts.
What are the types of market research and which is best for your company?
Market research may vary according to the research objective, the method employed and the profile of the public. Check out the main types below.
This type of market research focuses on the public of a brand and is usually carried out to get to know a company’s customers better from consumption data. Entrepreneurs, in turn, also benefit from this information to identify hidden demands.
One of the advantages that this study offers is the possibility of creating sales and marketing strategies extremely aligned with the expectations of a specific group of consumers.
You can find out which social networks your brand will have the most results in, what the best business model for your needs, which pricing strategy to adopt and other important insights for running a company.
In this case, the focus of the research is the brand. Its purpose is to measure the attention that your company receives in relation to competitors and to discover positive or harmful elements in your branding actions.
When a brand does not perform well with its audience, many improvements can be provided and it is the data generated by the research that should drive an eventual repositioning.
Measuring customer satisfaction is very important, after all, they decide who stays and who perishes in the market. This type of market research, therefore, is an analysis of feedbacks.
Few people turn to a brand’s service channels to offer praise and criticism, so promoting a survey via an interview or form can be very effective in this case.
It is important, however, that this type of analysis is frequent so as not to miss the chance to win back customers about to be lost and still be able to constantly optimize their Marketing actions.
Internal surveys are those where the focus is on a company’s employees. Motivated professionals tend to consistently deliver good results and stay in their jobs longer.
When the work team is not aligned with the company’s values and processes, as well as when they are not valued and overloaded, negative reflexes are perceived not only within the company, but also in all its points of contact with the customer.
Finally, to find out which market research is most needed for your business at the moment, the key is to turn your eyes to your company first. It is not possible to carry out a good study without first knowing the characteristics of your own business.
Now that you know how to do market research, how about planning yours? Download our Marketing Research ebook and follow a complete step by step!