how to do market research
Business

How to Do Market Research: 6 Mistakes You Can Avoid

Marketing research is an element of a successful development strategy for any enterprise. The role of studying the external and internal environment increases many times in conditions of the unformed segment of the market or uncertainty of new business. The same is true about regular market monitoring.

No research means:

  • it is impossible to collect the data systematically;
  • you cannot analyze the information;
  • it is impossible to make important decisions because there is no information to compare. 

It concerns both business activities and private life. Even when you are just googling “where can I find someone to write my essay for me?” you are going to do research to choose the best service that will satisfy your needs. And for the business, the need for quality investigation is even more obvious.

Market research significantly reduces uncertainty when making important business decisions. It allows you to allocate economic potential to reach new heights in business effectively! 

Without data about consumers, the market, and competitors, lots of things can turn into big financial losses for a company. These are:

  • promoting a brand;
  • developing a corporate style;
  • building a business strategy;
  • launching advertising.

To eliminate such a risk, you should conduct a marketing analysis at the very beginning. 

It costs money, but it will help build a product or brand capable of gathering a loyal audience around itself. It will also let you avoid common pitfalls in marketing and save money on product launches. After all, when you know what people want, you can give it to them. Resorting to empty experiments until the budget runs out is a bad alternative.

When to Do Market Research

Marketing analysis is requested in two typical situations. 

Scenario one. Everything is stable in the company: sales and volumes are growing. But the management strives to do everything more efficiently. 

Therefore, they invest in

  • marketing;
  • researching their audience;
  • testing new concepts of products, advertising, packaging, etc. 

That is, they compare all their actions with the opinion of potential buyers. In this case, marketing research is implemented in all business processes of the company and, accordingly, in the strategic decision-making system and therefore planned in advance.

Scenario two (sometimes even more common). It is necessary to “put out a fire.” In other words, some extraordinary situation has occurred, or the company has found itself in unfamiliar circumstances. Examples:

  • Sales have fallen, and the causes are unknown. They must be sought.
  • You need to survive the market crisis. Colleagues expect clear decisions and steps.
  • New participants appear in the market. Your task is to figure out how to compete with them.
  • A new product was launched, which did not find a response from the consumer.
  • An advertising campaign was carried out, which caused a wave of negativity on the Internet.

So, we already know that marketing analysis is important. But to implement its results in your company’s advertising campaigns, e-commerce, or product development, you need to do the investigation right. Let`s review the most common mistakes that you should avoid while conducting research.

1. Incorrect Purpose of Research

The first stage of research is defining the problem to be solved. After all, a lot depends on the right question. So, to define the problem accurately, you need to pay attention to the purpose of your investigation, the available source information, and how you will apply it.

Further, it is necessary to discuss the issue with specific managers, whose decision-making will depend on the research results. 

Consult with experts in this field. Based on their conclusions, conduct a secondary analysis of the data. Qualitative studies of focus groups familiar with this topic won’t hurt as well. Only after the final formulation of the problem can you begin to develop a detailed work plan.

2. Unclear Target Audience

To identify and correctly segment the audience, you should learn about its:

  • age;
  • gender;
  • financial well-being;
  • social status;
  • hobbies;
  • education;
  • other characteristics. 

Such analysis helps the company understand the pain of potential customers to offer them its product or service as a solution.

3. Research Method Chosen Incorrectly

The cause of the error can be both the performer and the customer. The customer is trying to save money, refusing expensive but effective methods, and they are offered research “out of pocket.” The performer, in turn, can choose a method that is more convenient for them but not optimal.

4. Unqualified Performers

To avoid errors and inaccuracies in the final results, conduct thorough training of employees who will deal with the most important part – gathering information. It’s a tedious task, but the outcome is worth it. The main tool is a questionnaire for marketing research. A sample questionnaire should always be accessible to every employee.

5. No Contact Between the Customer and the Performer

If you discuss and agree upon all stages of the research, it will be a win-win. This allows you to avoid unjustified expectations of the result. At the same time, it is not always advisable to provide intermediate information to the client – it provokes premature conclusions.

6. Unclear Results

After conducting research, you usually prepare a report for the customer. The final report indicates the answers to the questions posed at the beginning of the study and describes the work plan and the methods of collecting the data. A summary is given, and valuable conclusions are formed, which should help the company implement its projects.

Pro tip: present your conclusions in an easy-to-understand form (use tables and graphs). All this helps “digest” the material.

Summary

Launching an advertising campaign or building a business strategy without data is a big risk for a business. You can’t use any of your marketing tricks without knowing what your target audience wants and expects. 

Marketing research before making any management decision will help minimize the risks and maximize profits. This will let the company offer the products or services that will interest the audience in the market.

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