Marketing isn’t effective without careful planning and research. The development of strategies and tactics is often perceived as the only efforts marketers undertake, but this simply isn’t true. Without market research, the marketing strategies wouldn’t have the right direction to lead to success. Research is absolutely invaluable as part of the marketing process, but most casual onlookers don’t know much about what market research entails. Here is a deeper look at what market research is and why it is such a critical part of the overall process for marketers in general.
What Is Market Research Exactly?
Market research can be defined as both the collection and analysis of specific data about customers, competition, and the effectiveness of particular marketing strategies. Market research is important for both new startups and established corporations because it helps to establish the basis for a marketing campaign. For example, market research might show that your company’s target audience is now using Instagram more than Facebook, and your strategy should change to spend more money on Instagram advertisements. Without the research, you might have missed this key insight.
How Can Your Business Use Market Research?
Market research can be used in a number of different ways. You can figure out if new products or services have a market, and if you should develop them further. You can find new economic trends that may impact your business. You can figure out if certain departments need improvement, such as customer service. You can figure out what your competitors are doing and how it is impacting your business and your customer base. You can also develop strategies for how you will promote and brand your products and services.
How Can You Conduct Market Research?
Market research can be conducted in a number of different ways. You can hire a polling company to conduct a survey of your customer base, or conduct focus groups. You can use analytics platforms to track how your customers are using your website or interacting with your business on social media. You can offer free trials for new products on the condition that you track how customers are using those products. In some cases, you might even be able to directly observe how your customers are using your products (such as at a special event) and use that information in future marketing campaigns.
By now, you understand that a marketing plan can’t reach its full potential without strong market research behind it. Without proper research into your target audience and their preferences, for example, your business would basically be throwing darts against the wall and hoping something sticks. Most businesses don’t have the budget to simply hope that marketing efforts work. They need to know that there is some factual and statistical basis behind the marketing efforts they are using. That is why market research is so important, it provides the basis from which marketers work and operate. It provides the statistical foundation for marketing strategies and plans. Research is the backbone of successful marketing campaigns, and that is why your business needs to invest in research before the planning stages begin.