Why Market Research Matters In Business
There are many things that need to become priorities when you run a business – many things that you might already have considered, as well as many more things that may not yet have come to mind. One of those things (which can fall into either category) is market research, which really does have to be a big part of your business, both in terms of getting things started and ongoing success.
It doesn’t – or shouldn’t – make a difference what sector you work in or what you sell; the fact is that market research is essential, and it will give you all the information you need to reach your business goals. Yes, it takes time, and yes, you’ll need to work out the right way to do it, and yes, it isn’t always that interesting (especially when you just want to get on with other things that you like doing more), but unless you do your market research, you just can’t expect good things when it comes to your business. With that in mind, here are some of the many reasons why market research matters so much.
You Can Use It To Start On The Right Path
Starting a business is a challenge, and although it can have some wonderful rewards, the fact is that if you get things wrong, it can be a costly mistake that never gets off the ground. That’s why market research is so important (among many other reasons, which we’ll get to later in this blog). When you do market research before you even launch your business, you’ll gain some fantastic insights into exactly how well things are going to go, how well the business will be received, and all kinds of useful information, even down to what to name your business.
When you have this information, you’ll be able to plan every aspect of your business in advance, ensuring that it’s precisely what your target market wants and needs. You won’t be missing out on any golden opportunities to market your business or to solve any issues, and everything will be right from the outset, so you can make a great first impression and not have to make (too many) changes too quickly, which can confuse customers and make the situation even worse.
You Can Use It To Find New Customers
Keeping your old or current customers happy is a great idea when you run a business – if someone likes how you treated them and feels they’ve got good value for money regarding whatever it is they’ve bought from you, they’re likely to keep coming back (and spread the word about your business), and that means more sales with little outlay. This is fantastic, and good customer service and quality products at fair prices have to be part of your overall business plan.
However, although it’s wise to focus on your existing customers, don’t forget about finding new customers as well. You need a mix of both to grow your business, and prioritizing one group over another just means stagnation eventually, and that’s never a good position to be in.
The good news is that market research can help you find those new customers, ensuring you have the chance to boost your sales much more. When you carry out market research, you’ll be able to determine exactly who your target market is; you’ll know what they like, how much money they have to spend, what problems they need to solve, and much more. You can use all that information to ensure you’re creating advertising campaigns that actually mean something to them and catch their attention, ensuring they know your business exists and are keen to buy from you.
You Can Get To Know Your Existing Customers
You’ll already know (not least because we’ve mentioned it a few times) that your existing customers are a vital part of your business, and market research can ensure you don’t lose the people who are supporting your business and bringing in a decent (hopefully) amount of money each month. Alienate them, and you could be in trouble, no matter how many new customers you can find.
By using market research to get to know your existing customers, you can discover what it is that makes them want to use you over and above your competition – and you can play on that and ensure it becomes a big part of(unique sales proposition). That will make you stand out and give you something to hang all your marketing on, so it’s ideal in all kinds of ways.
Plus, by getting to know your existing customers better, you can ensure that you can keep your customers as happy as possible, so they keep coming back and buying from you time and time again.
It Will Help You Set Targets
Can you run a business without having any targets to work towards? Technically, yes, you can. You can just get started and keep working, and that’s that. But it’s far better if you do have targets because then you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t, and you’ll have more motivation to keep going as well, even when things are tough (as they often will be in business).
So… market research comes to the rescue once again! Market research will help you set targets, which means you’ll have a good route to follow towards your ultimate goal, whatever that might be (it could be selling the business, retiring and living on dividends, or just continuing to grow it as much as you can, for example). When you’ve got plenty of data about your customers and the market you’re working in, the goals you set will be much more realistic, and that means you’re more likely to not only work towards them but achieve them too.
You Can Come Up With New Strategies
By carrying out the right amount of market research, you can make some much more informed decisions about your business, and that means you can make your business better and ensure it stays flexible – market research will quickly tell you about all the changes that are taking place in your sector and with your customers. That’s why ongoing market research is so important, and why if you only do it once and then assume the data you get from it isn’t going to change, you’re going to make some big mistakes and miss out on impressing your customers, as well as staying ahead of the competition.
Market research is a great way to test new strategies and ideas before you commit fully to them as well, which is why it’s so important to ask your customers about all the new ideas you want to try out. By starting slowly and then testing how well your customers respond to what you’re doing (perhaps by sending out a survey, specifically asking for feedback on social media, or by looking at your sales records and seeing if things are getting better or worse), you can refine and adjust your ideas so they’re only doing positive things for your business and not being problematic for your reputation or profits.
It Shows You Care
Doing plenty of market research isn’t just about getting information for your business that you can then use to make it better – even though that’s the most important and obvious reason, perhaps. You can also use your market research to show you care about your business.
When you ask your customers questions and get their opinions and ideas (and when you put some of those ideas into practice and make them a reality), it shows that you’re interested in what your customers say and how they feel, and it shows you want to make things better for them. They’ll appreciate that and feel more loyal towards you, spending more money with you as a result. It’s a win-win!