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The Importance of Market Research

Nov 16, 2016

What is Market Research?

Market Research is gathering information about your target markets and customers. It is a very important part of any business plan. 

Why do it?

This activity is one of the key ways you can gain advantage over your competitors. This proves invaluable to identify and analyse the market need, size and competition.

How do I do it?

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Search

  • Think about your business and hit Google. Search for other companies that do the same as you or as close to the offering as possible if you’re going for a more niche market.
  • Write down the top five that appear in the search list and study their branding, their website, their service offering. Depending on what type of business it is they may even show their prices online. Also make a note of what you typed to find them – this will come in useful when bringing together a strategy of how people will find your business.
  • Study the location of these businesses, are they local and in your area? Are they solely online or have a building/shop window. Are you wanting to be just online or have a premises?

 

Depending on your answers do another search finding business closer to your competition.  In the past businesses just had to worry about others in their area now you are in competition on a more national and global scale, thanks to online. 

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Survey

You need to know who your market is, what do they need? Will your product or service meet those needs? What ages will you target your business at? All these questions need to be answered and the best way to do this is by a survey. Survey Monkey is a great product if you’re planning to send an email to reach people. Or you could look at running polls on Facebook or Twitter. Try to reach as many potential customers as possible. The more results you have the more you have to analyse. Once you have all the answers you need, the next step is to analyse this data. You could put it in a table and tally all the similar answers to see where patterns lie or create pie charts to show the breakdown between consumer opinions. There are several ways you can analyse this data. 

 

 

Competitor Analysis

If you have a unique business idea and your target market is niche, that’s great, however it is advisable that you still conduct some competitor analysis, even if the similarities are slight. Here are our tips on how to do it:

  • Create a spreadsheet with each of your competitors at the top
  • Decide what you want to know about them and list these down the sides i.e. website, audience, product, services, social platforms etc
  • Then once every element is filled in highlight the similarities to your business
  • Look at their strengths and their weaknesses
  • Identify your USP and theirs

Once you have all this information you will have an understanding of what makes your competitors tick and how you can improve your business to get gain the edge over rivals. Perhaps in some areas there are partnership opportunities to be had.

Market Research is incredibly valuable to your business, no matter what stage of business growth you’re at.