Market research can arm you with an abundance of data about your industry and rivals. It can provide insight into how your business is seen by the customers and clients you wish to reach. It can assist you in determining how to engage with them, establish your competitive position, and guide your future moves. Market research may also aid in developing new products and services, as well as their introduction to and marketing to clients.
To begin, let us define market research as follows:
Getting to Know Market Research
Market research is the growth of actively interviewing potential customers to ascertain the viability of a new service or product. Market research enables a business to pinpoint its target market and collect feedback and other information about a customer’s concern about a product or service.
This type of research can be undertaken in-house, by the company, or by a market research organization specializing in this area. It can be performed by conducting surveys, conducting product testing, and conducting focus groups. Test subjects are frequently compensated with product samples or a small stipend in exchange for their time. Market research is an important component of the research and development process for creating a new product or service (R&D).
Businesses do market research to ascertain the viability of a new product or service through direct contact with a prospective customer. Market research may assist firms in determining their target market and obtaining real-time customer feedback and opinions. This type of research can be undertaken in-house, by the company, or by a market research firm hired on a contract basis. Surveys, product testing, and focus groups are all part of the study. Market research combines primary (directly received information) and secondary (indirectly gained information) (information gathered by an outside source).
Market research is critical to the marketing strategy of many firms since it provides a fact-based foundation for forecasting sales and profitability. Indeed, it can be the difference between making sound business decisions that help your firm develop and making poor business decisions that hurt your organization. It’s growing increasingly difficult to handle the competitive climate in which you operate. Almost definitely, your competitors are performing research for their gain. It is perhaps the most convincing reason to incorporate market research into your organization’s growth strategy.
More of Market Research
It’s tough to comprehend your users without performing research. You may have a working knowledge of who they are and what they demand, but if you want their devotion, you must delve deeper. Accomplishing it with Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter 2012 is possible.
Here are some reasons why research is critical
- You will lose potential consumers to someone who cares about user experience improvement. “Whoever obtains the client in the shortest amount of time wins.”
- The analytical study determines the “why.” But the only study can reveal what people are thinking and why they are thinking it. For instance, analytics can demonstrate that buyers abandon your pricing page, but only research can explain why.
- Research debunks preconceived notions, trends, and ostensibly best practices. Have you ever witnessed a group of coworkers rally in support of a poor decision? Guesswork, emotional reasoning, the demise of best practices, and relying on the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion are frequent sources of faulty ideas (HiPPO). Listen to your users and place a premium on their customer experience. You will be less likely to be led astray.
- If you conduct the study, you will realize that you cannot plan in a vacuum. While your staff may be excellent, you and your coworkers will never have the same experience with your product that your customers do. Customers may employ your product in novel ways, and features that are intuitive to you may be baffling to them. Overplanning and failing to test your assumptions is a waste of time, money, and effort, as your approach will nearly always require revision after implementation.
4 Ways on How to Conduct Market Research
You are not limited to a single research technique when conducting market research and collecting customer data. Market research methodologies fall into four broad categories: surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation. Depending on your business, you can use: Because eCommerce and SaaS business owners have diverse objectives, it is ideal to combine these tactics.
1. The Most Often Used Technique is Surveying
Surveys are a subset of qualitative research. Respondents are asked a series of open- or closed-ended questions via an online questionnaire or email. When we surveyed 2,000 Customer Experience (CX) specialists about their company’s research approach, surveys emerged as the most favored tool.
What is it about online surveys that draw such a large number of people?
They are affordable and straightforward to implement, enabling the rapid collection of vast amounts of data. Additionally, even when open-ended questions with difficult-to-categorize responses are examined, the data is quite simple to evaluate. We’ve produced a variety of survey templates that are ready to use. In only a few clicks, you may download a template and share it with your customers.
2. Conducting Interviews is the Most Informative Way
Interviews are one-on-one talks between prospective customers and sales representatives. Nothing beats a face-to-face interview for probing deeply (and picking up on nonverbal signs). Still, if this is not possible, video conferencing is a viable alternative. In terms of gaining a better understanding of your target clients, any form of the in-depth interview can be highly beneficial, regardless of how it is conducted.
What about interviews is so enlightening?
Suppose you communicate directly with an ideal client. In that case, you will gain a greater sense of empathy for their experience and be able to follow insightful threads that will result in numerous “Aha!” moments.
3. Focus Groups are The Most Harmful of the Three
Focus groups bring together a small group of individuals who are a good fit for a company’s target market. A competent moderator facilitates a discussion about the product, user experience, and marketing message to get deeper insights.
What precisely about focus groups makes them so dangerous?
I would not advocate starting with focus groups if you are new to market research. Doing things right is costly, and cutting corners might result in various errors in your research. Focus group data can be distorted by dominance and moderator style bias (when various moderator personalities produce different results in the same study).
4. The Most Effective Instrument is an Observation
A company representative observes and notes an ideal user interacting with their product during a customer observation session (or a similar product from a competitor).
What about observation is so wise and potent?
Since focus groups are not for everyone, ‘fly-on-the-wall observation is an excellent substitute. Also, you may witness people using your product in natural circumstances without interfering with their interactions with others. So the primary disadvantage is that you cannot enter their thoughts. Thus observation cannot replace client surveys or interviews.
2 Important Steps in Conducting Market Research
1. Create simple-to-understand User Personas
A user persona is a semi-fictional figure formed using psychographic and demographic data collected from people who visit comparable websites and purchase similar products to yours.
How to get the data: To discover more about your users, conduct on-page or emailed surveys and interviews.
How to do it right: Whichever questions you choose to include in the survey or interview, they should convey the following information about the customer:
- Which of their given names are they?
- What is the primary objective of these individuals?
- What is their primary barrier to achieving this goal?
Pitfalls to avoid:
- Avoid these pitfalls by refraining from asking excessive inquiries! Please limit the number of responses to five or fewer (preferably three), or they will grow overwhelmed and cease answering.
- Do not be concerned with demographic issues such as age or background. Instead of that, concentrate on these individuals’ roles (in respect to your product) and their objectives.
Smallpdf employed the following technique: Smallpdf conducted a few weeks-long on-page surveys and obtained 1,000 replies, indicating that the bulk of their customers are administrative assistants, students, and teachers. They then developed simple user personas for administrators, such as the following:
- Which of their given names are they? Personnel Responsible for Administrative Support (Assistants).
- What is the primary objective of these individuals? When the original file has been lost, creating Word documents from scanned hard copies or PDFs.
- What is their primary barrier to achieving this goal? Converting a scanned PDF file to a Word document
2. Conduct Observational Research
Observational research comprises taking notes as you see another person using your product (or a similar product).
Overt vs. covert observation
- Overt observation occurs when you request permission to observe clients using your products.
- The term “covert observation” refers to the practice of researching users “in the wild” without their knowledge. This strategy is only applicable if you sell a product that people use daily. watching people will misbehave them. Hence it provides the most reliable observational evidence. (Smallpdf researched this with university students.)
Tips for doing it right:
- Each time an event occurs, make a note in your field notes, along with a timestamp.
- Take mental notes of their actions, noting the “what,” “why,” and “for whom” of each.
Pitfalls to avoid:
- Don’t record any video or audio, no matter what method you use (overt or covert). It’ll be nervous if it finds out you’re filming it. What if the subject doesn’t know? It’s unsettling.
- Keep in mind to explain why you want to observe them (for overt observation).
How Smallpdf did it: Smallpdf identified two separate user personas in this method.
- Students observed: Kristina Wagner, a Smallpdf Interaction Designer, visited the cafeterias and libraries of two nearby institutions to observe students engaged in PDF-related activities. She then stepped back and observed, taking notes along the way. The female found a gap between how students self-reported their activities and behaved (i.e., self-reporting bias). Therefore, She noticed that pupils spend hours talking, listening to music, or simply staring at a blank screen instead of working. When she found children engaged in productive activity, she documented the task they were performing and the application they were using (if she recognized it).
- Observing administrative assistants: Kristina wrote letters asking them to batch their PDF work for her observation day. She saw that administrators regularly had to scan documents into PDF format and then convert those PDFs to Word documents while monitoring their operations. Hence, Smallpdf knew which items to enhance after conducting a study into the issues administrators encountered.
There are countless strategies for business success, but it all boils down to having the appropriate viewpoint and approach. Market research will aid you in determining where your focus of effort should be. Additionally, to execute the most acceptable strategy, you’ll require the most excellent tools accessible. Visit Microsoft Softvire USA for the best deals on Microsoft products.