Market research is basically the collection and analysis of data relevant to your target market. This includes information about your target audience, your industry as a whole, and your competitors. Market research is used to gather actionable insights about market size, new products, potential buyers, supply chains, and competitor actions that can be used to understand what consumers want and how your business can deliver.
While often used interchangeably with marketing research, and there is a great deal of overlap, market research is more focused on the state of the industry rather than your company’s individual approach to it. Marketing research will also focus on your specific advertising strategies and sales team behaviors. They’re both necessary to promote good business decisions.
While gathering all of this data can be time-consuming and difficult, modern technology makes it possible to significantly cut down on the time and effort required. With a market research information system (MRIS), your company can quickly gather industry trends and present useful insights into easy-to-digest market research reports.
Whether you’re a mid-sized business looking to grow or a new business with a niche market, you’ll need accurate data for your business to succeed. Market research reports combined with information from experienced industry analysts will empower your marketing team and help lead your company toward the innovations it needs to continue growing.
Why Is Market Research So Important?
It’s impossible to overstate how critical market analysis is for new businesses since they have to know what problems their products and services are solving, how to reach their target audience in a niche market, and who their initial threats in the market are. Established businesses can’t get complacent, though. Without a regular assessment of market opportunities and research reports, businesses are operating off past strategies and assumptions, and this can prove costly when the market changes.
Regular data collection with an MRIS is the best way for any business to keep up with its informational needs. Market research reports show which market sectors are growing and shrinking, what regions present the best opportunities, and which customers are buying your products.
Types of Research
While there are a wide variety of potential market research strategies, they can be broken into two basic types: primary and secondary research.
Primary Research: Primary research is original research your company gathers without using external sources or methods. A few basic primary research methods include customer surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Because information is gathered directly from buyers and potential buyers, primary research is a reliable way to test the effectiveness of products and services as well as gain insights into potential improvements. Focus groups can be especially helpful because they create a dedicated time and space for a group of people to discuss your aforementioned products and ideas. Hosting one will allow you to observe how well your audience interacts with your new products in a contained space. This process can help troubleshoot any issues or user concerns with a product before it is released to the public.
Within primary research, there is also product testing, where your company introduces new goods to potential and current consumers to see how well the product fits your buyer persona. With all this new information, a great MRIS can easily store all the data collected and produce a market research report.
Secondary Research: This is research conducted using outside sources like industry reports, competitive intelligence, or trade shows. Secondary research is where an MRIS really proves its value since it can collect tremendous amounts of data much faster than manual methods and present it in condensed market research reports. You’ll need reliable data from outside sources for everything from product development to getting the best deals from suppliers. Competitor reports also give you insights into their success and can teach you how to emulate what they’re doing right.
To summarize, once you understand the top markets in your sector, you can better focus on your own buyers and determine how to bring in more of your target audience. Ultimately, how you apply information will depend on your needs and budget, but having a dependable MRIS system can make your research efforts much more efficient. The important thing to note is that using technology to streamline your market research process can help you, as the human, find more time to get ahead.
Interesting related article: “What is Market Research?”