While starting something new a project or a business, you need the most valuable thing in the 21st century: data. So why market research is important for the business?
Having an idea and some plans are not key factors in the business, if there are still questions for who, how, and in which channels they will move. For getting precise answers to these questions and conduct the RIGHT strategy, the business always needs market research and evaluation.
So how to conduct research? Generally, there are two methods of market research: primary and secondary research.
Let’s start with the most relevant and useful one: primary market research. This type of research includes interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations, experiments. If the company does not have in the house research team but has enough financial resources, can outsource a research agency to conduct research. In both cases, the research should be based on the brief, which includes those problems or questions, to which the business eager to find solutions. Based on this the research is designed: whether it includes interviews, surveys, or meetings.
All these actions are done among a sample size, which is the number of objects included in the research. Mostly the sample is taken through the business segment. For example, if the main target of the business is 25-40 years old women living in San Francisco, average salary $50000 per year, the sample should include people similar to this type and not 30-50 years old men living in New York.
So let’s say we already have our sample and are going to do a survey. The survey includes general questions such as gender, age, income, marital status, etc. to understand whether the responder corresponds to the sample or not. If yes, they are asked the primary questions. If not, the interviewer interrupts the survey or the interview.
After getting all answers, the most important part is to sort them and start analyzing the process. Whether it is done in house or outsourced, the analyzing process is very essential, since it decides how all data is going to be presented and whether it answers to the business problems. If yes, the marketing team is lucky enough and can make decisions on the research results.
The results introduce the market situation, customer opinions, emotions, feelings, expectations of the business, and the market in general, shows the market gaps and opportunities. All this data is essential to make the right decisions and to conduct a relevant strategy for the business.
If the team is not satisfied with the results, then the research technical methods should be observed, improved, and redone.
So, let’s imagine the business does not have either in house research team or financial resources to outsource an agency. Or you are starting a new project or a small start-up, what should you do in this situation?
In this case you both you and the business have access to the secondary data. Generally, secondary data is presented through statistical committees, bureaus, which are mostly managed by the governments and provide information about the country’s economic conditions, business rankings, etc.
The advantage of the secondary data is cost, since it is mostly free of charge, the speed, as it is possible to find information just in some seconds. However, secondary data sometimes may not be accurate, precise, and current (based on real-time). Besides this information, there are other channels for getting data.
For example, nowadays it is very popular to conduct surveys through google forms, SurveyMonkey, and other platforms. Just make the questionnaire, post it on all possible and accessible platforms, especially social media platforms, and let people answer the questions. For getting precise data about your target audience, it is mandatory to include decisive questions such as gender, age, residence, education, occupancy, etc.
Above mentioned points are relevant if the research is conducted in the country in which the business operates or somehow is aware of. If the business or you are planning to start something somewhere else, like in Europe, China, Russia, or other big markets, there is a need for global market research, which is another story.
In any case market research sometimes is a tough part of a strategy or a project, at the same time the decisive one. Believe me or not, it worth spending even more than $10.000 and see that there are no opportunities for you than to start it with 10X more budget and fail.