Market research is essential for any business – it can help you to better understand your key consumer and their needs so that you can improve your business to meet these needs. There are many different forms of market research. Here are five of the most popular and effective forms of market research.
Surveys allow you to directly ask questions to your key consumer. You can create surveys online or you can survey people in person. It’s important that you target the right people – surveying people that aren’t likely to be your consumer base will be of no help. It’s common to pay people to take part in surveys.
Monitoring what your competitors are doing can allow you to borrow ideas, as well as helping you to set yourself apart. This could be done by using your competitors’ product or services yourself or by simply reading reviews and reports online. The best companies are constantly keeping an eye on competitors – your competition is likely to always be adapting and you need to be able to keep up.
When it comes to developing a product, testing can be a vital form of research. It can help you to find faults, which you can then correct in order to make sure that your product is as good as it can be. This usually involves building a prototype to test – this could be a physical prototype or it could involve prototyping in UX when designing digital products. Testing can be done oneself and by giving the product to users to test. Product testing can be performed multiple times before releasing a product in order to make sure that is as good as it can be, or it can be done to improve an existing product.
Data analysis is another forms of research that involves collecting graphs of huge amount of data. From this data you can spot trends and make improvements to your company. An ecommerce site for example may use analytics to work out who is visiting their site and what keywords they are entering to arrive there – this could help the company to drive extra traffic by emphasising these popular keywords. Meanwhile, a bar may be able to look at sales analytics to work out which drinks are popular and which aren’t so that drinks can be stocked more effectively and less popular ones can be promoted or removed. Digital technology has made this form of research much easier.
Collecting feedback from existing customers can be another useful form of research for helping to make improvements to your company. Online reviews are the most popular form of feedback – whilst mainly used by customers to determine whether a company is credible or not, they can also benefit companies by offering information on things the company is doing well and things that need improving. Feedback forms are another form of customer feedback that is more private.