Competitors. Everyone has them - and whether you’d like to believe it or not, they are ready to steal your prospects and customers. How can you beat them to the punch? With the help of market research.
Market research provides organizations with an in-depth analysis of the many business and marketing strategies executed by the competition. It is the most effective way to learn how your company compares to competitors on several factors such as customer service, quality of product/service, pricing/incentives, employee retention, and more.
There are a few different types of market research studies to better understand your competitors. This includes online surveys, mystery shopping, and competitive assessments. A common misconception about market research is that it is extremely expensive and likely only affordable for million-dollar companies.
On the contrary, the cost of a project depends on the goals and objectives of the study. In fact, conducting research is an extremely effective way to increase your market share compared to developing marketing messaging based on assumptions and gut instincts.
Keeping tabs on your competitors is a great strategy to grow your business. Learn how to harness the power of data and regain market share.
How to Use Online Surveys to Beat Your Competitors
Online surveys are a great, easy, and cost-effective way to learn more about your competitors. In particular, brand awareness or brand equity studies are two examples of online surveys that help organizations gain an in-partial view of how the market perceives competitors and why their customers have chosen their business over yours.
Brand Awareness Study
A brand awareness study is typically a brief online survey that includes roughly 10 to 15 questions. The main purpose of the study is to measure levels of awareness of the sponsoring brand as well as its key competitors.
It may also address the usage and perception of the brands tested. In addition to these questions, the survey may also cover basic demographic questions to identify gaps in the market.
Brand Equity Study
A brand equity study is typically an online survey that has 15 to 25 questions. Similar to the brand awareness study, it measures levels awareness, usage, and perception.
It will also cover other key performance indicators like decision-making factors when choosing a brand, levels of satisfaction with the brand used, likelihood to recommend the brand use, likelihood to switch to the brand sponsoring the survey, etc.
How to Use Mystery Shopping to Beat Your Competitors
Mystery shopping is a unique way of gathering in-depth detail on the front-line staff experience with your brand as well as competitors. Also, mystery shopping can be done over the phone, online, or in-person. It’s all about the purchase experience and gathering information on how that is completed.
Similar to an in-depth interview (IDI), mystery shopping typically follows a script or guide. A market research company, such as Drive Research, creates a guide for mystery shoppers to follow. As mystery shoppers complete the tasks outlined, they are able to take notes and provide ratings to highlight helpfulness, friendliness, expertise, etc.
The time to complete a mystery shopping experience can range from 20 minutes to over an hour. It all depends on the goals and objectives of the research.
The value of mystery shopping truly comes from the development of the guide. A market research company uses best practices when designing the guide to help ensure a high return-on-investment (ROI).
In addition to learning more about competitors’ sales processes, brands can also learn about pricing strategies, customer programs or incentives, and other inside knowledge not available on a competitor’s website or marketing materials.
How to Use Competitive Assessments to Beat Your Competitors
Unlike the previous market research methods discussed, competitive assessments include several components and are perhaps the most valuable option for organizations looking to beat their competition.
Typically, primary and secondary components are included in a competitive assessment. The goal of a competitive assessment is to get a 360-degree view of the brand sponsoring the study, the market, and its competitors.
Competitive assessments may include:
- Demographic analysis to better understand the market.
- Brand equity online survey to better understand levels of awareness, perception, usage, and more within the market.
- Mystery shopping to better understand the front-line staff experience with the brand and its competitors.
- Follow-up IDIs with key customers from the brand and key competitors to understand levels of satisfaction, barriers to switching, and ideas to improve offerings.
Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in Upstate NY. Our team can help recommend and execute any market research study to help your organization gain a competitive edge.
Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.