Do you need oxygen to live? Okay, I’ll spare the dramatics – but, yes! Every organization needs market research, whether it is a small startup, testing a new concept, or rebranding your business.
Marketing research is an integral step in reaching out to your target audience, gaining a competitive edge, and exceeding sales goals.
Think of it this way, there are more than 30 million businesses existing in the United States today. Each has a similar product or service offerings to a number of competitors.
- How does your business stack up against the rest?
- What can your company provide that a competitor doesn’t already?
- Is this message widely featured among all marketing and sales collateral?
- If your employees and customers answered these questions, would their response be similar to yours?
Market research can provide your business with these answers and MORE!
Keep reading as we share the dangers of neglecting market research and what key answers it can answer for businesses.
Why Businesses Neglect Market Research
In 2019, US market research companies brought in a staggering 47 billion dollars–it’s doing something right.
So why don’t more businesses conduct market research? Likely because some business leaders fall for a few of the myths around marketing research.
- “Market research is too expensive.” Debunked.
- “It will be easier to conduct my own research in-house.” Debunked.
- “I know the needs of my customers better than anyone else.” Debunked.
Simply put, neglecting market research for any reason is bad for business.
A market research company would be happy to discuss the specific pain points of your organization and their recommendations for what research methodology would be the best first for your objectives, needs, and budget.
How can market research help save your business money? Watch the video below featuring Drive Research owner and president, George Kuhn.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research is a critical component for all aspects of business. Why? Evidence-based feedback beats gut instincts, every time.
Start Meeting Customer Expectations
Time and time again, businesses make sales and marketing decisions based on the assumption of what their customers expect and need. You know what they say about assuming…
When it comes to forecasting sales or planning for any aspect of a business, and evidence-based understanding beats gut instincts every time.
Any kind of data, especially that which is specific to your organization, is better than none at all.
With Voice of Customer (VoC) research, your business will gain a more accurate profile of your ideal customer.
In fact, it’s been shown that using VoC data boosts both upselling and cross-selling rates up to 20%.
Market research helps outline key customer behaviors such as:
- How often will they buy?
- What are the top sources of awareness?
- What do they need? What do they expect?
- How likely are they to choose a competitor? Why or why not?
- What are the main brand differentiators of your organization versus a competitor?
Gaining insight into customer demographics like age, location, gender, income, and more is also a key to success.
These answers effectively tailor all marketing and pricing campaigns to best attract new and existing customers.
💡 The Key Takeaway: VoC research gathers important information on your audience. This feedback gives you the ability to customize content and create a data-driven marketing strategy.
Gather Insight on Key Competitors
Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall during a competitor’s sales forecast meetings?
While marketing research can’t physically make this happen, businesses conducting competitive assessments is the next best thing.
It is no secret competitors are actively marketing and campaigning to your exact audience and current customers. That’s what makes it a competition. The winning business is the one that has done their research ahead of their competitors.
- Why? Market research will help assess your sector to identify the main players and underdogs on the rise.
- How? A market research company specializing in competitive assessments, like Drive Research, will use a variety of data sources and information to create in-depth profiles for each of your competitors.
These services can also include mystery shopping visits, emails, and calls to gain an inside look at what it is like conducting business with a competitor.
By doing so, a market research company can help identify weak areas in your competitor’s approach.
This information constitutes as gaps in the market area. Businesses can use this information to their advantage by filling in these gaps and gaining new customers by meeting their specific needs.
On the other side of the spectrum, a competitive analysis will highlight what your competition is doing right.
This allows an organization to think more strategically about how they too can align their business efforts to offer a similar service.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research will give you precious insight into your competitors. A third-party company uses data sources and other information to deliver a quality rival profile.
Decreased Risk of Sales Plateauing or Plummeting
The market (for any business or sector) is constantly changing because the expectations of customers are always evolving. In today’s age, customers expect quality service–and fast!
It is no longer the question of quality or value? If your business can’t provide both, there are plenty of those who can.
Market research helps detect more business opportunities and minimizes losses to assure your business is constantly growing in a positive direction.
It allows organizations to solve critical issues before they happen or grow to an unmanageable size, ultimately saving businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While your organization may already be aware of the high-level business opportunities, market research acknowledges the “low hanging fruit” aspects your business is missing.
Learn more about the ROI of market research.
💡 The Key Takeaway: With market research, you’re able to enjoy more business and less loss. The quality data provided lets a company pinpoint growth opportunities, and veer away from fruitless ventures.
Key Questions Market Research Answers for Businesses
As referenced above, many business problems and situations call for market research.
We compiled a list of the most common questions which face a business or organization where this type of research would provide answers.
- Will my new product, service, or brand be successful?
- Will my new business venture or entity be successful?
- Who are my most valuable customers?
- What are the segments of customers that exist for our organization?
- How do I grow my business in our existing market?
- How do I grow my business in a completely new market?
- What do non-customers think about my brand?
- How do I get more non-customers to buy my product or service?
- Is my advertising working?
- How can I make my advertising more effective?
- Why do our customers leave us?
- Do my customers use any competitors?
- How does our product or service compare to our competitors?
- What is my market share?
- Are my employees satisfied with their job?
- How can we improve our workplace culture?
- How does our employee satisfaction compare to industry peers?
- How does our customer satisfaction compare to industry peers?
- What are the most common reasons people contact customer support?
- Are customers happy with the level of service they receive?
- How can I produce content our customers want to read?
- What is the image and awareness of my brand?
- What do users like best about our website?
- What about our website needs to be improved?
- How can I increase conversions on my website?
- Why do we have a large bounce rate on our website?
- What does the user journey look like on our website?
- What does the buyer journey look like in the customer experience?
- What messages should we be using in our marketing?
- What are our biggest competitive differentiators?
- What are the largest benefits customers receive from our company?
- How can we make it easier to do business with us?
- What is our perception of the community?
- Why do customers switch to a competitor?
- How likely are customers to recommend us?
- What is the best name for our product or service?
- What words or phrases do people associate with our brand?
- How can we improve the ROI of our marketing campaigns?
- What channel is the best to market in?
- What are the demographics of our customers?
- Which of these advertisement prototypes is most preferred?
- What feelings or emotions arise when you use our product or service?
- How do our customers prefer to communicate with us?
- What social media platforms do our customers use?
We would argue there is always a time and place in business for market research. If timeline and budget were no obstacle, every decision made would be backed by data, facts, and evidence collected through market research.
- Deciding on a time for your weekly meeting with your team? Send out a survey to inquire about the best times and days for everyone.
- Deciding on where to go to lunch tomorrow? Host a focus group with your team to understand preferences for Mexican, Thai, or Italian.
Realistically, no one is holding a focus group on lunch– but they should host a focus group to help understand drivers to choice of a product.
Simple and far-fetched examples, but you can see how easy market research could be integrated into everyday business choices.
💡 The Key Takeaway: The versatility of market research is what makes it so invaluable to your company. No matter what you want to learn about your company, this research can boost business like no other.
Ready to reap the benefits of market research? Contact our team! Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We can deliver custom insights to answer your toughest business questions.
Get started today by contacting us through your preferred communication channel.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.