Is there a new product you are thinking of launching?
Something that you think will be the star product of 2021. Or maybe you’re thinking of entering into a different kind of target market. Or you just want to know why your sales are dwindling while your competitor seems to be doing just fine.
Market research is the answer to all these kinds of questions. Market research is the process of gathering information about the target market and customers.
The various ways in which it could be used is:
- Identifying potential new markets
- Determining the feasibility of a new business or product
- Ensuring optimal distribution strategies or product placement
- Strategizing about promotional campaigns and boosting its success
- Finding the weak points and improving business
- Testing the demand for a new feature or product
But before you head on at full speed to search for a market research service provider, ask yourself these five questions.
What would the budget be?
You want to eat a burger. You go outside and see a burger stall on the road and a restaurant serving the same type of burger. Without thinking, you walk into the restaurant and eat a burger. When the bill comes, you realize you have to pay 20$ but you only have 15$ in your pocket.
The thing is: if we don’t set a budget, the costs shoot up rapidly.
Here are some ways in which you can fix your budget for the market research project:
- Consider the firm’s overall budget/marketing budget/sales and allocate a percentage for research out of that.
- List down all the projects to be taken up in the coming year and assign a figure for each.
- Assess the monetary value of the benefits you get from the project and then decide on the budget.
- Research on the price ranges for your project and then determine the budget.
What is the end-goal of the project?
Friday! That’s the day to devise all your plans for the weekend. You think about doing everything on those days.
Come Sunday evening and all you did on the weekend was become a couch potato and finish the stock of chips in your house.
That’s the problem of not having an end goal.
While this has happened to all of us in our personal lives, it’s far riskier to not have an end goal when it comes to making important business decisions.
The clearer you are about your end goal, the better equipped you are to get the most out of your market research.
For that to happen, you have to devise your goals in such a way that they are specific, relevant and time-bound.
To do that figure out the ‘why’ behind your market research project and list down as many questions as you can in relation to that.
Those questions then become the basis for finalizing your end-goal.
Who would be involved with the market research provider?
There are multiple stages in the market research process. Just deciding on the goals and budget doesn’t set you free from this process.
You should set up a team for the many stages that will require someone from your company to participate, evaluate and recommend suggestions to the market research service provider.
It’s important that you take time to figure out who all will be present in this team.
For example: if the research is concerning setting the price of a product, it would make sense for product and marketing personnel to be involved. But it would also be important for someone in finance to be involved as they could give some valuable suggestions in the process.
The key to selecting personnel in the team would be to have people who could suggest and evaluate diverse perspectives of the research.
Which kind of people would be the right fit for the research?
The market research provider would guide you on this point but it’s important to set the target audience for the research by yourself. The reason being you know about your company’s nuances better than others.
Let’s take an example to understand this better. Suppose you produce mobile phones for visually impaired people. Your research goal is to learn about the target market’s buying patterns. The target market as per the research provider would be the population of the visually impaired. But with experience, you know that your mobiles are also being bought by people aged more than 60 years.
So, it would make sense for the company to decide on the people who would be the right fit for the research.
On what basis should I finalize the market research provider?
There are hundreds of market research service providers on the internet. So how do you decide on one?
Here are a few things you should check beforehand:
- Have they performed similar kinds of research projects like the one you require?
- Are the reviews or testimonials of this company good?
- How much experience do they have?
- Do they have a well-experienced team?
Over and above this, you should also ask them a few questions before you finalize the market research service provider:
- What will be the estimated completion period?
- What kind of research methods will be used?
- Where will you find the relevant sample for the research?
- What will be the key stages of the research and at what stages would my team be involved?
- How will the results be evaluated?
After going through all this, you can finalize the service provider that fulfills all the criteria.
Market research can be a wonderful experience. Sometimes, even an eye-opening one when you realize new things about your customers and new ways to help build effective channels.
Market research is an investment in your future and to reap the benefits, it’s important to choose a service provider that is reliable and trustworthy. But before moving on to that stage, make sure you answer the questions given above to get the most out of this journey.
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