Successful entrepreneurs use market research to track trends, make better business decisions and retain their competitive edge. Whether you start your business or are looking to expand, these studies are vital to understanding your target markets and increasing your sales.
Here are some aspects in which market research can help you build a more vigorous business.
1. Enhance Your Brand
Many entrepreneurs do not have a clear idea of their brand. They ask, “How do customers perceive us? How does our brand compare to those of our competitors? “
You can rely on market research to improve your brand image by exploring the following topics:
- Knowledge of your brand – Are customers familiar with it?
- Comparisons with your competitors – How do customers see your company relative to your competitors?
- Personification – What are the characteristics and qualities that customers associate with your business?
You can also survey your customers for feedback on your marketing content (logos, brochures, websites, etc.). Trademark studies are usually conducted through interviews with clients or by focus groups. This allows to explore different subjects in depth and get feedback from the participants. The results will help you better position your brand and improve your marketing assets.
2. Better understand your customers
Entrepreneurs sometimes need to get more specific information on the size of their market, their target clientele and the best ways to reach it. We recently completed a study for a customer who had designed a new kitchen product and wanted to know more about its target market. Here is some information we wanted to get on the potential consumers of this new product.
- Family situation
- Level of education
- Social networks used
We developed an on-line questionnaire that was submitted to 1,000 consumers across Canada. This type of consumer study helps us to identify the profile of the target audience in order to strategically position the brand. By focusing your efforts on the right target market, you’ll get results faster, you’ll increase your efficiency, and your marketing campaigns will generally yield better results.
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing
Many entrepreneurs want to better promote their business and generate more sales. Market research can help you by providing you with information on the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. We can create studies to get feedback from customers on the format of your marketing messages. We can also measure the visibility of certain campaigns and marketing activities and the reactions they generate among your customers.
Using this type of data can really help maximize the impact of your marketing budget , enabling you to design marketing strategies that reach out and challenge your audience.
4. Finding new opportunities
Market research can help you identify new opportunities for your business. They can help you identify geographic areas that are conducive to growth and / or determine if the market is ready to host your products or services.
For example, you want to open a new store and need to find the ideal location. Or, you are considering switching channels and must evaluate the impact of this decision on your customers.
To help you, we can analyze data from government publications, Statistics Canada and / or selected sectoral reports. These sources provide a variety of information:
- Market Size
- Demographic data
- Market share statistics
- Dynamics of the sector
- Main suppliers of the sector
- Main competitors
- General sectoral data such as the number of companies and their geographical distribution
Obtaining this type of data is a necessary first step in evaluating a new market and thus determining the business strategy and the activities to be favored.
5. Get a better understanding of the characteristics of your product
If you are developing a new product or are looking to improve an existing product, you need to know if you have selected the right features and packaging. Market research can provide you with information that will help you develop your products before incurring high production costs.
When we do a study on a new product, we collect feedback from customers on a particular concept and / or prototype. We also compile data on consumer reaction to the product and its characteristics: presentation, design, ease of use, colors, packaging, etc.
We can also look at how consumers can buy this product, in order to design an appropriate distribution plan. We can also test them on their reactions to marketing messages, creative content and promotional ideas for the launch of the product.
We normally start with qualitative research (interviews or focus groups) because this dialogue-based approach allows us to collect very useful and detailed feedback from consumers. To the extent possible, we provide a prototype or a sample of the product so that they can see it closely and use it.
We then validate the information from our research by conducting a thorough survey of a similar but broader audience (eg, over 100 consumers). This provides us with relevant data to make informed decisions about improvements to the design and / or design of the product.
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Have you ever used market research in the past? Did they help you make business decisions? Give us your comments below.