Important Things to Consider When Conducting Market Research

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By: Melanie Shires, PCC

Market research should never be underestimated. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, gaining a comprehensive view of the current market is vital for long-term success. It’s the simplest way for entrepreneurs to keep up with market trends, maintain a competitive edge and most importantly, get customers. Here are three important things to consider when conducting market research:

  • Define Your Objectives

    The scope of the market research you’ll carry out is influenced by your overall objectives – what do you want to learn about your market and the external factors influencing it? The objectives will also determine the types of market research that you will need to perform in order to be successful:

  • Primary Market Research

    This is direct research which can be conducted by you individually or as a business and will give you a nuanced understanding of your specific target audience. You will use primary market research to answer questions about your specific business or customers, to improve products, services and overall customer experience.

This is what primary market research covers:

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of sales

  • Ascertaining the quality of services provided

  • Understanding the channels of communication used

  • Assess the active competition within the marketplace

  • Here are a few methods you can use to conduct primary market research:

  • Surveys

  • Questionnaires

  • Focus groups

  • In-depth interviews

  • Secondary Market Research

    Secondary market research relies on information that’s already available from a variety of existing sources: existing surveys and case studies, public news reports, government data, or published company reports

Understanding Customer Types

Most entrepreneurs will encounter three different customer types when marketing their products or services – the savvy purchaser, industry influencer, and end-user. It is important that you understand each distinct type when conducting market research to narrow down your specific target customer. Here is a brief description of each:

  • Savvy Purchaser
    The savvy purchaser is someone that’s not necessarily concerned with the quality or effectiveness of a product or service but is intent on getting the best possible value. A savvy customer is someone that’s likely to be aware of all the prices offered by your major competitors, so you’ll need to carry out secondary market research to understand whether your products or services will be priced competitively.

    If your products or services are not the least expensive, it’s best to know and provide compelling evidence to potential buyers why they should continue to buy your goods and services based on other benefits like quality and reliability.

  • Industry Influencer
    An industry expert or influencer is someone that is not only highly knowledgeable about your target market, they can influence other prospective customers that trust their opinion.

    An industry expert will not be fixated on the price of a product or service, they are often more concerned with the value and quality. Industry influencers make for ideal candidates to use for primary market research, allowing them to use your products or services, garnering their opinion on them and your industry market.

  • The End-user
    An end-user is a customer that will use your products or services on a day-to-day basis. End users also make for excellent candidates for primary market research, allowing you to understand their frustrations and limitations – ideal if you’re still in the process of developing and designing new products, giving you the edge over your competition.

When compiling your market research be sure to investigate whether similar research has previously done and if so, analyze the existing relevant data that meets your objectives. Understanding how your target customers think and adapting to their needs will help you convert them into regular customers and brand advocates.

To learn more about market research, customer types, and guidance on deciding which methods are worthwhile for your business, check out my workshop series Smart Business Builder or schedule a virtual coffee with me to learn how to build, launch, run and grow a business you love.