How frustrating is it to launch an amazing marketing campaign or a new product, just to see it fail? If you’re an entrepreneur running a small business, every penny becomes crucial. This is why market research should be the first thing you do before planning bigger projects. Here’s how you should do market research to benefit your small business.
Set your goals
In this scenario, your goals are not about the final product, but about the questions that need to be answered by the end of the market research process. Brainstorm with colleagues to understand what you want to achieve from this exercise.
Create a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a representation of your customer. This persona should include key characteristics of your prospective customer such as gender, age, income, family size, etc.
You can even have multiple personas as prospects, but the intention is to optimise your product to people who fit this persona. This defines your target market/focus group.
Surveys are a great way to find out what your target customer is thinking. If you already have a customer base, you could start from there, else, you can also do telephonic surveys or third-party online surveys. Your survey should include questions that give you a clearer understanding of your customer’s opinions about prospective products.
Know your competitors
Once you have an idea of your prospective market, find other businesses that could be your potential competitors. You can look at what they are doing and get to learn a lot from what happened during their prior launches. Also, check out their social media to know how their customers perceive them.
Analyse your data
Market research can give you a better idea of the target market. With the data you collect about your prospective customers, you should be able to spot statistical trends in product consumption, gaps in the market, your competitors, your customers’ spending budget and so much more. This should help you decide the kind of product you want to make, how much to price it at, ways to market it and other important decisions that could make or break your product launch.
Market research is crucial for your small business. Especially so when you have a low marketing budget and cannot afford to experiment with multiple ideas to see what works. Now that you know the fundamentals, start researching and digging up quality data.