Market research is the study of markets (or groups of people) you would like to sell your product to. In other words, it is learning about your customers. Who are they? What do they want or need? What are their lifestyles? These are the types of questions you will need to ask yourself when you begin any marketing research project.
When you set up your marketing plan, you had a customer base in mind. Is this who is actually buying your product? You can learn a lot about who your real customers are and what untapped markets you may have available from market research. Market research offers many benefits to your business, but should not be undertaken lightly. Look at what you can learn from Market Research and consider carefully what you need to know before you undertake the Market Research Process
One of the most effective ways to learn about your customer is to visualize what they may actually look like. Are they young or old? How are they dressed? Are they single or married? Where do they work? What do they do? Try to imagine what their priorities might be in relation to your product or service. For example, some people pay 5 cents more per gallon of gas because the gas station is conveniently located and therefore saves them time. It is important to think like a customer. Look at your product from their point-of-view.
Once you have an idea of who your customer is, you need to determine their Customer Characteristics. This step helps you define more specifically your market and what they are like. Although many types of people may be interested in your product or service, you must now narrow it down and determine who the majority of your customers will be. We will call this group your Primary Market.
Your Primary Market will often have similar interests, tastes, needs, income levels, and occupations. This group will provide the majority of profits for your business. Your Secondary Market will consist of the next highest buying group with similar interests and needs. Tabulating the group descriptions gives you a good picture of who your target market is.
Once you have an idea of who your primary customers are, you need to go directly to the source to find out what your customers buying habits really are. There are a number of types of Market Research that you can use, each with their costs and benefits. What tools you eventually use should be considered in light of your resources and needs. While detailed information can be of interest, it can also be costly. Make certain you have weighed the benefits of the methods you have chosen with care before embarking on a market research project.
Market research is something every business should use even if it is only a modest effort. The information gained will give you valuable information that will help you provide an excellent product that is well received by potential customers.