Marketing Strategy and Research

Market Research

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Market research is the information you collect that will guide the business decisions you make. This information includes but is not limited to data on your customers’ needs, your competitors’ abilities and trends within your industry. Gathering information is critical, even if you’re working on a shoestring budget. Research can start easily by asking customers to complete comment cards or online surveys. Attending trade shows and reading industry magazines and websites will keep you up to date on industry news and happenings.

Marketing Strategy

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A marketing strategy establishes the guidelines for how to use the information gathered from your market research. The Business Owner’s Toolkit website says the marketing strategy should include a path to specific goals, such as reaching a specific market demographic or a distinctive way to position your company and product. The marketing strategy is also useful in defining where your company fits in among competitors: as a leader, follower, challenger or niche company.

Blending Research and Strategy

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Marketing research apart from a sound strategy will not benefit your organization. Constant research needs to keep your finger on the pulse of your target customer. It will alert you to pressure from competitors and opportunities to launch new products. Conversely, it should tell you when a new product is not right for the market. Reviewing your strategy, in light of your current research, several times a year will keep your advertising and sales efforts on track and allow you to discern if changes in your marketing approach need to be made.

Advantages of Market Research

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Mitigates Risks

One thing you have to learn about starting a business is that there will always be risk involved. While there is no such thing as no risks in business, there are multiple steps you could take to ensure that the risk is so small, it’s not even an issue anymore. Market Research will provide you with insights on which decisions to implement. For example, the idea of expansion is something that all businesses dream of but it is not a step that all should take. Often, this immediate jump leads to their downfall. The research carried out will also give you an inkling on whether a certain project will be successful or not. When you start a business, it pays to know whether each decision you make will be good for your business.

Improves Sales

Thorough market research will assist you in developing your product or service. Constantly improving the product/service you provide is a must if you want your business to grow. If you’re providing subpar services, no matter what tactic you employ, you will not be able to tap your customer’s loyalty. Market Research will tell you your customer’s needs and wants which is important. A business should fill a void in a customer’s life. If you’re providing services and products that they do not need then why would they avail it? Another reason is that you will be informed of the latest viral trends. This means you can jump on them and interest more customers. Listening to your customer’s comments and suggestions can also be helpful. You want to please them and who better to ask how than they themselves.

Better Image On Customers

Once you start pleasing your customers, they will start talking about you which is essentially free advertising. Pro Tip: Never dismiss word of mouth as it is better than any ad you can ever show. People are more susceptible to a referral than to an advertisement.

Better Image On Customers

Market research will tell you what your brand reputation is. This means that you can know what your customers think of your brand which allows you to rebrand if needed. For example, brands which are considered as catering to only one group of people can rebrand so that they are more inclusive of all customers regardless of sex, social status, age, etc. This also allows you to tap into more markets. As a business, especially for startups, it is recommended that you take the time to build up a great reputation. You want to look helpful and approachable. The image you build is important as it will determine which customers you can interest.