Karen Lambert, a marketing specialist and Chief Happy at Happy Creative outlines the importance of understanding your audience, and how market research can help.
Assumptions can be troublesome; in life and in business.
This is why successful businesses “assume nothing and question everything”. It’s a reliable mantra. And it’s perfect for market research.
The benefits of good market research appeal to businesses at any stage of their life. As a young business you may be thinking about research for the first time, and wanting to understand how it can benefit your company.
Market research can be done with your team, your customers and with prospects who you are struggling to engage, as well as a wider market depending on your offer.
Here’s my top five benefits for carrying out market research:
1. Learn how to improve communication with current and potential customers.
Market research guides your communication with current and potential customers. Once you have your research results, you should have enough ammunition to formulate the most effective way to communicate with your customers and prospects. You should know what they like/don’t like to hear/see/do /feel. Market research can also help you discover what obstacles are in the way for prospects to engage with you. Once you know all this, you can tailor how you communicate with them to encourage action.
2. Identify opportunities in the marketplace.
Research might make it obvious that a new product or service you have planned may not be what your market wants or needs. You may then decide to make modifications on what you are going to offer to suit your audience to get the best results. It’s completely normal (and right) for business owners to believe that their product or service is the best, but what if there’s something missing, or an opportunity that isn’t being explored? By simply asking customers, you get some really valuable insights which you may not have thought of before.
3. Make the right choices and minimise risk.
Through market research, you may find all the information you need to decide whether to take action on a particular subject. For example, you may find what you thought was the best feature is something that they’re not really interested in, or that they express what you do in a way you hadn’t considered, or that your channel to market doesn’t align with theirs. All of this is extremely valuable in making the right choices and minimizing risk.
4. Measures and evaluate your reputation.
It’s always good to know what your customers and prospects think. Market research through vehicles such as NPS Surveys (Net Promoter Score) helps you understand how likely a customer is to recommend you. It helps you find out what they think of you, and according to the results, you can take action to change perception. Reputation is everything, especially when customers are looking more and more for social proof i.e. what others think of your brand.
5. Determine the most persuasive ‘promise’.
What is it that customers see in you? What do they like about what you do, and how you do it? What words are they using to search for your service? Out of the mouths of customers come extremely valuable pieces of data. It helps you see the world via their eyes and in their own words. Speaking to your audience using the language they use, helps you be persuasive, relevant and engaging. Every brand makes a promise. Market research can help you define what your brand’s promise is, and help you stick to it.
Market research can often be perceived (unfairly and wrongly) as a costly project to undertake, however, the lack of it in any business will ultimately play with the bottom line, and not always in a positive way.
There are many reasons why market research is a constant in business strategy, not least of which is, it is always best to “measure twice and cut once” to maximise your returns.
Karen is Chief Happy at Happy Creative, a marketing and branding company that helps businesses raise their visibility, generate leads, and acquire customers. She also provides mentoring support through Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme.
If you’re a Lancashire entrepreneur looking to start a new business or at the early stages of growing a new business, Boost’s funded programme can help you get off to a flying start. Call 0800 488 0057 or complete our quick form and a member of the Boost team will be in touch to start your growth conversation.