Drive your business forward with Market Research
As business leaders, we often think we know our market really well. Sometimes that is true, but things change and it’s always good to spend some time now and again researching our market. This prevents us from making assumptions that unintentionally undermine our business. It also helps us to identify new opportunities to grow and expand our business.
You may think you know everything about your competitors. However, the real information you need is how your customers view your competitors! Once you’ve identified all your competitors, and their competitive edge (USP) then it is really worthwhile spending some time viewing their customer testimonials and reviews to find out why people chose to do business with them. This can help you to target your own operations and marketing towards the aspects that potential customers feel most strongly about. For example, if you discover that all your competitors are rated for their speed of delivery, is this something that you can match or beat, and then tell people about?
Customer or consumer research often conjures up images of people being harassed with clipboards on the street as they go about their daily shop! But done right, customer research doesn’t have to be invasive, and can produce some worthwhile results.
You can start by identifying your customer profile considering questions such as:
- Their age & gender, or sector (if B2B)
- What motivates them?
- What do they need from you?
- What is important to them?
- How much money do they have?
- How will they prefer to purchase goods & services?
Some of this information you will be able to get from other people’s research such as reports on consumer spending habits etc, but some you may need to ask your customers for. The most effective way to do this (especially in the current situation!) is to provide an online survey with the possibility of winning a significant prize once they have completed it.
Once you have a customer profile (or maybe a set of profiles if you sell to more than one type of customer) you can start to create operational processes and marketing messages tailored just to them. You can also start to design new products and services to appeal to these customers, and then identify some key customers to test and feedback on these.