Research - How well do you know your customer?
By Lisa Williams
Is Market Research?
Market research should be a key aspect of your business. Knowing about
your customers, potential customers, your competitors and the marketplace
environment will position your company to be competitive for business.
Determining if there
is an expanded market for your products or services is the most critical
part of your business planning. Market research helps you to identify
opportunities within the market place.
are central to market research, and in making a business succeed. As a
company you need to know who your customers are, what they want, and what
the business drivers are for the future.
are two types of users to research. The first is your customer, a company
or institution who is already involved with your products. Thesecond is
your competitions customers; these are already users of your type of product,
instrument or service however who arent using your products.
Steps In Market Research
Before you start your market research take some time to think about decisions,
problems and opportunities. What do you want the research to achieve?
Once your objective is decided there are numerous ways of researching;
surveys, discussions, observations and experiments.
Market surveys, for example, can be a very powerful tool to decide what
your market needs and how your company can market them.
questions your market survey should look at are;
- Who is the customer?
- What is the market?
- How big is the
market in volume and financial terms?
- What competition
- What is your
place in the market?
- What do customers
think of your company?
Once youve decided on the type of research take time to think about
how much money and time will be needed.
It is important to think about who your research will be distributed to
and how your research will be distributed. For example,
Surveys can be distributed in a variety of ways
ON ONE - interviewing customers one on one allows you to gain personal
MAIL - surveys sent by mail
TRADE SHOW - this is when surveys are distributed at relevant tradeshows
for your company.
ELECTRONIC - surveys are sent electronically via email.
Once the data is collected it needs to be analyzed. Focus on the information
relevant to your objective.
Put into practice the information gained from the market research.
Can We Gain From Market Research?
Market research allows us to set a benchmark for the company. This is
used in the future to measure against, and help you to track your progress.
It allows you to increase the sales to your core customers by meeting
their needs; it also enables you to expand your customer base. The information
gained will help your company to adapt and develop, and generally help
you to improve the perception and position of your company within the
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