Before you can understand the importance of marketing research, you need to know what it is. Market research isn’t about a specific method or activity, it’s just what businesses call their attempt to learn more about their target customers. While tasks like surveys and focus groups can help, they aren't absolutely necessary, and they aren’t the only things you can do to research your target market. Here are some tasks that can be part of your market research.
From having short conversations with contacts who are part of your target market to looking up for Facebook groups relevant to your target market, are some of the easiest, free, low-effort ways to reach target customers online and ask them questions. Eventually, you can go back to these groups to promote your business, if the group rules allow for it. Add a survey form to your website. If you already have a website for your small business, you can offer potential customers a small discount in exchange for filling up a survey.
But, why do all these matter? Below we have answered the question as we have gathered five reasons to why market research is important, especially for smaller teams and businesses:
1. Give Your Business More Visibility
After you’ve done your market research, it'll be clear to you who you want to reach out to and where you can reach them. From partnerships with other businesses to learning about who your customers are, such as their demographics, can help you find other small businesses that serve them. You can approach these businesses for joint promotions that'll be mutually beneficial. Knowing things like geographical areas where most of your target customers live will allow you to create compelling targeted campaigns that suit the needs and culture of that area.
2. Provide Better Understanding of Your Customers
The way to make sure that your business survives for longer is to ensure that you've got a steady stream of sales and customers. To do that, you need market research. Regular market research will be your way to check in with your current customers and potential customers to ensure that you’re still meeting their needs. Find out why customers don’t come back. Ideally, your small business should have recurring customers. If they don’t come back, you can conduct a survey of previous customers to find out why you’re not making any repeat sales.
3. Helps to Create Relevant Promotional Materials
If you’ve ever wondered what text or images to put on your fliers, website, or social media accounts, with thorough market research, you’ll know exactly what to do. Since target customers have already expressed all their wants, needs, and frustrations with you, you’ll know exactly what to address and how to address it when you start creating your marketing materials. It also helps to come up with blog topics that will have more readership. Identifying the age range of your customers can tell you the type of language you’ll be using in your promotional materials.
4. Lets You Know Where Exactly to Advertise
One of the problems that small business owners face is a limited budget. Because of this, your marketing budget should be optimized to give you the best returns possible. Your market research can help ensure that you’re reaching your intended audience in the channels where they’re most likely to see your message. If your market research shows that your target audience spends most of their time on Instagram and almost never uses Twitter, you’ll know to direct most of your social media ad budget to Instagram and forget about Twitter.. You can target based on interests and life events too.
5. Put You Ahead of Your Competitors
The business that knows their customers more tends to win more. If you can beat your competitors at finding out your customers’ needs and you aim to fulfill those needs, you've got a better chance of standing out from the competition. Target dissatisfied customers. Asking target customers about their frustrations with your competitors’ products or reading their product reviews can help you improve your own products and market them to an audience ready to switch brands. Try including them in your own marketing and see if the results show an increase in sales.