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Researching your market

You’re in it to win it! Your marketplace is an important part of researching before you launch – it helps you figure out who your audience is, what they do, and how to get their attention.

Firstly, write down what your business entails:

  • What sector are you in?
  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • Who are your immediate competitors?

These are questions that will help you define your market; the results of these gives your business direction and helps you deliver what you need to make your customers happy.

How do I research my market? Here are some easy steps:

Define your goal

Think about the key information you want to know about your customers and define what information is important to your business. Doing this early will help your direction and help you research effectively.

For instance, you might want to launch a new product or service – you would then research the current market and assess if your product or service will be well received, and how much consumers are willing to pay for it.

What are your research questions?

Okay, now you’ve figured out the objective, it’s time to get down to business and find out more about your audience.

Let’s get to the important areas: your market, your customers, and your competitors.

Market

  • What are the key demographics (age, gender etc)?
  • How will your emergence affect the marketplace?
  • Will you be able to keep your business going in your area?

Customers

  • Who is your target audience and how do they behave?
  • Where are they located?
  • What will make them look in your direction?

Competitors

  • What does a typical competitor of your business look like?
  • What are your competitors strengths?
  • What are your competitors weaknesses?

Remember, you don’t want to copy your competitors because you want to stand out to your customers, but it can be good to take inspiration from the competition.

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Collect your findings

One of the best ways to find out what your customers are like is to find out straight from the horse’s mouth – your customers! By collecting data you can find out valuable information about your customers, here’s how:

  • Qualitative research can involve a small number of consumers which will give you a better in-depth analysis about their needs. Try finding out this information in the form of focus groups and interviews.
  • Quantitative research can involve a larger number of consumers which will help you draw specific conclusions about their behaviour. Try finding this information by creating surveys or questionnaires, a simple ‘yes or no’ survey can do the trick!

Conducting your research is easy due to the many systems you can use. Here’s a few ways you can collect your data:

  • Online surveys via websites or email
  • Telephone polling
  • Personal interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Data analysis/statistics websites

What do your findings say?

We’ve done the research, well done! Now let’s turn all that information into something useful; always keep your research objectives in sight, this helps you find ways to improve your data and research along the way.

A few ways to organise your data can be:

  • Identifying major trends using lists, tables, diagrams and mind-maps to visualise your data.
  • Use and update your marketing plan to analyse your data and work out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible obstacles.

By interpreting your findings and processing your market research, you can gain an invaluable understanding into who your customers are, what they want, and how they behave.

Time to knuckle down your conclusions

You’ve defined, researched, collected and analysed your customer data, now it’s time to act on them! Your conclusions about your market should remain relevant to your objectives and business goals, so it wouldn’t make sense to focus on what time your customers eat dinner if you sell skincare.

Review your data by:

  1. Making sure there aren’t any gaps
  2. Examining major trends within the industry
  3. Analyse your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and obstacles
  4. Use your research to make decisions about your marketing goals.

Well done! Proceed to Business structure