Market research is a market analysis that consists of collecting and interpreting data and information. With research, you can gain more insight into your niche and target audience. With that, you can have ideas for your business and make more assertive business decisions.
Why is it so important? Every day, millions of startup companies and projects appear and are launched to the market in the hope of being successful and occupying a privileged place in the minds of consumers.
But not everyone becomes victorious or successful, and many end up closing the doors forever.
Why does this happen?
Where do entrepreneurs fail?
Why doesn’t anyone come to buy your products?
Do you know your market and do you research about it?
We may have an answer for this. For this reason, we have prepared this material in which we explain what market research is and why it is so necessary before carrying out an entrepreneurial project.
Here are the top 7 Market Research tools for Entrepreneurs:
- Think with Google
- Consumer Barometer (Google)
- Jim Vileta’s Business Research Launch Pad
- Wolfram | Alpha
- AYTM Market Research
Now, before you jump to the tools, do learn more about the term market research.
What is market research?
Market research, or also known as market research, is a data collection technique that allows entrepreneurs to know the purchase intentions or certain details about their market niche .
When a company wants to launch a new product, a new marketing campaign or make any change or strategy development, it is necessary to carry out a market analysis to obtain very valuable information that can help ensure success for the business .
For example: if you are about to launch a new product on the market, an investigation of this type can help you to know details such as how much money your customers would be willing to pay for the product, what characteristics of the product would be well appreciated, what size, color or shape would the customer like the product to have, etc.
This will help you find a balance point in which both your clients and your business benefit.
There are two ways to obtain this information, which are:
- Primary research: when you do the research yourself, you collect and analyze the data;
- Secondary research: when the search is carried out by a third party and is available to whoever wants to access it. Some examples are academic studies and reports from private companies.
In short, market research is a technique used to collect information in a systematic way that is then interpreted and used to make decisions.
Brands and companies need to research the market to understand industry and consumer trends. Market analysis has the power to work in your favor, as it can indicate where you need to focus your efforts, what aspects need to be improved or modified, where to invest resources, the viability of the project, among many other ideas.
Before the growth of the digital age, surveys were carried out in the most diverse ways: by telephone, outing on the street, questionnaire in public places, etc. Now with social media and research sites, it is much easier to conduct market research.
Often, it is not even necessary to do the research through a questionnaire. You can use surveys or take benchmark data from your market through the benchmarking process .
What is market research for?
You must be thinking: market research is only for big companies. That’s where you go wrong! All businesses, even small ones, need market research to better understand your performance.
It doesn’t matter if your business is a digital product, a startup, an agency or a multinational, the routine of a business is guided by certain decisions. And nothing better than data and concrete information to help in this process.
Other reasons for market research are:
- They allow to have more documentation when making decisions that favor the growth and development of a business or company.
- They provide real information that helps you solve problems.
- They allow you to know the size of the market you want to cover, in the case of selling or launching a new product.
- They allow knowing consumers’ real needs and details such as tastes, preferences, purchasing habits, income level, etc.
- They help to know how you change the customer’s buying habits so that entrepreneurs or business owners are able to respond and adapt to them.
- They offer valuable information that can be used to maintain or occupy an important place in the market.
- They allow the detection of new market niches or micro- niches .
These are just some of the advantages for a company or entrepreneur to carry out market analysis correctly and for this it is necessary to resort to various data collection methods, such as surveys, evaluations, observations, etc.
Do you want to know what each one consists of?
We will show you the most used ones!
How to do good market research?
Market research is done through questionnaires, which can be answered through interviews, email, or on social media. The basic steps to prepare the investigation are:
- Definition of the objective of the research, either for a specific product or for the business in general;
- Who are the target audience, if they are your potential customers or consumers, for example;
- How many people will be interviewed, that is, the sampling;
- The questions to ask yourself. The simpler and more direct, the better;
- Conduct research on the chosen channels;
- Survey of collected data;
- Analysis of responses and planning of the next steps based on the data.
There are many data collection methods that can be used in market research. Some are:
It is one of the most used methods of obtaining information and can be done manually or online. The survey is a method with which a lot of information can be collected in a short time, it does not require specialized personnel for its application, it is easy to carry out and, also, if you do not have a large budget to carry it out, you can do it online.
There are many free or paid platforms that allow you to carry out surveys over the Internet very easily and quickly, such as Google Forms . The main advantage of this alternative is that it offers greater coverage, saves money, can be accompanied by images to make it more attractive, is easy to fill out, is anonymous, and also has no question limit.
The interview is a method of collecting information that can be done by phone, face-to-face, or email. With the interview it is possible to collect information reliably and without risk of manipulation. However, it is a method that requires more financial resources, time and personnel.
Also known as the market test, it consists of trying to know directly the appreciation of a person towards a product, service, idea, etc.
An evaluation or market test is generally carried out before the launch of a new product, with the main purpose of evaluating its acceptance and reducing risks.
Suppose you want to evaluate the acceptance of your new info product . To carry out this method, it is necessary that you select a representative sample and send your product in exchange for their comments or criticisms about the product received.
This technique is very useful since it allows you to know what people think about your product and receive comments with which you could make improvements in the presentation, content or, even, modify its price before starting to promote it and sell it formally.
It is a very traditional method of market research that is very accurate and economical. It can be done in two ways: through direct observation on site, or also through designed devices such as a traffic counter.
The application of this technique will depend a lot on the objective of your research. For example, if the objective of your research is to know the preference of a specific product, the use of the technique could consist of visiting the places where the consumer normally purchases the product and observing, for example, how they examine the product, which products decide to buy, etc.
7 steps to do your market research
Do you remember the little step by step above? We will understand how the process works for you to do your market research.
Carrying out a market study is much easier than it seems, it does not matter if you have a large company or if all you have is a business idea in your mind, anyone can do it!
But … How to do a market study?
Now, the time has come to get down to work and start researching the market. You just need to follow these 7 (and very easy!) Steps:
Define the objectives of your research
To begin, you need to ask yourself what the objectives of your research are; that is, the reasons or the need for which you have decided to carry out this research.
Having the objective of your research very clear will help you to better pose your questions or the criteria on which the data collection will be based.
A market research can be carried out with very different objectives. The most common goals are:
- Help the development of a company or business.
- Satisfy customer needs through the ideal product or service.
- Determine the degree of success or failure that a business idea can have.
Define the target audience for market research.
No research can be done without the target audience being well defined. Yes, it is mandatory!
To help in this task, it is essential to create your buyer person, that is, the representation of the ideal client and who will probably buy your products / services. This more detailed understanding will help build more assertive questions and the data collected will be more useful.
For you to fully understand the difference between the target audience and the buyer persona, these are their main points of difference:
- The target audience has a broader definition, such as: Men, ages 25-35, who work with digital marketing.
- The buyer persona provides more complete information, such as who this person is, their habits, their work, etc.
In market research, you can create both profiles. If you want a more general search, to know the acceptance of a possible product, doing research with the target audience in mind is the best option. Whether it is to measure the level of satisfaction or discover the pain to create solutions, working with the person will bring better results.
Decide on the method
Now that you know the objective of your research, it is time to decide what method you will use to collect the data. Online surveys? Observation? Interviews? There are many alternatives available and that allow you to obtain data from your clients or potential clients directly!
Remember: it is also important that you select a field sample; that is, a representative sample of your market.
What is a field sample and how to select it?
A field sample is the technique by which a sample of the population to be investigated is selected. Whenever you do market research, you need to select a sample. The reason for this is because it is obviously very difficult to interview or observe all of your clients or prospects.
It is important that you take into account that the larger your sample, the greater certainty you will have about the results obtained in the investigation. That is, the fact that 20 people say they would be willing to buy your product does not mean that it will be successful. It needs to be a representative sample in your locality and this can be determined in two ways:
- Probability or random sampling.
- Non-probability sampling.
Probability or random sampling consists of selecting people at random from a given population. This technique allows all people in the population to have the same probability of selection and inclusion in the sample, which guarantees that the selection of people to participate will not be manipulated.
On the other hand, non-probability sampling looks for different types of people to form a representative sample of the total population.
To select these people, their demographic and psychographic characteristics are taken into account, such as age, sex, gender, interests, average income, etc.
Collect the data
After being very clear about the method to be used and the number of people you will use as a sample, it is time to collect the data and, for this, you need to design your instrument.
For example, if you have selected the interview or survey as your data collection method, you need to design a questionnaire.
Followed by this, it’s time to collect your research data. This is something that can take days, weeks, or even months; It all depends on the size of your sample and the selected collection method. The important thing is that all the people involved in the investigation commit to collaborate throughout the investigation and, above all, are willing to act according to the results.
Market research is a technique that will allow you to know everything that no one will ever want to confess to you, such as, for example, that your product is expensive, that your business idea is of no interest to anyone, that your product needs to improve, etc. .
And many have the question: where to start research, especially if an audience has not been built? Start with people close to you, like friends and acquaintances. The search can be simple, like a question on WhatsApp, for example, and thus follow the conversation.
The important thing is that all the people involved in the investigation commit to collaborate throughout the investigation and, above all, are willing to be honest.
Study the competitors
Within market research, the study of competitors is a fundamental part. After all, if they are successful and present in the market, it means they did well. And there is nothing wrong with finding out what it is and always trying to do better.
Some tools to help you find potential competitors are:
- SEMRush is a well indicated tool by marketers, as it has complete resources to analyze and monitor competitors based on keywords or domains on the web;
- Google Keyword Planner can also be used to study your competitors. Simply enter your URL and you will have access to data related to the terms that bring you the most traffic;
- Buzzsumo is one of the most comprehensive social media monitoring tools available, allowing you to analyze campaigns and posts’ performance.
Collect data from other sources.
Crossing data is important to know if your business is moving along with the market in general. Therefore, you can analyze research from other (reliable) sources and collect other data to complete your research.
Some good sources are:
- The National Commission of Markets and Competition ( CNMC ) is the body that often launches surveys and content with important data on various markets;
- Think With Google is the official blog of Google, focused on marketing and sales. A tip is, in addition to reading the publications, subscribe to their newsletter to receive regular studies and analyzes carried out by those who understand the Internet.
Analyze the data and present the results
Once all the information and data about your market have been collected, it is time to analyze them. This is a very important step: there is no use designing a great instrument and spending time gathering all the information, if the data will not be analyzed correctly or, in the worst case, it will end up hidden in a folder.
Analyze in depth each of the data you get with your research, do not make the mistake of underestimating any comment or statistical data no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
Prepare a report that summarizes the results of the investigation and, above all, the solutions, recommendations or next actions to take.
Research is a great strategy that can help you put a new spin on your business, develop a great idea, or avoid failure. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of underestimating the power of market analysis for fear of wasting time, money, or simply because they consider it unnecessary.
Do not leave with doubt! Dare to investigate what the market thinks about you, your product or your ideas.
Ready for your next market research? Cheer up! You may find the answer you need to become a successful entrepreneur .
If you have any questions, leave us a comment. Bye!
This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated to contain more accurate and complete information.