Gathering and interpreting information is critical for the longevity of any business. Whether you’re starting a business or have been operating for 10 years and whether you’re selling RVs or children’s toys, market research will help you make more informed, productive decisions.
It’s not just about what you’re doing, but also what you’re not doing. How can you continuously improve?
When you conduct market research, you’re essentially maximizing your potential based on concrete data, research and statistics. Here are three practical ways in which market research will improve your business and help you succeed.
Understand Your Competition
Very few businesses are able to create a model that dominates the marketplace. This means most companies face some level of competition. Use market research to better understand how your brand and overall business strategy stacks up against your competitors.
Practical Tip: Use multiple resources to understand what your competition is and isn’t doing — surveys, focus groups, forums, historical data and even social media are all great ways to better understand who your competition is. You can then determine their strengths and weaknesses, potentially leading to new opportunities.
Know Your Target Market
Identifying and understanding your target market is essential in order to push sales and increase value. When your marketing is based on key demographics, such as age, education, income, occupation and gender, you will make more informed decisions, increasing customer satisfaction.
Practical Tip: You do not always need to rely on data and stats in order to obtain the best information. Instead, go straight to the source — your sales team. They will better understand the wants, needs and even complaints of your customers. If you’re a new business, use market research in order to develop more focused brand positioning as you try to fill a gap in the market.
Increase Sales and Profits
Depending on your business, you may need to look at not only local, but international trends as well. Do you rely on import and export? Market research will help you develop and improve your products and services, so that you can reduce your costs while maximizing sales.
Practical Tip: By now, you should have determined the sales potential of your product based on the market. Now, you’ll want to attract customers, establish your brand, set appropriate pricing, earn repeat business and increase production when required. If you advertise online, be sure that you’re using effective keywords — for example, RVs, RV dealerships in (your town), RVs for sale, etc.
Don’t dive into your industry blindfolded — utilize the plethora of information available, so that you can achieve your short- and long-term goals.