How to do market research in 4 steps: a lean approach to marketing research
Oct 29, · Conducting Market Research in 4 Fast Steps 1. Identify Your Target Audience. Who is your target audience? Identifying what audience you want to reach will be a 2. Check Out Your Competition. Competitor research is an important part of market research because it helps you . Oct 08, · Companies or market research firms conduct secondary market research by using information available on the internet or in libraries, reviewing government databases, and digging through academic journals to collate, summarize, and synthesize previous primary research. The analysis can generate new data and conclusions that inform marketing decisions.
So you have a markeeting idea for a product--something that's bound to capture the hearts and minds and wallets of consumers everywhere. Or perhaps you have stumbled on a service that isn't being offered by anyone what are some music downloaders like limewire that is desperately needed. This is your opportunity! Don't hesitate. Before you shift into resrarch gear, you must determine whether there really is a market for your product or service.
Not only that, you need to ascertain what--if any--fine-tuning is needed. Quite simply, you must conduct market research. Many business owners neglect this crucial step in product development for the sole reason that they don't want to hear conducf negative feedback. They are convinced their product or service is perfect just the way it is, and they don't want to risk tampering with it. Other entrepreneurs bypass market research because they fear it will be too expensive.
With all the other startup costs you're facing, it's not easy to justify spending money on research that will only prove what you knew all along: Your product is a winner. Regardless of the reason, failing to do market research can amount to a death sentence for your product.
Market Research Methods In conducting your market research, you will gather two types of data: primary and secondary. Primary research is information that comes directly from the source--that is, potential customers.
You can compile this information yourself or hire someone else to gather it for you via surveys, markeitng groups marketinv other methods. Secondary research involves gathering statistics, reports, studies and other data from organizations such as government agencies, trade associations and your local chamber of commerce. Secondary Research The vast majority of research you can find will be secondary research. While large companies spend huge amounts of rrsearch on market research, the good news is that plenty of information is available for free to entrepreneurs on a tight budget.
The best places to start? Your local library and the internet. Reference librarians at public and university libraries will be happy to point you in the right direction. Become familiar with the business reference section--you'll be spending a lot of time there. Two good sources to look for: ThomasNetan online resource that connects industrial resaerch and sellers, and the Harris Too All-Industries and Manufacturing Directories. Both sources can be found at most libraries, as well as online, and can help you target businesses in conducct particular industry, read up on competitors or find manufacturers for your product.
To get insights into consumer markets, check out the Statistical Abstract of the United Stateswhich you can find at markeing libraries. It contains a wealth of social, political and economic data.
Ask reference librarians for other resources targeted at your specific business. Associations Your industry trade association can offer a wealth of information such as market statistics, lists of members, and books and reference materials. Talking to others in your association can be one of the most valuable ways of gaining informal data reseatch a region or customer base. Look in the Encyclopedia of Associations Gale Cengage Learningfound in most libraries, to find associations relevant to your industry.
You may also markfting to investigate your customers' trade associations for information that can help you market to them. Most trade associations provide information free of charge. Read your trade associations' publications, as well what does epsom salts do for plants those aimed at your target customers, to get an idea of current and future trends and buying patterns.
And keep an eye out for more: New magazines and newsletters are launched every year. If yow not following all of them, you could be missing out on valuable information about new products and your competitors. Government Guidance Government agencies are an invaluable source of market research, most of it free. Almost every county government publishes population density and distribution figures in widely available census tracts.
These publications will show you the number tl people living in specific donduct, such as precincts, water districts or even ten-block neighborhoods. Some counties publish reports on population trends that show the population ten years ago, five years ago and today.
Watch out for a static, declining or small population; ideally, you want to locate where there is an expanding population that wants your products and services. The U. Census Bureau turns out reams of maketing or free business information, most of which is available on the internet:. Most of these what will be will be should be available online or at your local library.
If not, contact your nearest Census office for a list of publications and convuct information, conduvt write to the U. Census Bureau, Silver Hill Rd. Government ro an official web portal that is another reseqrch source of information. For instance, at the USA. Tax questions? Wondering about how best to deal with all the regulations and red tape?
Chances are you'll find your answers at business. Or you might try the Commerce Depart-ment's Economic Indicators web page. Curious if the world is ready to spend money on your exercise equipment for goldfish? Then the Economic How to conduct a marketing research site is for you.
Literally every day, they're releasing key economic indicators from the Markdting of Economic Analysis and the U. Census Bureau. The ITA publishes several thousand reports and statistical x, not to mention hundreds of books on everything American entrepreneurs need to know about exporting. Many of the reports and books are available for downloading immediately from the ITA's press and publications department ita.
Here you'll also find information on how to order printed copies, including archived publications. Maps Maps of trading areas in counties and states are available from chambers of commerce, trade development commissions, industrial development boards and local newspaper offices. These maps show the major areas of commerce and can also help you judge the accessibility of various sites.
Access is an important consideration in determining the limits of your market area. Colleges and Universities Local colleges and universities are valuable sources of information. Many college business departments have students who are eager cconduct work in the "real world," gathering information and doing research at little or no cost. Finally, local business schools are a great source of experts. Many business s do consulting on the side, and some will even be happy to offer you marketing, sales, strategic researh or financial markeying for free.
Call professors who specialize in these areas; if they can't help, they'll be able to put you in researcu with someone who can. Community Organizations Your local chamber of commerce or business development agency can supply useful information. They are usually free of charge, including assistance with site selection, demographic reports, and directories of local businesses. They may also offer seminars on marketing and related topics that can help you do better research.
Visit their website at dnb. Going Online These days, entrepreneurs can conduct much of their market research without ever leaving their computers, thanks to the universe of online services and information.
Start with the major consumer online services, which offer access to business databases. You can find everything from headline and business news to industry trends and company-specific business information, such as a marketibg address, telephone number, how to conduct a marketing research of business and the name of the CEO. This information is critical for identifying prospects, developing mailing lists and planning sales calls.
Here are a few to get you started:. All the sources mentioned earlier trade associations, government agencies should also have websites you can visit to get information quickly. For instance, the Census Bureau offers many helpful websites:.
If you don't have time to investigate online services yourself, consider hiring an information broker to find the information you need. Information brokers gather information quickly. They can act as a small company's research arm, identifying the most accurate and cost-effective information sources. To find information brokers, look in the Yellow Pages or ask the research librarian at your local library.
Many research librarians deal with information brokers and will be able to give you good recommendations. Consider market research an investment in your future. If you make the necessary adjustments to your product or service now, you'll save money in the long run. Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as conduuct as a catalyst for value creation.
Latest Video Start A Business. Starting a Business. You may have a great idea for a product or service, but before you go any further, first make sure there's a market for it. Next Article link. Entrepreneur Staff. Census Bureau turns out reams what is the definition of channel sales inexpensive or free business information, most of which is available on the internet: The Census Bureau's State and Metropolitan Area Data Book offers statistics for metropolitan areas, central cities and counties.
The Census Product Update is a monthly listing of recently r eleased and upcoming products from the U. Sign up for a free e-mail subscription at census. County Business Patterns is an excellent Census product that reports the number of a given conduft of business in a county by ZIP code and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area.
For breakdowns by geographical area, look to the Economic Censuswhich is published every markeitng years. Besides basic information telephone researh, address and company descriptionthe directories also tell when the company was started, sales volume, number of employees, parent company if any and, if it's a public company, on which exchange it's traded. The Million Dollar Database lists more than 1. The database also includes how to remove a stripped screw information on owners and officers, giving insight into their backgrounds and business experiences.
For more information, go to dnbmdd.
What is market research?
Jan 22, · There are lots of different ways you could conduct market research and collect customer data, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one research method. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation. Sep 30, · In conducting your market research, you will gather two types of data: primary and secondary. Primary research is information that comes directly from the source--that is, potential customers. You.
With Hotjar, they did things differently. Long story short, they conducted market research in the early stages to figure out what their consumers really wanted, and they made and continue to make constant improvements based on their research. With Hotjar! And better understand your customers' fears, drivers, and frustrations. Businesses use this information to design better products, improve user experience, and craft a marketing strategy that attracts quality leads and improves conversion rates.
Sure, you might have a general idea of who they are and what they need, but you have to dig deep if you want to win their loyalty. Lean User Experience UX design is a model for continuous improvement that relies on quick, efficient research to understand customer needs and test new features. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation.
Surveys are a form of qualitative research that ask respondents a short series of open- or closed-ended questions, which can be delivered as an on-screen questionnaire or via email. What makes online surveys so popular? Plus, the data is pretty straightforward to analyze, even when you have to analyze open-ended questions whose answers might initially appear difficult to categorize. Interviews are one-on-one conversations with members of your target market.
Regardless of how you conduct it, any type of in-depth interview will produce big benefits in understanding your target customers. Doing it right is expensive, and if you cut corners, your research could fall victim to all kinds of errors. Dominance bias when a forceful participant influences the group and moderator style bias when different moderator personalities bring about different results in the same study are two of the many ways your focus group data could get skewed.
During a customer observation session, someone from the company takes notes while they watch an ideal user engage with their product or a similar product from a competitor. The following four steps will give you a solid understanding of who your users are and what they want from a company like yours. A user persona is a semi-fictional character based on psychographic and demographic data from people who use websites and products similar to your own. How to get the data: use on-page or emailed surveys and interviews to understand your users.
How Smallpdf did it : Smallpdf ran an on-page survey for a week or two and received 1, replies, which revealed that many of their users were administrative assistants, students, and teachers. Then they created simple user personas like this one for admins:. Observational research involves taking notes while watching someone use your product or a similar product. They allow you to dig deep and explore their concerns, which can lead to all sorts of revelations.
How Smallpdf did it: Kristina explored her teacher user persona by speaking with university professors at a local graduate school. She learned that the school was mostly paperless and rarely used PDFs, so for the sake of time, she moved on to the admins.
A bit of a letdown? But this story highlights an important lesson! Sometimes you follow a lead and come up short, so you have to make adjustments on the fly. Lean market research is about getting solid, actionable insights quickly so you can tweak things and see what works. The following techniques will help you wrap your head around the data without losing yourself in it. Remember, the point of lean market research is to find quick, actionable insights.
A flow model is a diagram that tracks the flow of information within a system. By creating a simple visual representation of how users interact with your product and each other, you can better assess their needs. This flow model shows the challenges that admins face as they work to satisfy their own internal and external customers. An affinity diagram is a way of sorting large amounts of data into groups to better understand the big picture.
Depending on your needs, you could group them by profession, or more generally by industry. We wrote a guide about how to analyze open-ended questions , and it will help you sort through large volumes of data to categorize them. You can also do this by hand, clipping up interview notes and grouping them which is what Kristina does.
And when you literally cut them up into separate pieces of paper and group them, they should make sense by themselves. A customer journey map is a diagram that shows the way a typical prospect becomes a paying customer. It outlines their first interaction with your brand and every step in the sales cycle, from awareness to repurchase and hopefully advocacy.
The above customer journey map , created by our team at Hotjar, shows many ways a customer might engage with our tool. Your map will be based on your own data and business model. The following questions will help you get to know your users on a deeper level when you interview them. How you ask this question, and what you want to know, will vary depending on your business model e.
The meatier and more specific questions come later. This question helps you understand their day-to-day life and the challenges they face. It will help you gain empathy for them, and you may stumble across something relevant to their buying habits. It helps you get in the heads of your users and figure out what they were thinking the day they decided to spend money to solve a problem.
If you take your time with this question, digging deeper where it makes sense, you should be able to answer all the relevant information you need to understand their perspective.
We want to go back to the day that when you thought it was urgent and compelling to go spend money to solve a particular problem or achieve a goal.
Just tell me what happened. Smallpdf used lean market research to dig below the surface, understand their clients, and build a better product and user experience. They ran a survey asking key questions to determine who their users were and what problems they were trying to solve with Smallpdf.
The team stopped when they received 1, replies. Smallpdf found that many of their users were administrative assistants, students, and teachers, so they designed a plan to study these users.
Note : She also spent some time interviewing professors at a local graduate school, which would have become its step had it proved successful. Unfortunately, the university had gone paperless. Kristina used the following research tools to wrap her head around the data and explore the next steps. In other words: simple market segmentation for admins showed a business need that had to be accounted for, and now customers are happier overall.
Read more about the difference between qualitative and quantitative user research. You can do your own quick and effective market research by 1 surveying your customers, 2 building user personas, 3 studying your users through interviews and observation, and 4 wrapping your head around your data with tools like flow models, affinity diagrams, and customer journey maps. User research, on the other hand, is more narrowly focused on the use and usability of specific products.
It also gives you quick answers so you can stay ahead of the competition. Absolutely not! In fact, we recommend that you start small and do it yourself in the beginning. By following a lean market research strategy, you can uncover some solid insights about your clients. Then you can make changes, test them out, and see whether the results are positive. This is an excellent strategy for making quick changes and remaining competitive. Have you done your own lean market research?
Comment below and tell us how it went—what you learned, what changes you made, and how your users responded. Learn something new every month: sign up to receive Hotjar content in your inbox. A major marketing geek, Louis runs his podcast at Everyone Hates Marketers and believes that good marketing starts with understanding people and not tricking them.
Research your market the lean way Free forever. Get started! Table of contents. What is market research? Why is market research so valuable? Advantages of lean market research 4 common market research methods How to perform market research in a lean way 5 common market research questions Market research example: how Smallpdf turned their market research study into business results in 6 steps Market research FAQs.
For example, analytics can tell you that customers leave when they reach your pricing page, but only research can explain why. Research beats assumptions, trends, and so-called best practices.
Have you ever watched your colleagues rally behind a terrible decision? Research keeps you from planning in a vacuum. Customers might use your product in a way that surprises you, and features that seem obvious to you might confuse them. Over-planning and refusing to test your assumptions is a waste of time, money, and effort because you will likely need to make changes once your untested plan gets put into practice. Advantages of lean market research. Lean market research can help you become more Efficient : it gets you closer to your customers, faster.
Cost-effective : no need to hire an expensive marketing firm to get things started. Competitive : quick, powerful insights can place your products on the cutting edge. Surveys: the most commonly used. Interviews: the most insightful. What makes interviews so insightful? Focus groups: the most dangerous. What makes focus groups so dangerous? Observation: the most powerful. What makes observation so clever and powerful? How to conduct market research in a lean way.