Any marketing professional knows that their job is to create messages that resonate with their customers. But to do this, they need to truly understand who those customers are, and what they really want.
How can you do that? Market research of course. It is the only way you can gather valuable insights about your customers and competitors, and gain insights into the trends in your market. Armed with this information you can build a marketing strategy and create more effective campaigns.
What Marketing Insights Can You Obtain From Market Research?
The best marketing strategies are grounded in quantifiable insights derived from market research. It is the only way you can possibly make data-driven decisions that increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Here are just some of the insights that market research can give you:
Customer Insights: Better understand customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviours by collecting data on their demographics, psychographics, and buying habits. Once you have layered this information over your customer data you can tailor marketing messages to better resonate with them.
Competitor Analysis: The first step to developing a marketing strategy that differentiates your brand is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Research can give you insights into their market share, pricing, products and services, as well as their messaging. You can then make informed decisions about how to position your brand in the market.
Market Trends: Keeping up with the latest trends in your industry and the broader market is critical for developing a marketing strategy that is relevant and effective. You need to identify emerging trends, consumer behaviours, and market dynamics that inform your messaging and positioning.
Product Development: Market research can also help you understand how customers use your products and what features and benefits are most important to them. This can inform product development and help you create products that better meet the needs of your target audience.
Types of Market Research Methods for Building a Marketing Strategy
There are lots of different methods that can be used to gather customer insights, competitor intelligence, and market trends. Depending on exactly what information you want to uncover, some of the most common types of market research include:
Surveys: Surveys are a great way to collect large amounts of quantitative data quickly and efficiently. They can be conducted online, by phone, or face-to-face. You could use surveys to collect information about your customers’ demographics, psychographics, purchasing intents and behaviours, as well as their satisfaction with your products or services.
Focus Groups: One of the most popular qualitative research methods is to use focus groups. This involves bringing together a small group of people to discuss a particular topic or product. You can mine the attitudes and opinions of participants to obtain rich, detailed insights into customer attitudes, perceptions, and motivations. They are especially useful for testing messaging and product concepts.
Interviews: These are another qualitative research method that can help you gather much more in-depth insights from individual customers or industry experts. Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone (CATI – Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing), or online. Again, you can use them to gather information about customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviours.
Observational Research: Simply observing customers as they go about their business is a great way to gather insights about their behaviour and preferences. This can be especially useful for understanding how customers interact with your products or services, especially in a physical setting, which you can use to identify areas for improvement.
Secondary Research: Sometimes called desk research, this involves gathering information from lots of existing sources so you can analyse it for trends. These sources can include industry reports, government statistics, and even your competitors’ websites. This type of research is extremely useful to give context and background information that informs your other market research efforts. It give you a better all-round understanding of your market and customers.
In Part Two of this series we will look in a lot more detail about the types of studies you can undertake to define your audience and understand your competitors.
Get in touch for more information about how market research, data collection, and CATI can help your business understand its market, customers, and competitors.