Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Market Research Techniques

Market research is indeed a good step if you are deciding to put up a small business or if you want to improve the performance of your business. One of the mistakes of some businesspeople is to assume that they pretty know their market well and disregards market research as a very good step in knowing what your clients need and want.
Conducting a good research on your market will also help you outwit competitors as this will be a good way to learn firsthand from your target market on what they want, what they prefer so you can conceptualize on the improvements that you want to do with your products. If you are thinking of conducting a research for your business, and you want to explore the market research techniques and methods that you can use, here are some ideas that may be of help.
1. Surveys. Surveys are among the most common and one of the best ways to gather data for your research. Of course, aside from getting answers from direct from the individual, you can also solicit a good and specific answer especially if you can ask follow up questions.
You can however do the surveys in many other ways as well. You can do surveys through questionnaire form and interview the person directly, or you can mail them, although mailing them generates lesser response than doing the interview personally. You can also do it as an online survey or through telephone. Of course, your choice of these market research techniques can be based on the cost, the turnout, as well as the reliability of the data gathered.
2. Focus group discussions. This is also another way of gathering data for your business research. This actually involves discussing a certain topic in a group and collecting their ideas about it. The discussion is then documented, either by either videotaping or by observing. This is also a fast technique to get data as well.
3. Interviewing the respondents personally. Indeed, if you want to know what your market is like and what are their thoughts, you can go and interview them personally. With personal interview, you can also ask open-ended questions that allow you to gather more data. Unlike those with questionnaires, these are usually unstructured interviews. These however may be less reliable than surveys and focus group discussions.
Aside from these data gathering methods, you can also use other market research techniques such as gathering data from free secondary sources and then do the primary data gathering if you think you need more specific data. However, going for the primary data is a good choice in your research especially if you want to outsmart your competitors, as this will often give you good and accurate data on the behavior of your market.
With accurate data, you will also be guided correctly on what to do or improve. Indeed, if you want to move ahead of the competition, do your market research. Techniques, methods and strategies in doing so are readily available and you can even do so with lesser costs as well.

Market Research Methods

Giving importance to the market research is a sure fire strategy that could bring benefits to your business. Regardless of what line of trade you have it pays to know what people are currently buying. Testing out market research methods will not be hard to do once you fully grasps its effectiveness.
Typically market analysis fall into just a few simple categories; researchers will ask potential clients and customers questions directly, or they will observe trends and buying patterns to see how they relate to various aspects of a business. Take further look into popular market research methods so you may have the idea of how this information gathering can serve your business.
Interacting to the actual customers is the best way to answer most needed questions and gauge how big is the market. Business venues often times create survey forms that clients can answer while some will even assign personnel of their company to ask people about their service or product. You must see how valuable this is in the long run.
Questions in a survey could start off with the actual product but can also bring the detail to other factors that can affect customers' choices and that can help any kind of business. It could be that a client likes your service but not the facilities in your shop.
For an online business you may get a comment about how complicated it is to browse on your page. Raw data from these surveys can turn to better ways of handling your business plus a possible chancing on a marketable product. Closely putting yourself in your customer's shoes is what market research should be to give your company long time benefits.
Sales and trending information are two of the most useful market information. If you want to pin at which product is selling hot you can always rely on their sales result. These reports can also show that even if the product gets good sales now, it may not have the strength to carry on for another year or so.
These trends can tell you which products should stop selling over time. By reading the trend one can easily see those products that is losing marketability. You may also notice that another competitor's product is selling more briskly than yours, which means you may want to consider such a product for your company. These methods of research are simple and straightforward but they do require some time and effort to recognize these patterns.
Making yourself expose to what market wants is a good step to make your company at par with the competition.A business stays alive because of profits and using effective research methods can add up in-depth value to how you gain it.