How to Conduct Market Research for Your Small Business
This blog post will teach you how to carry out lean market research, or rapid, efficient market research, without working with an agency. It can be carried out at any point in a product’s lifecycle and is simpler than you might imagine.
What is Market Research?
Market research refers to a variety of strategies used to gather data and comprehend a company’s target market. Businesses can leverage this data to craft superior products, enhance the user experience, and create marketing plans that yield high-quality leads and increase conversion rates.
Why is market analysis so important?
Understanding your users is impossible without some form of research. You may have a broad notion of who your customers are and what they need, but if you really want to win their business, you have to put in the effort.
Why does research matter?
The only way to succeed is to fully understand the people who make up your target market. You’ll lose potential consumers to someone who connects more closely with them if you don’t.
Research reveals the “why,” whereas analytics only reveals the “what.” Big data, user analytics, and dashboards may all show you what people do on a large scale, but only research can reveal their thoughts and motivations. For instance, analytics may reveal that users leave your pricing page, but only research can provide an explanation as to why they do this.
Research triumphs over presumptions, fads, and purported best practices.
Guesswork, emotive reasoning, abiding by best practices, and relying on the opinion of the person with the highest salary are frequently the causes of bad ideas. You’re less likely to get tugged along the wrong path if you listen to your users and concentrate on their customer experience.
Even if your team is outstanding, you and your coworkers simply cannot utilize your product in the same way as your clients. Customers might use your product in a way that shocks you, and they might be confused by features that seem apparent to you. It is a waste of time, money, and effort to over-plan and refuse to test your hypotheses because you will probably need to make modifications once your untested plan is put into action.
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Four Lean Methods for Lean Market Research
Surveys are very popular for the purposes of market research. They can be administered as an on-screen questionnaire or by email and consist of a brief sequence of open- or closed-ended questions.
Why are online polls so well-liked? They are simple and affordable to carry out, and you can get a lot of data rapidly. Additionally, even when you are attempting to analyze open-ended questions, the answers that may seem challenging to categorize at first will provide meaningful insights.
Interviews allow you to engage in one-on-one interactions with people in your target market. Nothing beats a face-to-face interview for probing deeper (and picking up on non-verbal clues), but video conferencing is a good fallback if an in-person meeting is not an option.
Any kind of in-depth interview will be quite beneficial in knowing your target audience, regardless of how it is conducted.
Speaking directly with your ideal client can help you understand their perspective better and allow you to explore interesting threads that may lead to many “Aha!” moments.
- Focus groups
Focus groups involve bringing together a carefully chosen group of individuals who correspond to a company’s target market. To get deeper insights, a qualified moderator guides a discussion about the product, user experience, and/or marketing message.
Focus groups are not a good place to start if you are new to market research. It costs money to do it well; however, if you get it wrong, you may generate false insights. Your focus group data may be distorted in a variety of ways, including dominance bias (when a participant exerts undue pressure on the group) and moderator style bias (when various moderator personalities produce divergent results in the same study).
During a customer observation session, a corporate representative observes how an ideal user interacts with their product and makes notes (or a similar product from a competitor).
In place of focus groups, “fly-on-the-wall” observation is a fantastic strategy. In addition to being less expensive, it enables you to observe customers interacting with your product naturally and independently of one another. The only drawback is that observation cannot replace customer surveys and interviews since you cannot see inside your customers’ minds.