Nothing too difficult here, I am sure we are all familiar with market research, but why is it important and how do you do it?

To cover the definitions first the market that we are interested in is defined in the dictionary as:
“a demand for a particular commodity or service”

Market research is defined by Wikipedia as “any organised effort to gather information about markets”

So, a market is a group of people that want something and market research is about making the effort to understand those people.

Some of the things that you need to understand about your market are;
Does your market exist?
Where is your market?
How big is your market?
What is your market worth?
What does your market want?
What is your market prepared to pay?
Who are the major customers in your market?
Who are the major suppliers in your market?
How is your market organised?
How does your market communicate with itself?

This may all sound blindingly obvious but actually the reason lots of businesses fail is because they don’t invest in understanding their market and actually the first question above is the most important and the most often overlooked. Businesses invest too much time and money in developing products and services in isolation and only discover very late in the day that actually nobody wants to buy them.

Market research, if you do it well, will make your sales and marketing really easy. If you want to be a successful fisherman you need to put your line where there are fish, and the same is true of sales and marketing. Smart businesses are constantly in the market identifying what is required, how it is required and what people might be prepared to pay for it.

In the old days, before the internet, market research was actually quite difficult and for a long time the best you could do was engage a big London advertising agency to do some blue sky thinking or a market research company to accost people in the street or on the phone.

In the age of the internet things have become much more transparent and using tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or Wordtracker and Social Media enables us to do market research in real time with tools like Monniter and Twitter Fall.

Sales and marketing is really easy if you can identify what it is that people want and that is what market research is all about, then all you need to do is develop it and give it to them.

I hope this has given you a better blogging clue about market research and how it is valuable.

Next week we will be covering your offering, so come back then if you haven’t got a clue about your offering.