Every business needs market research before opening its doors or launching a product. Whether you are Bill Gates, an e-commerce start-up or a kiosk owner in Ikorodu, you need to know how to position, package and present your product or service. Above all, know who your target customers are!
234finance offers a step-by-step guide to conducting accurate market research to help you stay ahead of your competition and increase your success.
1. Begin with Primary Research
Various tools such as interviews, questionnaires and sampling to analyse the sales of your product in the market are important. They will help you understand how well the product you intend to sell is doing and can provide information to help manufacture or market the product more successfully. Primary research involves outlining the value proposition of your product and identifying your unique selling point and pricing strategy. In short, meet your customers, present your product to them and use their feedback to position it better.
2. Conduct Secondary Research
Secondary research involves compiling external data that are publicly available to help determine the viability of your product or service. It also gives you a macro-economic view about the industry you are playing in. Some examples of secondary information include reports, statistical data by government agencies and trade associations that guide you in identifying problems or opportunities in the product or service you are offering.
3. Research Your Competition
Demographic analysis will help you here. By studying what products or services your prospective customers are using, you will get a clear picture of who your competitors are. Consider calling customers directly to ask who they are buying from besides you and why. Customers’ feedback from your competitors’ publications will also lead you towards their selling strategy.
4. Consider the Risks Involved
There are always risks to starting a business – even if your market is healthy and your competitors are doing well. Consider if the product is a fad, seasonal or a necessity? If it’s just a fad or seasonal, how do you package it to stand out from the crowd and increase your sales? If it’s necessity, what is your unique selling point? How do you differentiate from your competitor, appeal more to your target customers? These answers will arm you with accurate information about where your product fits and how best you can position it in the market.
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