Market research (which you may also know by the name “industrial research” is an all-inclusive attempt to compile info about customers and target markets. It’s one of the most crucial components of any business strategy. The term itself is often used in a synonymous fashion with “marketing research“. It’s actually useful to make a distinction, however. The latter deals mostly with marketing, whereas market research is more about markets themselves.
Of course, market research is an integral factor in keeping a competitive edge over the competition. It leads to crucial information that can help determine the needs of the market, as well as its size and even how competitors are performing. Some of the most useful tools for analysis include fully detailed interviews, input from focus groups, ethnography, a full look at secondary data, and even quantitative techniques like customer surveys.
Opinion and social research are also another sides of the same coin. They all deal with gathering as much information as possible about the marketplace and how businesses and customers alike are operating within that field. After all of the insight is considered, the best possible decisions for the future of a company can be formed.
By researching the market, you can better understand what customers want, need, and how you can benefit them. Their actions can also be discovered over time. These findings are invaluable given their ability to reveal how products should be marketed. The quality of a business’ research is honestly make or break. As the consumers are studied, it can be determined which marketing approaches they most positively respond to.
Market research can be actually divided into two different forms. This are primary research and secondary research. To be technical, the primary is divided further into quantitative research, and that in turn is divided into secondary. Overall, these are the factors that are investigated:
• Market Info
The market information allows businesses to understand the pricing of various commodities throughout the market while also determining supply and demand. The role of researchers in helping clients understand their market is truly vital. Businesses that pay too little attention to this often falter.
• Market Segmentation
This particular aspect of market research divides everything into subgroups for more careful consideration. This is one of the best ways to understand differences in the market from one demographic to the next. Gender, age, and ethnicity all play a part. Differences based upon geography, psychographics, technology, and product implementation are determined as well. In some cases, even a look at firmographics may be illuminating.
• Market Trends
Trends in the market refer to its up or down movement over certain stretches of time. These are hard to determine with new innovations, but getting a grasp on how things have changed can help with future projections. The potential for new customers and how they’ll behave in response to certain marketing approaches can all be determined through close trend studies.
• Analysis Of SWOT
SWOT refers to strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats. It’s important to understand these aspects of any business prospect. A SWOT analysis can be used to more accurately position themselves for the coming quarters of business and beyond.
Another key factor that must be measured is Marketing Effectiveness. This contains the following:
• Choice Modelling
• Analysis Of Customers (as well as segmentation of the primary demographic)
• Analysis Of Competition
• Analysis Of Risks
• Advertisement Research
• Product Research
• Simulated Test Marketing
• Mixed Model Marketing
The internet has obviously opened up a wealth of research influence. Consumers are now able to learn about a wealth of different products within the blink of an eye. Because of this, even global markets must be fully understood by virtually every businesses. There’s effectively more competition than ever. However, online shopping also opens up plenty of new research opportunities. While it may seem that the widened market makes life more difficult in keeping strong customer support, it has also helped savvy businesses stay on top.
The scope of the internet’s influence can be seen in internet advertising. Browsing habits are effectively registered through tracking cookies, thereby allowing websites to showcase ads that each specific visitor might be interested in. The way in which customers interact with these can be studied thoroughly. Of course, understanding the needs and behaviours of consumers is one of the most important keys to a successful business. With all of this in mind, the internet is now one of the most vital facets of market research.
The easily accessed nature and overall convenience of the internet has lead to more and more consumers jumping aboard the online shopping train. That has lead to the creation of a widespread business to consumer research facility. The entire world of internet commerce has lead to major shifts in how well-developed countries are focusing their marketing efforts. Nearly a decade ago, anywhere between 400,000,000,000 and 600,000,000,000 US dollars of revenue were generated through the internet. By 2015, those numbers soared all the way up to 950,000,000,000 US dollars. In recent years, the upward trend has only continued.
Even beyond the research afforded to us through online market research, the internet has lead to influence within data collection as a whole. Now, tools such as online surveys are taking precedence over traditional analogues. Mobile surveys, in particular, have only become more popular over the last half-decade or so. More and more consumers are adopting mobile usage as well, the result of which has lead to even more opportunities to gather consumer understanding.
The Role Of Social Media
The most active members of core target demographics rely heavily on social media platforms such as Youtube, Linkedin, and Youtube. Social media in and of itself helps the business to business commerce market develop and also craft even more business processing efficiency. As this incredibly valuable market research tool has been used in tandem with basic e-commerce principals, it has lead to entirely new perspectives on global business. As a business to business models go through obligatory updates, the benefits of looking into the internet and social media are effectively increasing tenfold.
Business intelligence groups have been working diligently to gather all of the information afforded to business through global online sales. An even deeper understanding of trends and growth patterns has developed in tow. One such report known as the Global Business to Consumer e-Commerce & Online Payment Market showed that growth rates in Western Europe and North America have dropped slightly at certain points. Other markets seem to be trending upwards, however. This includes the coastal region of Asia in particular, the market of which is projected to overtake all others in terms of generated revenue. If you’re in a market that is apparently decreasing, however, all of the research that’s been gathered at this point can be used to your advantage.
Interesting Findings Within Various Market Sectors
The North American online powerhouse Amazon remains as the leading provider of online sales for business to consumer e-commerce. It has been successful on a worldwide scale. Two entities from China have proven themselves as significant growth leaders, however. The first is JD Incorporated and the second is Alibaba Group Holding Limited. They held the initial public offerings some time ago. Of course, there are plenty of other promising companies. Take Cnova NV for example. This is a French Group Casino subsidiary that has lead to a wealth of retail store development and e-commerce efforts alike. This is just one example of how more and more businesses that focus on the internet have been able to attract even more consumers over the last decade or so.
An organised understanding of market conditions such as competition can be gathered by market sector research. This has a number of major advantages that can help business perform even within well-established industries. There are a number of strategies that can be formulated from there.
Of course, there’s still a lot of room for major shifts along the way. As “m-commerce” generated through mobile platforms continue to rise, the entire global market is sure to change dramatically over the coming years. With this in mind, it’s essential for any business to keep on top of their market research and heed its findings. Only through this can true success and longevity be obtained.
Do you need help with your research? Do think to hire a consultant? Let’s talk …