Why Market Research is a Must for Businesses
11 Jul 2016
One of the most valuable assets of any business is its brand. Just as a house needs a strong foundation to stay sturdy, an effective brand strategy needs thorough market research. Far too often, businesses skip the market research process because the company claims that it already knows its consumers. However, it takes a lot to understand your target audience’s wants and needs. To prevent this disconnect, companies must first have a stronger understanding of market research and how and when to use it. 

What is Market Research?

Market research is the action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. Marketers can go about researching however they like. However, there is a large chance that untested marketing strategies will come up short. For marketers, research is not just about filling in the knowledge gaps, but it also serves as the basis for good decision making. Research provides valuable insights about products, services, consumers, competitors, and trends. For example, if a strategist is trying to decide who to target their message to, they need to know who their group is. And how do you know who your target audience is? Incidentally, by using data and research.

Subsequently, let’s think about creating a message campaign. For instance, maybe your company is rolling out a new strategy defining your product and advertising it to the public. So it’s a great product, but you have to write a clear and concise paragraph that highlights its most appealing qualities. However, you don’t know which qualities appeal most to the masses of your audience. Above all, what appeals to your audience is what matters most. Accordingly, you need to use research to best design your messaging, or you risk failure.

Why is this important?

Market research is essential for the planning of any brand strategy. The data helps ensure that you are identifying the correct opportunity by targeting the right consumer in the right market and satisfying the right need. Without market research, there is no substance or facts behind your strategy and can result in a negative return on investment (ROI).

There are three broad types of research: Qualitative, Quantitative and Secondary Research. Qualitative research is more open-ended and is great for testing initial concepts or ideas. Qualitative is usually tested in focus groups and smaller settings in order to get in-depth opinions. Quantitative research statistically represents the audience you are targeting. Typically, quantitative is tested on a large number of respondents online, ranging anywhere from five hundred to thousands of survey takers. Secondary research is information that is already out there. Some research companies have access to several data sources in order to provide a comprehensive view of the marketplace.

For research to be effective, it is important for companies to have a clear understanding of the purpose of research and what information is being sought. Market Research professionals provide the expertise many companies do not have in-house.  Often these experts have the skills and the tools to execute the research accurately, efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, these professionals also help bring objectivity to the result, thus, providing a clear and unbiased direction for business decision-making. Don’t let your strategy go unresearched – be prepared today.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

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